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A full-length film whose cast and crew are homeschoolers from around the nation will open this spring after the team films “pickups” this month at a Virginia Christian college.
Pickups allow filmmakers to re-shoot scenes, add effects and get new footage for a final cut.
Teaming up with Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., site of the original and final filming, Advent Film Group has made a point of using the production of the movie, “Come What May,” as a training ground for aspiring Christian filmmakers.
“This fulfills part of AFG’s mission,” says director and AFG founder George Escobar, a homeschooling dad. “We are training students who will one day direct big-budget films with moral integrity. To get there we’re turning the traditional film school model upside-down.”
Unlike film schools where students pay large tuitions to make short or student films, AFG productions are feature-length from the start, explained a statement from the company. AFG actually pays college students a small stipend as they receive on-the-job training, qualifying them to earn professional credits and giving them profit-participation.
In fact, Escobar explains, new students will work behind the camera during the pickup week for “Come What May,” learning from a professional crew and veteran AFG students. A special AFG Film Day Jan. 30 will see a contingent of homeschool families from across the country join the set to serve as extras in the film.
AFG’s movies are similar to the highly popular “Facing The Giants” in scale, scope and aspiration.
“We are building AFG from within the homeschooling community because homeschoolers have a strong track record for innovation, organization and success,” Escobar remarks. “Just ask Mike Huckabee.”
It is Escobar’s hope that in the future, faith-based films like “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Amazing Grace” will be directed by Christian directors who have received the necessary training and experience, rather than secular ones.
A shared vision
Victoria Emmons as ‘Rachel’
“Come What May” tells the story of a college moot court team member, Caleb Hogan, who is tasked with arguing for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “Along the way,” states the AFG website, “he is caught in a moral tug-of-war between his parents – a newly Christian father, and a feminist Supreme Court attorney mother.” Romantic interest in Caleb’s moot court partner, Rachel, adds a powerful subplot to the film.
Victoria Emmons, a 2007 homeschool graduate from Grants Pass, Ore., plays Rachel in the film. Emmons says she got involved in the project after auditioning while competing at the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association speech tournament in Belton, Texas, in June.
Emmons says she liked “just about everything” about the experience of shooting the movie, the bulk of which occurred in July and August.
“I had never acted before, so it was a new experience,” Emmons said.
“The only thing I didn’t like was the sleep deprivation during shooting,” she noted.
“I appreciated working with Christians who have the same vision.”
“Come What May” is scheduled to open in the spring, first in select theaters, followed shortly by DVD sales.
Emmons says she will be reunited with “Caleb,” Austin Kearney, this summer to act in a short film.
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