Monday, April 4, 2016

My First Film

Wow is there a lot to update you all on!  My life has been moving so fast that I can hardly keep up with myself much less keep y'all up to date!  But I'm here because I do care about you and I want to at least try to keep you updated. ;)

First of all, if you read my previous post, you would know that I booked the role of lead actress in a TV series and I was flying out to Texas for 9 days of filming.  Okay, so let me clear some things up.  I did go to Texas, and I did film for 9 days.  BUT, in all reality I was really confused about what my role was, how the film (which I mentioned auditioning for in my last post in addition to the role I ended up booking) & TV show were connected (if they were), and whether my character was in the film or TV series.  I didn't clear this up until I got there and was told what exactly I was doing. Forget what I said in my last post and bear with me as I start over.

Strong Foundation Films, the wonderful Christian film company I was hired by, is working on a TV series.  The main characters in the TV Series is a Pastor Jo and his wife, Violet.  It gives you an inside look at their family life and shows them as they minister to people in their church, community, and in other countries.

In the making of the various episodes for this TV Series, namely, "The Unlikely Family", they wanted to include the story of a church member's daughter who, upon turning 18, runs away from home, gets involved in a reckless & sinful lifestyle. She almost gets sold in to sex trafficking, but is saved by the prayers of her mother and church family and by a mysterious taxi driver.  This is based on a true story.  As I said, they wanted to include this in "The Unlikely Family" but upon consideration realized it would be too much to put in one episode. Thus they decided to make a full length film about it.

The main character in the film, is still the Pastor Jo from the TV series. His wife, Violet, is also in it. But the major event that occurs in the film is the story I just told you. In this way, the film is a spin-off of the TV series.  I hope that makes sense.

So, to clear it all up, I went to Texas to film the role of Violet in the full length film NOT the TV series. My job was to be the super sweet, perfect example of a loving pastor's wife. ;)

The Richmond Airport
My plane took off at 5:30am on Friday, Feb. 26th, so it was an early start to a big day!  

My wonderful dad took me and helped me find the security checkpoint before he had to leave to go back home (and sleep ;).

The sunrise from the plane

 It was my first time flying and I really enjoyed it! :) I didn't have a window seat but I hoped I would get one after my layover in ATL.

Waiting to board in ATL

Those of you who are frequent flyers know that the Atlanta, GA airport is very large! This being my first time flying I was a little concerned about being able to find my next terminal with only an hour layover.  Thankfully, my incoming terminal was only 2 terminals away from the one I would leave from next! I was thanking Jesus for that one. ;)  

I was very happy to receive a window seat this time! :)  
I had plenty of space and theologically stimulating conversations with the agnostic man next to me for the 3 hours to San Antonio, TX. :)

I loved this blue lake I saw from the plane as we neared the airport. :) 

If you've ever wondered what TX looks like from a plane, you now know. :)

The producer, Ms. East, and her daughter, Chrissy, picked me up from the airport.  They were very kind. :) 

For the duration of my stay, I would be staying at the producer's house (along with some of the other crew members). When I arrived, I met some of the people I would be working with, got a tour of the house, and unpacked.  Then I took a good nap, helped with dinner, and after dinner it was time for the table read! :)

The table read is where all the actors/actresses come together and read through the script out loud.

It went well, although we had to use some volunteers in place of the actors/actresses couldn't make it.

I for one, wanted to meet the man who was the director, main actor, and my on-set husband.  He wasn't able to make it to the table read due to traffic but thankfully I got to meet him before the next day when we started filming.  He, Josiah, seemed very nice and told me he'd be my driver if I needed to go anywhere or get anything and was willing to help me with any questions or things I would need on or off set. 

After meeting Josiah I was feeling more confident about the next day, although I was still unsure quite what to expect! :)

 My hair and makeup artists were, Desera (left pic), Chrissy (right pic), and Tabitha.  Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture with Tabitha. She was fantastic along with the others, though! :)

Look! I'm married! :O 

(Don't worry dad, it wasn't for real ;)

My first scene! :D
 Aw! :')  My very first scene! I'm so glad my director, Josiah, got a picture for me!

Here are some super cool behind the scenes shots that were accumulated throughout the time I was there for filming.  No, they are not all from the same day of shooting! ;) You should feel extra special, though, that you're allowed to see these!

Family talk time
Family dinner :) 
Husband-wife heart-to-heart moment
Looking at the shot to make sure we would place ourselves correctly
Riverside talk
Walk in the park
Josiah & I with "our daughter", Chloe. :)
 One of the days we filmed in Mexico. I was particularly looking forward to this as I had never been out of the country before! :)
We got to do some ministering to the people while we were there and it was wonderful!

Taking a break on the water-cooler in between shots.

One of the natives kindly let me ride his horse because I was itching to ride. :) And isn't the little girl the cutest thing you've ever seen! :') So sweet! I wish I knew more Spanish because they would say things to me and I would just smile and be like, "I don't know what you're saying..."

Washing the feet of these adorable Mexican children
Conversing with the producer, Ms. East, about our next scenes.

Singing, "King Of Kings" in Spanish with our precious volunteer. :)

If you aren't melting I don't know what to say to you... 

Making food baggies for the Mexican families

Praying over the meal & people, and offering God's free gift of salvation. It was so wonderful to see multiple people accept Christ!

Out of Mexico now, we filmed on a horse ranch one day! 

My sweet stubborn horse, Moriah. ;) She didn't want to do much more than a slow walk unless we were heading towards the barn. :)

Up and ready to film!

Cantering :D

Visiting the graveside of a relative

Filming a birthday party

I'm not sure what to say about this so..yeah. It was my last day on set so I'm allowed to be weird, right? :P

And all had to end.

After many tears were shed (not just on my end ;), I flew back to ATL then to RIC, arriving back in VA around 11:15am on March 9th.  

The next day I was right back to work in the greenhouses at A Thyme To Plant and life hasn't slowed down since!

As much as I miss Texas and the friends I made there (who really...became family), I am thrilled to share that I have booked the lead role in their TV series and will be returning to film in TX on April 23rd! I'm looking forward to becoming "Violet" once again and am excited to see what the Lord has for me next!

~Alexis Noel