Lutherans Answer Call For MI Movie Shoot
by Kristen Collier
Wednesday was my first time as a movie extra, but not my first TV involvement. I was very apprehensive, as, being a life-long Lutheran, we generally don't seek those sorts of missions.
But, when I saw that this fledgling Christian film production company, Generation Courage, was not only very open to volunteers, but that they indeed needed MANY extras for the church scene, I put out the call to everyone I could in the MI District and the local Ann Arbor LCMS churches, many of which I'd been to as a Concordia, Ann Arbor, grad.
"Karen, Lutherans don't do this sort of thing!" I said to Karen Covell, founder of the Hollywood Prayer Network, yesterday. "We generally eschew the spotlight. But we do heed the call to help, we are duty bound, so if God needs us to serve as movie extras, most of us don't want to do it, but we will!"
Karen said this made her day, and she said last week that HPN was sending Dean a Bible (she is beloved in Hollywood for her dedication to praying for those there).
Below, Seth is seated next to Debby Fall, Laurie Brown and Jennifer Rumberger, all from the District Office (President Maier was at the sem, so unable to attend, but he is a wonderful preacher, he spoke at Pastor Haupt's retirement, so I hope he can attend upcoming shoots).
|Seth Hinz, Debby Fall, Laurie Brown, Jennifer Rumberger|
|LEFT: Richard Shuta, me, Nadege|
|Jamie, Dean, Melissa|
And when you see Melissa and Joel, you can't NOT want to help them, they're such sweet young people.
|Nadege and Joel|
And that brings me back to my starting thoughts. Kevin and I had some involvement with Christian TV years ago, and it wasn't good. So, I was nervous - would this producer, a former Golden Globe boxer, would this producer be like one of the directors we'd worked with years ago?
|Joel and Dean|
Joel Paul Reisig was the best director I've ever seen. He is worth his weight in gold, that one. Amy and I were thrilled to see Joel and his camera crew at work (Amy's son is in music production, so she could also appreciate their professionalism). He was so low-key, and relaxed, I was amazed. And he knew exactly what he was doing, and was completely in charge of the large, talkative, church group, actors, and crew.
The cameraman, Daniel Knudsen (left), he had a smile on his face the entire time! In fact, this picture of him he seemed to be in his element so much that you could see this was what he was created for. What an adorable kid! It brought Amy and I such joy to see these great young professionals at work. In fact, I was in another room, and when I returned to the sanctuary Amy told me that Joel said something like, "Michigan crews are the best. The most hard-working!" And I could see that! They ALL were so professional and efficient. And Daniel, the cameraman, made funny quips, was so happy, I thought to myself, This is probably when he is happiest, at moments like this.
I said to Kevin when I got home, "Joel is AMAZING. I would absolutely hire him for any project we would ever be involved with."
LEFT: My fav picture, because I got to take it with Jamie, Joel, and Greg Morrison, a MI film producer also helping!
What a great blessing for so many, on so many levels.
God bless everyone involved, for heeding the call to help Melissa and Joel.
BELOW, SOME MORE FUN PICS:
NOTE: Author Cathy Brakefield (bottom left, behind my precious niece Nadege), is president of the MI American Christian Fiction Writers group, and drove 2 hours to be there, along with her husband, after barely sleeping the night before!
To Cathy's left are: Darlla Burtley, my sister, Amy Mellinger, Nadege's mom, and her friend, Cara Allen.
Below: Cyle Young, one of the top Christian literary agents, and also a pastor, was there to help, along with his kids!
BELOW: Jamie, and Dean's assistant, Terri:
BELOW: Joel with award-winning author Deb Gardner Allard, who is helping with PR, and Nick Vlassoupoulos, who plays the lead opposite Dean Cain.
BELOW: Dean in the hospital scene. Dean Cain plays a pastor ministering to a widower fireman whose daughter is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer: