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
"You're the only Jesus some will ever see"
I think you'll agree that we've saved the best for last. Or at least, after you meet her in Literal you will! This character quickly became the cast and crew's favorite and the girl who played her, (my wonderfully talented cousin) fit her character to a T!
There's not much to say about Typical Christian's (or Tippy) character. She's a typical christian!
As I was planning her costume I wanted to base her off of the average church-going teenager and what else does the average teenage that's on fire for G-D wear but a Christian graphic t-shirt? (Come on, you know you had one at one point. We all did, er, do :)
I can take no credit here. Christopher designed the t-shirt and a local screening shop printed it for us along with several others for crew members and donors from our Literal Indiegogo campaign. I wish I could explain why we chose the phrasing we did but that would spoil it for you. Oh well, guess you'll just have to watch the entire series on YouTube (starting August 5th) to find out! :)
(Here we are discovering that her jeans had gotten dirty and we were miles away from the nearest washing machine. Oh the joys of being a costumer!)
Originally I had planned for the actor who played Typical Christian to just bring her own blue jeans since she was coming in from out of state. But one day as I was talking to the actress's mom on the phone (my aunt) about her costume she suggested colored jeans. What a great idea! So the actress brought all her colored jeans and we finally settled on the green pair which I think looked great with her shirt!
Her shoes are converse (shh don't tell!) that she already owned. I love how the orange and the green go together! They really made her outfit pop!
Once we figured out how we wanted to do her shirt Typical Christian's costume came together really well. She was definitely the easiest person to costume (even if she did live 12 hours away!)! She also was the cutest actor out of the whole lot. (Sorry guys, you all tried! :)
Custom shirt ~ $10.00
Jeans- actress' own $0
Shoes- actress' own $0
Socks- actress' own $0
Earrings- actress' own $0
TOTAL COST= $10.00
So there you have it. I hope this helped introduce you to some of the people of Literal that I know you'll just fall in love with! Christopher and Jonathan did a great job developing these characters and the actors wonderfully portrayed them. Each of their journeys is totally unique and it's amazing to watch them intertwine with each other.
If you've enjoyed this sneak peak into some of the lives in Literal then be sure to go to YouTube on AUGUST 5TH to see the first episode of Literal air! Thanks so much for your support and prayers as we are taking this incredible journey!
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