What an incredible, exhausting, and absolutely unprecedented six months it has been! I figured it was time for a recap, so here it is. Hope you enjoy!
This has been an unspeakably challenging project, to put it lightly. It has pushed my mom and I well out of our comfort zones and past the point of burnout on countless occasions, but the Lord has faithfully picked us up when we have fallen. We are convinced that He will provide all that we and our actors need to bring this movie to completion! We are so thankful for all of the highly committed individuals that have given us so much of their time to bring this story to life. We'd never be able to do a project like this without them!
So, what has made these past six months the most stressful and, at the same time, amazing days of my life? Though my time is limited, I'll attempt to explain. :)
In March, I wrote that we'd only completed eight scenes. Well, we've now completed SIXTY-ONE scenes with roughly twenty left to go! The projected completion date for filming is now mid-August. We'd so appreciate your prayers for us to keep to that schedule!
Here are some highlights of the past few months:
SAVE THE CAT
If you are a filmmaker, you may recognize the phrase "Save the Cat." For those of you who don't know, it is the title of one of the most famous books on screenwriting. The author, Blake Snyder, mentions how every main character should have a moment where they "save the cat" or, rather, do something to endear the audience to them.
Well, our actress, Elliana Mckean, did, indeed, save the cat! Not in 'The Ground Beneath Our Feet' but in real life! We were on set one night when an adorable stray cat affectionally named 'Cow', decided to hang around. She quickly began to interfere with filming and therefore had to be held by my mom (not exactly a cat person) for much of the shoot. Lo and behold, she was pregnant and looking for a warm place to have her kittens. Ellie, having compassion for the helpless animal, took her home and 'Cow' had six kittens in her garage that night! One of those kittens is now Ellie's own! This is definitely a story we'll all remember! :)
THE VINTAGE AIRBNB
Finding a 1950s home to film in is by no means easy! However, God graciously introduced us to the owners of a beautifully restored 1902 Airbnb. We were able to spend three full days knocking out multiple scenes at this home.
I will forever be grateful for the joy that being on set with these amazing people brought! I'll miss our inside jokes, chaotic late nights, and the abundant laughter between each take.
LAST MINUTE MIRACLES
What do you do when you get to set and are still missing one of your key actors? You pray!
I can't even tell you how often things like this happen. Time and again we've been in need of actors, locations, or props at the very last minute and every single time, God provides in one way or another. It's been the most amazing experience seeing how the Lord is guiding this project. It's a reminder that when we are weak, then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10) - because it is Christ who works through us!
An example of this is what happened on June 22nd. We headed to set that evening knowing that, despite our best efforts, we were missing the baby we needed for the scene we were about to film. The problem was that the whole scene revolved around this child and we knew we couldn't move forward without her. Well, we stepped out in faith and within twenty minutes of arriving on set, we had our baby. A friend of a friend brought their daughter last second and saved our entire shoot!
THE THEATER PERFORMANCE
One scene in the film involves a high school theater performance. Our original idea for this show was about the simplest thing we could do. However, the Lord's ways are higher than ours, and he led us in a completely different- and much more amazing- direction.
He provided a choreographer in our actress, Tabitha Dance. He provided a dance team through Elliana's younger sister, Rylnn. He provided a massive theater through a public high school and the perfect props on the day of the shoot. I can't say more without giving away some important story elements, but it was a WOW moment when it all came together! Never underestimate the power of our God!
A REMINDER TO PERSEVERE
While I would love to just share the highlights and forget about all the hardships and obstacles we've faced, I know that wouldn't be a true reflection of this journey. It has been HARD. My mom and I have both experienced countless sleepless nights, sickness, fatigue, overwhelming stress, and intense spiritual warfare that has nearly driven us to despair over the project. And yet, through His empowering, we have persevered. His mercies are new EVERY morning!
I often wonder why God has called me to do projects of this magnitude. After all, I'm young and weak, easily distracted, and prone to give up and stop fighting. I'm someone who'd rather stay in the background and listen rather than talk. Of all people, why me? Then I remember this verse:
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
The only reason I am doing what I'm doing is by the power of God. On my own, I can do absolutely nothing. He is my strength! He is the reason these films come together. By HIM I am able to persevere in the work the Lord calls me to. Soli Deo Gloria!