You've already met some of the characters from Literal but now I would like to introduce you to some of the crew members. Because without them Literal could never become a reality.
Several of the cast members are also crew members. Whenever they need to be on camera someone has to be behind camera doing their job. Some of the crew members have been with us all the way on this and some were with us temporarily helping with only a few episodes. Each person has made a lasting impression on not only Literal but our lives as well. They are important and even though you might not get to "see" them on camera, the works of their hands are clearly visible.
Director of Photography, Camera Man #1
Robert, age 21, in real life is the older brother to Dawson Peak (see below) and to the actor for Mr. News. We met their family back in 2006 at a homeschool 4-H meeting and have been friends ever since. In our first film, Beyond Under, Robert served as Assistant Director along with playing the part of Older Marcus. In 2011 Robert graduated from high school and spent the next 2 years getting his associate's degree at a local college. During this time Robert and his friend, David Hannah, formed their own film company, Peak Hannah Digital (Phd). He currently works with local TV station WTNB filming commercials and high school football games.
Robert is the reason why we have a set for the old WWBTV station where Doug Hoop, Mr. News and Typical Christian work. As we were trying to figure out how we could access a TV station I thought of asking Robert if we might could borrow space where he works. Robert talked with his boss and they gladly granted access to the station during off hours.
Robert also donated his camera so Literal could be filmed in a higher quality than the camera we own. Along with being our "face of WTNB" Robert serves as camera man. Robert has a keen eye for angles and a good sense of direction. He gladly offers his services and has even stayed late helping us get final shots, never once complaining. Make sure you check out his company, Peak Hannah Digital, and view more of his work by visiting his YouTube Page here.
Assistant Boom Operator #1
If any of you have watched our first film, Beyond Under, you will recognize Dawson as the bumbling Peasant of Untar. Even though he played one of the loudest characters in Beyond Under, Dawson has a very quite nature. Dawson has filled in for Jonathan (who is in charge of sound) on the boom many times throughout our filming career. Jonathan really trusts Dawson with the boom and he does a great job with it! Whenever the two of them are doing sound we tend to forget they're around because they're so quiet and focused (and I think they like it that way :). During the episodes where Jonathan is acting as Mr. Media Jr. Dawson has been the one doing the sound. He's the reason Jonathan sounds as good as he looks (hey isn't that what friends are for?).
Camera Man #2
Cameron is a 20 year old homeschooled graduate from Houston, TX. He is studying for his degree online and hopes to one day make his own films professionally. Cameron made his first project, Filmodus Operandi, in 2012 along with members from his church and homeschool group.
The story of how we first got in contact with Cameron is pretty amazing! He and Christopher met online through an online christian filmmakers community. Filmodus Operandi and BOO! Do Something both came out around the same time so the two of them swapped movies and email addresses. They never really talked much after that until Cameron's email address got stolen and he sent an email out with his new address.
Fast-forward to spring of this year. S.C. TreeHouse had released its IndiGoGo campain for Literal and Cameron had been following us. One day we got an email from Cameron saying that if we needed another crew member he was willing to drive up and help us film for a week. As it turned out we had just realize that we had no one to film episode 5 because Christopher had to act and Robert, our normal camera man, was working during the day. We couldn't move the filming schedule because our cousins (who play Master SmoothLips and Typical Christian) were coming for one week only.
So, did we really invite a total stranger into our house for 4 days to help us film? Yes we did! And I'm so glad! Cameron was a great addition to the team and brought lots of great advice and talent into the project. He even let us borrow his camera and lighting equipment to help make the scenes look the way we wanted them to look. To be honest I was a little leery about Cameron coming up here. I was worried about inviting someone we never met before into our house and that all of us might not get along. But we got along great! He and his brother, Taylor (see below), fit into our family so well that we felt like they were some long lost cousins or something!
To learn more about Cameron and his work visit his Vimeo page here and to view the trailer for Filmodus Operandi click here.
Assistant Boom Operator #2
Taylor, age 17, is the younger brother to Cameron. Also homeschooled, Taylor is currently working on finishing up his Junior and Senior year of high school. He plans on pursuing a degree in engineering once he graduates.
Taylor drove up with Cameron to keep him company (and awake!) and to offer his services in any way needed. Taylor was our boom operator during the week whenever Jonathan was filming as well as doing the clapper board as needed. Thankfully, Taylor also took over creating Master SmoothLips' mustache so Christopher could focus on some of his other duties.
Taylor did a wonderful job making everyone sound great, but the bad part was that since he had a powerful mic on the end of a long pole he did what anyone else with a powerful mic on the end of a long pole would do: listen to other people's conversations. Taylor also ran around with Gideon trying on all the costumes to entertain us with his goofy portrayals of our characters. Taylor definitely made those dull moments of filming a lot more enjoyable by providing us with lots of laughs when we needed them the most!
Taylor and Cameron have both made such a lasting impression on Literal and on our lives. We pray that one day we might be able to work together again!
Mom and Dad both have bent over backwards throughout our entire childhood to help direct us kids to follow our dreams. They've taken days off from work, arranged school work around filming schedules, and even given us money that was needed in other areas of our lives. We are soooooooooo blessed to have parents who believe in us and our vision. I really don't know where any of our pervious films would be without their wisdom and guidance.
S.C. Treehouse's video for last week was an exclusive behind the scenes look at the making of Literal featuring some of the people mentioned here. Be sure to check it out here and look for a new behind the scenes video coming every third Tuesday of the month. Also, please visit some of the pages of our friends' companies. They're really good at what they do so help us show our appreciation by checking them out! And to all of our crew members who have helped us: thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts! You guys mean so much to us and have been such a blessing!
" Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm."
2 Corinthians 1:24
7/2/2014 2 Comments
Filming for Literal has offically begun! That's right! Last week from June 19th thru the 25th my family and I along with several others "literally" fell off the face of the earth while we filmed almost three whole episodes and parts of scenes for several others. Now y'all get to see what exactly went on during our EPIC week of absence!
(Late night shootings at "The Mill")
(Yes doing hair on set was this intense!)
On Thursday we drove to the Chattanooga airport to pick up our cousins from North Carolina. They were going to be the actors for two of our characters, Typical Christian and Master SmoothLips. Because we are who we are, we made signs with their stage names on them and held them up like you see people do at airports. The looks on peoples faces as they passed by were priceless!
(Can't touch this!)
On Sunday we went over to another actor's house to film. We filmed from 8:30 am until 9:30 pm (one hour later than we intended.). As we were getting the last few shots we received a call from two guys who were driving up from Texas to help us film one of the episodes. They were lost in Cleveland so Dad and Nic had to go find them. So they "literally" got to walk on set and right into the middle of things! But they handled it well and even helped with the clean up afterwards.
(People kept playing with my costumes namely Taylor and Bud)
From Monday thru Wednesday we filmed at the local county courthouse everyday from 8:30 am (when they opened) to 4:30 pm (when they closed.) We ran into a lot of trouble on Monday and Tuesday. First we had to spend most of Monday morning working on lighting and then only got a few shots in before we had to pack up and head to Cleveland for that night's shoot. On Tuesday all of our actors kept messing up their lines and we spent all morning trying to get only ONE on the shots needed for that day. Later that night in Cleveland the crew ran into MORE lighting issues and only got about half of the scenes they needed. To top it all off, several of us had gotten sick (including our director who lost his voice Sunday) and by Tuesday we had to add to that list my cousin, Sarah, whose character plays a critical role in the series' plot line.
(We had a wig that one of the actors wore and everyone kept running away with it!)
So as you can guess, no one was particularly excited when Wednesday rolled around. Everyone was tired and stressed out. We knew we had to finish because our cousins as well as Cameron and Taylor were leaving the next morning. Have you ever had one of those days when you felt like you have given your all to G-D and there is nothing else left that you can give? That's exactly how I felt Wednesday morning as we started to set up for the day's shoot. I was tired, my body felt like a train wreck and I really just wanted everything to work out so we could all have a break! I knew that day was going to be bad and we were all going to end up snapping at each other. But then something happened. I don't know what or how but somehow we got caught up from the previous days, got all the scenes scheduled for that day, got some extra close up shots, AND FINISHED EARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have no clue what happened but somehow it just worked out! (yeah, we were on cloud 9 throughout the whole day!) All I can tell you is that right before we filmed I just got on my knees and said "Lord, I can't do this anymore. Somehow you've got to work through me because I can't do this anymore. I'm spent and I can't control it. You've got to work a miracle here." and the next thing I knew we were ahead of schedule! (I later learned that several other people had done the same thing that morning.) I think G-D just wanted us to get to the point where we were so weak that WE couldn't make this series happen anymore and HE got control of everything so HIS GLORY was revealed though the project! I'm so thankful that we have a God whose weakness is "...stronger than men." (1 Cor 1:25).
I can honestly tell you that if it wasn't for HIM this project would have fallen through. There were SO MANY ways where HE intervened or something happened that we didn't plan that made this project happen. Like providing money for our cousins to not only come down for the week but FLY none the less! Or providing a camera man and assistant boom operator from Texas whom we had never even met before! HE sustained us each day with the food and the strength we needed to worship HIM in a way we NEVER could have done without HIM! My heart overflows with joy when I think about all the blessings HE has given us this past week as well as the weeks and months leading up to it. I know there are many more days like this past Wednesday to come because when you worship THE LORD ALMIGHTY exciting things happen!
Some people worship through dancing, some people worship through song, and still others worship through prayer but I worship though film making. Because it is there in film making, when I am at my weakest, that I see HIS GLORY revealed! May all I do go to HIM and HIM ALONE!
("Um, ok, now what do we do now?" "Everyone point at the director!")
SOLO DE GLORIA!
I have the wonderful privilege of babysitting two 4 year old twin boys once a week. I always have a fun time with those two and sometimes, they like to do or say things that catch me off guard. Like yesterday for instance. We have this thing where we will tell each other "I love you" just on a whim, then usually end it by tickling each other. So yesterday I was at the sink getting them some water and the oldest of the two was watching me. Suddenly he goes:
"I love you Susan"
I smile back and say "I love you too baby"
"You wanta know how much more I love you?"
"How much more do you love me?"
"I love you more..." he grins "than PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES!"
Yeah I know, peanut butter sandwiches. But to a four year old who's favorite hobby is eating, (and who loves him some peanut butter!) that's a big part of his world right there! So I smile catching his meaning and turning to face him I say:
"Well I love you more than bologna sandwiches!" (bologna is his next favorite type of sandwich)
He stops and stares at me wide eyed like "nobody can love ANYBODY more than bologna sandwiches!"
Yep sometimes they can catch me off guard, but then again, so can I!
I love you all more than hot-dogs!
This month (March) is the Jewish festival of Purim, a holiday remembering how GOD used Esther to save the Jewish race from being totally massacred in Persia (see the book of Esther in The Bible). Our Bible Study Group, (The Branch) hosted a party a couple of Sunday ago to celebrate. Traditionally, Purim is celebrated with a masquerade party as a reminder that Esther's "Jewishness" was hidden from the royal court and the fact that GOD is never mentioned in the book of Esther (but His power is clearly evident!). So that's exactly what we did (I may or may not have stood up and declared that, as a costumer, I never get a chance to wear any of my costumes but once. So we were dressing up and that was that!).
Mama and Daddy went as Daddy's grandparents on his dad's side (my great-grandparents). Daddy's grandfather served in World War II in the Army Air Force. So Daddy wore a uniform and Mama based her costume off of a picture of great Granny we have in our home.
Christopher and I went as two blue-bellied rollers (a type of bird from Africa). Christopher told me if I found something that wasn't too girly he would try to match me. I knew I wanted to wear my Titanic era dress so Mama looked up and found these birds and guess what? They have the EXACT same colors that are in my dress! Call it destiny if you like.
Jonathan and Gideon went as two characters from The Wingfeather Saga . Jonathan dressed as Pete, a half bird half man character and Gideon dressed as Kelmar, a half wolf half boy character (sorry, I didn't get a picture of Gideon's costume. You can see some of it in another picture below).
Other costumes created from members of our group included: superman, batman, a cowboy, a very adorable princess and the cutest ever Mary Poppins and Bert!
We had a great time listening to the story of Esther, acting it out, dancing, singing and of course, DRESSING UP! Oh yeah, and there was TONS of food! It wouldn't be a Jewish holiday without it!
(making "groggers" and noise makers for the reading of Esther)
Some friends from a messianic congregation in Nashville (who helped us get our group started) came down to join us! We were so excited to see them again!
(Daddy teaching on the account of Esther)
(Acting out a skit based on the story of Esther)
"and that these days would be remembered and observed throughout every generation, every family, every province and every city; and that these days of Purim would never cease among the Jews or their memory be lost by their descendants." Esther 9:28
As the Jew's grafted in brothers and sisters in The LORD we gentiles celebrate their holidays as a reminder that GOD will always deliver HIS people. No matter how impossible the odds seem. If we forget that we will lose sight of GOD's power and HE will no long be the great wonder HE really is to us.
This is my cool aunt playing a character named Glenda Mae in a play entitled A Cricket County Christmas. (oh yeah and that's my awesome uncle)
And this is me playing Glenda Mae in Christmas at The Cricket County Cafe (please forgive the blurry pictures. It was dark)
Last year around December my friend Christine was telling me about the Christmas play she was putting on at her church. She was saying that one of her actors had dropped out and she needed to replace her. My brothers and I were currently putting on a play of our own so I told her that while I would love to help out, I couldn't.
Fast-forward a month. My play is over and Christine's has been moved to February.
And she still is short an actor.
So I talked it over with my parents and told Christine I would gladly fill in the empty gap.
The basic plot of the play was one year prior to the time this play is taking place, the cast's rich Uncle Zeke died leaving all his wealth to the group of cousins living in the country. Now one year later, an amendment has been found. So the city and country cousins have gathered together at their grandma's cafe on Christmas Eve to read it. But the problem is in order to read the will, Grandma's cafe needs to reach closing time and no one, except cousin Elkin, is helping out. They are all too concerned with themselves and their own projects. My character is wanting to get in the record books as "the fastest chicken plucker". So I'm busy hiding chickens in the ladies room so I can practice plucking! (Score!)
("Look where we kept Jesus this year!")
("If bein' in the record books was suppose to make me feel so good about myself...
...well then why do I feel so crummy?")
In the end, Elkin reminds everyone that Christmas is not about me and what I can get out of it, but it's all about Jesus and no one else.
[Me and my friends from left to right, Christine (cousin Mimi), Me, and Riley (Elkin)]
I am so thankful for this chance to get to minister through acting! I had a blast! The cast was made up of an amazing group of people who all got along great! I pray that this play reminded people that many times, not only at Christmas, we get so caught up in ourselves and forget that as followers of Christ, we were are to serve not to be served.
Christopher was in charge of night 5 of Hanukkah, Sunday. The first thing we did was open presents. A great way to start off if you ask me! :P Christopher got Jonathan and Gideon both a book and he got me this hat made by a friend in our bible study. (Just a note about presents: we keep this small--usually under $10 a piece and we often try to make something or other creative cheap way to share some love with our siblings!)
His activity and meal were kind of combined. We went to the Terry's house to eat homemade pancakes (made by Christopher, the pancake master himself) beef bacon, eggs and potato latkes. Yum. Yum. YUM! The reason we had to go eat at the Terry's is because they were the ones with the beef bacon!
No just kidding.
The real reason was because for his activity Christopher wanted to do another Doctor Who night! We were excited that Nic could join us again (along with his yummy orange juice). Plus, this time we went early enough to spend some time with the Terry's three super children. However, we got to eating and partying and forgot to do photos until they had already went to bed. :(
(Mr. Chris partied hard as you can tell)
Great job Christopher! You planned out an excellent night!
Next we'll see what Gideon has in store for everyone.
Our bible study group wanted to do a party during one of the nights of Hanukkah so we could celebrate together as a group. What we didn't plan on was doing it in our new building! One of the guys who runs the building said that they were going to be closed on Saturday night so we were free to use it! This was the first time anyone besides my dad and one other man along with their wives had been in it so we were all very excited!
The first thing we did was eat (duh!) then each family lit their menorah they brought. We started the program after that with the skit my family did last year at Hanukkah.
(I think the Greeks and Maccabees had a little too much fun fighting! Look at those faces!)
Definitely think that the Scottish Hebrew anchorman stole the show! No one was expecting that, threw us for a loop there!
After everyone had changed out of their costumes the Worland family led us in some traditional Hanukkah songs. Of course the words were in Hebrew so not many people knew what to sing but we had fun listening anyway. At one point one of the songs was sung in a four part round (in Hebrew). It was REALLY pretty and the Worlands did a great job singing (since they were the only ones) ! :P
Chris Terry gave us a short little background on Hanukkah and challenged us during this "Week of Dedication" to dedicate ourselves to The LORD as His temples.
We ended the program with one last song then there was more eating, laughter and fellowship! I think the party went well! I hope we can do it again next year!
P.S. Just incase you were wondering, I didn't win The Ugly Hanukkah Sweater/T-shirt Contest. Mr. Chris did. Now I must go comfort the turkey on my shirt... and my wounded pride.
I have a confession to make.
I'm a Doctor Who fan.
And as a fan of the man who travels around in a police box, I enjoy getting together with my fellow whovians to discuss all things Doctor Who related. So when my family and I discovered that there are some "Who" fans, who attend our Bible Study on Saturdays, a who night was born.
Everyone was busy getting ready!
Mom made granola and bean dip,
the Terry family polished up their tv,
and my brothers and I dug around in our closets until we found enough to throw together some costumes.
Armed with popcorn, chips and a variety of other snacks, everyone settled down for a night of Who magic! What a night it was!
We told the Doctor what to do (he didn't listen),
It. Was. AWESOME!
The Who's from left to right:
Amy Pond (me), Human (Nich), Human #2 (Daddy), The 10th doctor (Jonathan), The 11th doctor (Christopher), Human #3 (Mr. Chris), Human #4 (Mrs. Sandi)
the 4th doctor (Gideon)
Thanks to the Terrys for hosting and my mom (plus Mrs. Sandi) for the delicious snacks! Let's do it again sometime!
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