Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Robin Shope novel to be a movie!

Author Robin Shope and Salty Earth Pictures have recently announced Shope's novel The Christmas Edition is to be a feature film.

Wisconsin newspaper The Daily Union online has run a piece which says in part:

Salty Earth Pictures has announced that it will begin filming a new feature movie later this year, with Fort Atkinson serving as the on-screen setting.

The non-profit film company based in Fort Atkinson specializes in producing Biblically-based entertainment, including such shows as the family-friendly comedy series "Fifth Pew From the Front" and the puppet-populated "Movie Critters" and its follow-up 30-minute series.

Company founder Steve Zambo announced the feature film will be based on the novel, "The Christmas Edition," which was written by Robin Shope. Shope, an author now living in Dallas, Texas, has written a series of novels that are set in Wisconsin, known as The Turtle Creek Edition series.

...Without revealing too much of the story, "The Christmas Edition" movie will be based on a struggling family-owned business in a small Wisconsin town. It focuses on relationships, secrets, trust, faith and the hope that Christmas and its message provide.

"The Christmas Edition is one of her series of books, like The Valentine Edition and The Easter Edition," Zambo explained. "They all take place in Wisconsin."

Zambo recalled how one day, he received an invitation via Facebook to do the movie adaptation.

"I had known she was an author because a mutual friend had written some other books with her," Zambo said. "So I joined, and she said 'take a look at my books.' I did, and right about then we had made the decision to make some more features, like our project 'Scrooge's Next Christmas.' But that is a bigger budget movie, and we needed a bridge picture, like the movie 'Facing the Giants,' which was filmed by a small group in Georgia."

So Shope sent Zambo the books, read by his daughter.

"She knew we needed to do a picture that we could do within a reasonable budget, and my daughter said, 'Here Dad, read this.'

And Zambo decided to adapt The Christmas Edition for the screen.

Read the full article here.

Read our interview with Robin.
Read our review of The Christmas Edition.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Come What May movie made by homeschoolers


Come What May is the first release from Advent Film Group (AFG), but the production group founded by George Escobar is planning on producing many more movies in the future. Inspired by Sherwood Pictures (creators of FIREPROOF, Facing the Giants, and Flywheel) AFG has constructed its own model for creating great movies for a faith-based audience.

"Like Sherwood Pictures, we believe Christian filmmakers should always work alongside organizations already in service for the Lord. We will always be under another's covering and authority," George says. "While Sherwood has its home church, with Come What May, we partnered with Patrick Henry College."

The college's academic rigor is attractive to home-schooled students. George, a home-school parent advocate, sees the potential of these motivated and talented students to become a generation of trained and gifted filmmakers. The AFG model pays the young filmmakers as they learn the craft through the actual making of movies.

"There was a core team of 40 home schooled student from across 16 different states that worked on the movie," he says. "We tapped into the speech and debate clubs for home-schoolers, in particular the NCFCA league. That is our 'secret sauce.' These students and their parents are already dedicated to becoming 'Communicators for Christ' and have a proven track record for hard work and accomplishment. Graduates from NCFCA go on to dominate the debate tournaments in college."

With a team at the ready, George and others worked on the script. The central plot is based on a real experience that Patrick Henry College's Moot Court team faced in a national tournament. Having to choose between what is right and what could win is a challenging dilemma, especially when it comes to a life-and-death issue like abortion.

"We want to tell stories that the Lord will bless," George says. "That means removing our own agendas and ego from the writing process. We enlisted the help of PHC students and faculty during the story-development phase and during the final script polish.

"Ben Adams, a PHC alumnus, worked with me on the six-page treatment. Manny Edwards, my collaborator, wrote the first draft and together we worked on all subsequent drafts, as did David Hallbrook, the college's Director of Communications, who is a Pulitzer Prize nominee author. Finally, Dr. Michael Farris, a constitutional attorney who is the founder and chancellor of PHC, wrote the legal brief for overturning Roe. Our shooting script was the eighth draft, followed by one more draft during pickup filming."

Come What May was filmed over five weeks in Virginia during the summer of 2007. In early 2008, the crew shot an additional seven days of pickup filming. After months of sound mixing, editing, and other post-production work, the DVD was made available through AFG. Later in 2008, Provident-Integrity Distribution signed an agreement to market the movie and the Come What May trailer was highlighted on the FIREPROOF DVD.

You can read more about production in Stories from the Set.