Friday, December 14, 2007

That's a WRAP (Part 2)

Guest blogger Michael Catt, Senior Pastor of Sherwood Church and the Executive Producer of FIREPROOF, shares his thoughts as the third film from Sherwood Pictures wraps up production.Michael Catt leads the final-day devotion on the set of FIREPROOF. (photo by Hayley Catt)

Today, December 14, is the last of the 30 days of shooting for FIREPROOF. It’s hard to believe we’re wrapping up and packing up. Over the next few days we’ll get back to “normal”—whatever that means these days. We’ve learned the definition of normal is constantly changing. I’ve often said since we started this moviemaking process, “Welcome to the new normal.”

The cooperation between the church, community, city, hospital, and fire department has been incredible. You can sense God working in every aspect. We’ve been blessed. From the action scenes to the romantic scenes, the pieces have fallen into place in a way that could only be explained by God.

Our professional crew has been incredible. We’ve renewed old friendships from FACING THE GIANTS and made new friends. The team has bonded over these days and weeks of seemingly endless shooting.

For me as a pastor, it’s been a joy to be behind the scenes for a change and to see my family on the set. Erin playing a key role in the movie. Hayley taking photographs and doing so much with the crew. Terri being in charge of costumes. As with the entire cast and crew, it’s a blessing to see people excelling in their areas of passion and expertise.

You have to know that this movie is a team effort. It’s the whole church that makes the movie. Without our people and their willingness to serve, none of this would be possible. Without their willingness to buy into the vision of “Changing the world from Albany, Georgia,” we wouldn’t be in the movie business. I’m grateful to pastor a church that will think outside the box.

That's a WRAP (Part 1)

As filming of FIREPROOF wrapped up, we asked Michael Catt, Senior Pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church and Executive Producer of the movie, to talk about the production. In Part 1 of the entry, Pastor Catt shares the amazing number of people involved with the film.

More than 1,200 people, families, businesses, and churches served Sherwood Pictures during the filming of FIREPROOF. These numbers are conservative estimates that do not even factor in the 50 or more people that served as cast, crew, costuming, security, extras, etc.

Sunday School Classes That Catered: 20
People In Those Classes: 1005
Individuals Donating Meals: 30
Prayer Warriors: 65 (households)
Babysitters: 44Businesses Donating Snacks: 7
Local Restaurants Donating Meals: 15
Local Churches Donating Meals or Facilities: 4
People Donating Snacks: 30
People Allowing Use of Golf Carts: 4
People Allowing Use of RVs: 3

Local Organizations and People Helping Out:
Gethsemane Worship Center
(Donated house that was burned down)
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
(Donated production office, hospital wing and cafeteria for filming)
Albany Fire Department
(Provided support, training, and use of fire stations and fire trucks for filming)
Musculoskeletal Associates
(Provided doctor’s office for filming)
Town of Shellman
(Use of town for filming)
Georgia SW Railroad
(Provided train and tracks for filming)
City of Albany
(Provided ambulances for filming, and support throughout)
Albany Police Department
(Provided police cars for filming and security)
Railway Freight and Holley House
(Provided furniture for sets)
Sharber and Chambers Families
(Provided houses and property for use as sets)
Bill Butler and Oliver Cromwell
(Provided newly built home for set)
MRS Homecare
(Provided wheelchair

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Welcome Visitors (W6:D4)

In many ways, Sherwood Pictures filmed FACING THE GIANTS in relative anonymity back in 2004. While the team’s prayer was for the film to have theatrical distribution, there was no way of knowing what journey God had in store for the movie … and Sherwood.

FACING THE GIANTS ended up achieving box office success, became a best-selling DVD, and—most importantly—continues making an impact on the lives of people worldwide.

What has that has meant for the filming of FIREPROOF? Awareness and interest is high for the church’s third movie—months before the film opens in theatres.

This time around, the set has included scores of visitors representing some of the leading ministries in the country, as well as interested media members.

On Thursday, the final set visitors experienced the penultimate day of shooting. Mitch Temple, who heads up Focus on the Family’s marriage ministry, was at Albany Fire Station 1 with his wife Rhonda.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed being on the set,” Mitch says. “The spirit of what everybody is doing is apparent—they’re doing it for the right reason. I’m thankful and extremely excited to see this kind of production.”

In addition to his work with Focus, Mitch and Rhonda work directly with couples whose marriages are in crisis. They’ve seen firsthand the healing God can bring to troubled marriages.

“A bad marriage is not like rotten fruit,” Mitch says. “You throw rotten fruit out. But a bad marriage can be turned around. We see it all the time.”

The Temples are looking forward to seeing FIREPROOF in its completed form not only for the entertainment value, but also for the ministry impact.

“We were excited to come here because we’d seen FACING THE GIANTS,” Rhonda says “We know the potential of this film to make an impact on marriages.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Professional Volunteers (W6:D3)

For the past two months, the mainly volunteer cast and crew of FIREPROOF have been working diligently and prayerfully to create a movie that not only is entertaining, but that will make an impact on marriages.

“It’s a wonderful group of people to work with,” says David Nixon, the Orlando-based assistant director on both FIREPROOF and FACING THE GIANTS. “The level of professionalism by the volunteers on the set has gone up exponentially from Giants. It’s like working with a professional crew. They come to the set prepared and know what to do.”

We talked to a few of the Sherwood volunteer-professionals to get their take on FIREPROOF.

“I went to boot camp not knowing where I could help. I prayed that Lord would use me wherever He wanted me and He has. We just joined the church in September so I wanted to get involved to meet people. I’ve made a lot of very close friends. I can’t wait until we start the next movie!”

Mandy Chambers

“We get to serve meals and clean up afterwards. We’re all put here to serve God and serve one another. I’ve enjoyed it so much because of the fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s been wonderful.”
Wayne Holt
“I’ve had the opportunity to do just about everything. I even got to yell ‘Action!’ on my birthday! I love all of the behind-the-scenes stuff: everybody coming together and praying for everybody else, the friendships I have made.”
Pam Johnson

“I’m basically everyone’s momma. I get to love on everyone. My biggest prayer is that marriages that don’t know they’re in trouble will be touched by this movie.”
Diane Morgan

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Train Set (W6:D2)

Thirty-five miles northwest of Albany lies Shellman, Georgia—population 1,084 (according to the 2005 US Census estimate).

On Monday and Tuesday, Shellman was the location for one of the most intense scenes in FIREPROOF … and all of the moviemaking equipment required to make it happen. And that includes a train!

“I think we doubled the population of Shellman,” says David Nixon, assistant director for FIREPROOF. “We had six pages of script to shoot in two days, which is very difficult to do. But the Lord’s hand was on us the whole time.”

One example: as the crew was discussing the difficulties in positioning (and repositioning) a car in the scene, someone mentioned how beneficial a forklift would be. A man who lives near the tracks who was watching the filming said he had a forklift in his garage. Problem solved!

“It just keeps amazing me how the Lord has blessed all of Sherwood’s productions,” he says. “We get to experience miracles every day.”

The train scene is another tense one, much like the fire scenes shot in Week 4. And that was just in the filming of the scenes!

“It was stressful because we had do so many composite shots with so many different camera angles,” David says. “But with the forklift available and the train moving much faster than I thought it would, things turned out. We even had the vice president of the train line driving the train.

While the faith-based storyline drives FIREPROOF, moviegoers will notice some differences between this 2008 release and the first two Sherwood films.

“With this movie, Sherwood has really ramped up the production value,” David says. “We’ve been able to take things to a whole new level. Usually you have a $100-million budget to do what we have been able to do on less than a fraction of that!”

Monday, December 10, 2007

Set-Designing Woman (Week 6, Day 1)

It takes a person with a creative eye and an artistic touch to be a decorator. It takes a person with those talents—and the willingness to tear down what they’ve created at a moment’s notice—to be the set designer for a movie.

Like many of the volunteers on the crew, Sheila McBride’s first moviemaking experience came on FACING THE GIANTS. While that experience was beneficial, it didn’t fully prepare her for her responsibilities this time around.

“There are so many more details with FIREPROOF,” Sheila says. “We didn’t have a whole lot of set dressing to do in FACING THE GIANTS. Other than Grant Taylor’s office and their house, it was mainly football scenes.”

FIREPROOF has given Sheila and her volunteer team the opportunity to decorate a newly built house that serves as Caleb and Catherine Holt’s home, an outdoor wedding scene, fire stations, a hospital, a faux restaurant in the hospital, and even the interior of a house that burns down.

“That one was fun because we didn’t have to take anything out when they were done shooting,” Sheila says. Like with most of the set d├ęcor, the items in that house were donated.

“A furniture store let us use all the furniture in Caleb and Catherine’s house. A rental place donated all of the wedding items,” Sheila says. “It’s been amazing to see how much stuff people allowed us to use.”

As FIREPROOF begins the final week of filming, Sheila is looking forward to August 2008 when the movie is scheduled to open in theatres nationwide.

“I’m ready for it to be done so we can see it. Seeing the set on the screen is totally different from when you’re doing it,” she says. “I still can’t believe I get to do this.”

Friday, December 7, 2007

Helping Hand (W5:D5)

Without Paul Youngblood on the FIREPROOF set, there would be mass confusion.

Well, maybe not, but serving as a volunteer, Paul operates the slate board, a role he’s reprising from his movie crew debut with FACING THE GIANTS. The slate is used to mark scenes and takes prior to their filming.

“Doing this has made me look at movies differently,” says Paul, who is 77 years old. “It amazes me how it all comes together.”

Coming together with the other Sherwood volunteers is as much fun for Paul as the actual moviemaking.

“What I enjoy most is how everybody helps each other. Whatever your job is, you jump in and do whatever needs to be done,” he says. “I’ve met a lot more people from my church on the set. There are people from their teens to their seventies and everybody is accepted.”

After retiring from his civilian role as an equipment specialist with the Marine Corps, Paul has stayed active serving others. He works with a team of men that build wheelchair ramps.

“I love helping people,” he says.

Paul is especially excited to be helping on a movie that focuses on marriage. He has been married to Marcilla for 54 years and they have three grown children.

“She’s the best thing that’s happened in my life,” he says. “We both feel like the Lord’s given us to each other.”

That’s the heart of marriage. And the heart of FIREPROOF.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Makeup! (W5:D4)

For a decade, Curry Bushnell lived out his dream as a Hollywood make-up artist. For nearly that long, he let that dream fade into the woodwork. Now, he’s doing what he loves … with a purpose.

“I’m making movies for God,” he says. And he is doing it in Albany, Georgia!

Curry Bushnell applies makeup to Erin Bethea.

“I moved to Hollywood in 1977 and went to makeup school,” Curry says. “I did some show on ABC, various commercials, and some major motion pictures. But I got tired of the fast lane of Hollywood, so I came back to Albany.”

Without much call for a Hollywood-trained makeup artist in southwest Georgia, Curry put down the tools of his trade. Eventually, he took a job with the Department of Corrections, where he still works. And then …

“I saw FLYWHEEL and I was so moved by it, I said I have to get in touch with Alex Kendrick,” Curry says. “In late 2003, I met with him. Afterwards, he told me ‘I think God sent you to me.’ A few months later, we started filming FACING THE GIANTS.”

Curry was the volunteer Key Makeup Artist for that film, as he is again with FIREPROOF. He is on set every day, for as long as his work schedule allows him. He has a team of volunteer makeup artists from Sherwood that help as well.

“I was out of makeup for several years until I saw FLYWHEEL … and then everything changed,” Curry says. “That was all God’s timing. So now, making movies for God is my ministry.”

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Volunteer Firefighters (W5:D3)

Some fire departments have volunteer firefighters. FIREPROOF has volunteer actors playing firefighters!
Eric Young, Ken Bevel, Stephen Dervan, and Jason McLeod (L-R) look the part of Albany firefighters.

Filming returned to Albany fire stations this week. All five of the actors playing the main firefighting crew are volunteers and each has a strong connection with Sherwood. Three of the actors are members of the church: Ken Bevel, Eric Young, and Jason McLeod.

A fourth actor, Stephen Dervan is the youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. He grew up at Sherwood and served there when he began his ministry. And Kirk Cameron has become a good friend of the ministry since the release of FACING THE GIANTS.

After intense training led by Albany Training Chief Ron Rowe and Capt. Kenny Loudenbarger, a Sherwood member, the actors had a taste of real firefighting during last week’s filming of a house fire. This week, they get to enjoy the camaraderie that firefighters have when they live together 24 straight hours every third day.

While acting is new to Ken, Eric, and Stephen, there is a firefighting connection for four of the five actors. Eric actually served as a firefighter in Albany for three years in the early 1990s. Stephen’s dad was a longtime member of the Albany Fire Department. Kirk’s aunt was one of the first two female firefighters in the city of Los Angeles. And Jason grew up wanting to be a fireman. The odd man out? Ken, who serves as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps!

The quintet is schedule to face one more on-film calamity before filming concludes. Be sure to check in to the blog next week to see more from behind the scenes.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bringing Continuity to You (W5:D2)

Have you ever been sitting in the movie theater and the milk container you see on the kitchen table goes from being half-empty to completely full—in the same scene? That makes Holly Stiegel cringe.

Holly, like most of the cast and crew of FIREPROOF, is a volunteer. In her role as Script Supervisor and Continuity, she helps ensure that scenes and props look exactly the same, even if they’re filmed on different days.

“I try to write down everything Alex Kendrick, David Nixon, and Bob Scott say as they set up a shot,” Holly says, talking about FIREPROOF's director, assistant director, director of photography.

“I take photos of the set to make sure they put everything back in the scene that was there the first time.”

Through a home-schooling network in Albany, Holly knew the Kendrick Brothers. Before FACING THE GIANTS began production, they called her to see if she could get a group of home-schoolers together to help with the filming.

“At the first boot camp before FACING THE GIANTS, David Nixon asked me if I wanted to do the script,” she recalls. “I would be classified as a rank amateur.”

The professionals thought otherwise. Holly was asked to reprise her role when FIREPROOF was in pre-production. Despite spending 12 to 15 hours a day on set for six weeks, she is excited to return as part of the Sherwood team.

“These are the most patient people in the world, and the most caring,” she says. “It’s an incredible group to work with.”

Monday, December 3, 2007

Answered Prayers (Week 5, Day 1)

An award-winning commercial director and editor, Bill Ebel has long prayed for the opportunity to use his skills in movie-making. A series of faith-affirming events has allowed him to become a key crew member on FIREPROOF.

Bill serves as the movie’s online editor, recording the digital cut of the film directly onto a Mac and doing the first edits of scenes—right after they’ve been filmed.

“I’ve been feeling led to get into Christian films,” Bill says. “But I didn’t know anybody in the business.” However, the pastor of the church he went to growing up did. That led to an initial meeting for Bill with Kris Fuhr, who heads up Provident Films’ operations. She encouraged Bill to connect with the Kendrick Bothers.

“I hadn’t seen FACING THE GIANTS before that,” Bill says. “I was blown away. I watched it with my kids and I was wiping away the tears. I realized that these guys got it. They know how to tell a great story.”

Bill’s story has the twists and turns of any good movie plot. He met Alex and Stephen Kendrick in July and connected well with them. He was soon offered his role in FIREPROOF … and decided to turn it down.

“I couldn’t really afford to do it for what they offered me. With a family and a mortgage I just couldn’t do it,” Bill says. “Stephen encouraged me to pray about it. My wife said I couldn’t not go.

“I sent Stephen an email saying I would do it. I was trusting God to make things work out financially. Stephen was in a budget meeting when I sent the email and he didn’t even see it before he called me to say, ‘We have more money for you and we want you to come.’”

Despite being away from his family for extended stretches, Bill Ebel knows an answered prayer when he stumbles upon it!

“My three older kids were excited for this opportunity for me. My five-year-old wanted to know why everyone couldn’t come to Chicago to film there,” Bill says. “From the beginning, my wife has been focused on this is where the Lord is leading. She knew we couldn’t say no.”
Bill Ebel (right) shows a just-filmed scene to cast and crew members on his computer screen.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Feeling the Heat (Week 4 wrap)

It’s the dream of nearly every little boy: to be a firefighter. This week, five actors from FIREPROOF were able to live out part of that dream. Highlighting an intense week of filming was the shooting of the fire scenes.

We wanted to give you the thoughts of the actors closest to the fire, as well as the chance to see some more of the incredible images that were captured on the set this week by photographers Todd Stone and Hayley Catt.

“I’ve been looking forward to this since we went through training a few weeks ago. But it was a whole lot more intense than I thought it would be. I always wanted to be a firefighter. Now I’m consumed with it. I would love to do it for real, especially now that I know these real guys.”
Jason McLeod (Eric Harmon)

“It was just awesome. It really was a blast from the past. But it was different, because we kept doing the same scene over and over again. It took its toll; it was exhausting. Doing this one or two days every 15 years is good for me.”
Former AFD firefighter Eric Young (Terrell Sanders)

“I have a new appreciation for firefighters. Of all the days we’ve shot, this was one of the most exciting. One of the best scenes in FACING THE GIANTS is the death crawl. Alex has been calling this scene the ‘death crawl on fire.’”
Kirk Cameron (Capt. Caleb Holt)

“It was by far the coolest thing I’ve done in a long time. I can’t say enough about how the city of Albany has been to us. The fire looked more real than I thought it would.”
Stephen Dervan (Wayne Floyd)

“Today was amazing. It gave us an opportunity to see what real firefighters go through. I have a much greater appreciation for the service they give us each day.”
Ken Bevel (Lt. Michael Simmons)
Finally, when told she did a great job of playing dead, the youngest member of the cast said:
“I don’t play dead; I play unconscious.”
Jade Young (Lacie)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Kendricks Unite (W4:D5)

FIREPROOF may be the third movie by the Kendrick Brothers, but it is the first film to feature set visits from Alex and Stephen Kendrick’s mother, father, and older brother.

Rhonwyn and Larry Kendrick, who visited the set Monday and Tuesday, appear as extras in the wedding scene that was filmed Tuesday. Older brother Shannon was on set Thursday and Friday, helping younger brother Alex direct and youngest brother Stephen produce.

“Seeing them in action on the set—I’m impressed. They have my respect, that’s for sure,” Shannon says. “They’ve got a lot of help to pull this off. The thing that impresses me is not only the great job the professionals on the set do, but also the great work of the volunteers.”

Work and family have kept Shannon from being on either the FLYWHEEL or the FACING THE GIANTS sets. In addition to being a husband and dad to five kids, he is a software developer for IBM.

“When we were kids, we made movies. But while they stuck with it, I went off to play with my computer and ride motorcycles,” Shannon says. “Alex thinks big picture; I think little details.”

Little details like the weather almost cost the Kendricks’ parents their opportunity to be in the movie. Rain postponed the wedding scene from Monday until Tuesday and the Kendricks had planned to return home to Mableton, Georgia after Monday’s filming. They altered their plans … and experienced moviemaking first hand.

“On the set, they asked me if I’d like to yell ‘Action!’ When they were ready, I said, ‘Action, please,’” says Mrs. Kendrick. “When they finished, I was able to say, ‘Cut!’ It was just wonderful being here, seeing how the Lord has brought different people together. He has drawn people with the talents that are needed to make a movie.”

Larry Kendrick, who was the inspiration for the faith-filled character of Larry Childers in FACING THE GIANTS, enjoyed watching his sons in action.

“I keep thinking, ‘How did they learn to do that?’” he says. “I’m very grateful for how the Lord is using them.”

Thursday, November 29, 2007

On Fire (W4:D4)

FIREPROOF was fire-full on Thursday. The crew filmed the rest of the house-fire storyline Thursday, including the burning down of an abandoned house on Albany’s 11th Avenue late at the end of the day.

The Albany Fire Department, which has partnered with Sherwood Films during the filming, was thankful to have the opportunity to train some of their firefighters. The cast and crew were thankful they didn’t have to put out the fire!

“Doing training like this is what we love to do; this is want we want to do,” says Ron Rowe, the AFD Training Chief. “We’re thankful to be a part of this. Their need to burn the house for the movie and our need for training makes for a good partnership.”

There has been a sense of partnership since pre-production on the film began. When Sherwood requested the use of older Albany firetrucks that are no longer in use, they were denied ... in a way!

“We’ve been fortunate to have purchased 10 new pumpers in the last five years,” Chief Rowe says. “Our thinking was that if we’re going to show the Albany Fire Department in a movie, we’re going to show our best equipment.”

In fact, the aerial truck you will see in the film was delivered to the AFD the week before filming! When Chief Rowe drove it on 11th Avenue, that was the first time it had been driven by the department!

“People say there are a lot of coincidences with how things have worked out with the fire department in regards to this movie,” Chief Rowe says. “I believe there’s a purpose for everything that’s happening.”

Members of the cast of FIREPROOF arrive on the scene of a fire in a shiny Albany Fire Department pumper.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fired Up (W4:D3)

With sirens wailing and lights flashing, two fire engines race down 11th Avenue. Smoke and flames shoot from the front windows of the small brick ranch house. Taking charge at the scene, Capt. Caleb Holt learns there are no people in the house. Until …

What would a movie about a firefighter be without a fire? The five FIREPROOF actors playing members of the Albany Fire Department battled the flames for the first time on camera on Wednesday. It was a day to remember for everyone on the set, including director and co-writer Alex Kendrick.

“It was very exciting, but it was also scary. I’ve never shot anything on this scale,” Alex says. “It’s never 100 percent of what you see in your head, but I think through prayer, God makes it what it needs to be. Nobody got hurt, which we prayed for. All in all, it went very well.”

With a number of actors involved, many extras helping out, and lots of controlled fires, there was much to capture on the camera.

“This kind of stuff is very exciting,” says Bob Scott, the director of photography. “It gave me goose bumps.”

Among the extras: local police officers, paramedics, and firefighters, including Albany Fire Department Capt. Kenny Loudenbarger, a Sherwood member who is serving as a technical advisor for FIREPROOF.

“As I watched all of these different things happening, it’s amazing how it all comes together,” Kenny says. “I know I’m going to be proud of the end result.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wedding Day (W4:D2)

What would a movie about marriage be without a wedding? While Tuesdays aren’t normal wedding days, it worked extremely well as the cast and crew of FIREPROOF enjoyed an outdoor wedding setting.

Guests were dressed to the nines for the wedding of … well, we don’t want to give away the heart of the movie. But we can tell you it was a perfect autumn day for a ceremony that was officiated by … well, we shouldn’t tell you that either.

So what can we tell you? How about the heart of the people involved in the scene. A number of church members spent the better part of their day on set as wedding crowd extras. The wedding was filmed at the scenic home of a couple from Sherwood.

Two professional camera operators came in from Florida to help with today’s shots … and to pay respect to their late friend Chip Monk. Dave Campbell operated a Steadicam, while Doug Kuiken operated a camera on a jib.

“These are great professionals,” says David Nixon, the assistant director. “They honored Chip by their work.”

Their camera work wasn't the only artistic offerings at the wedding scene.

“One day after church, a man walks up to me and says, ‘I’ve driven from Atlanta to visit the church that made FACING THE GIANTS. I love the Lord and want to honor him with my life. If you are ever shooting a wedding scene in a future movie, I have wedding arches that I designed and built that I rent out. If you need one, it is yours to use for free. I’ll even drive it down for you. Just say the word,’” says producer Stephen Kendrick. “I was blown away. We hadn’t told anyone that we had this scene in the movie.

“When I checked out his website, I found out that he is an award-winning professional artist with a rich history in woodcarving. What are the chances that exactly what we needed would be offered to us right when we were planning the movie?”

Chances indeed!
Members of the cast of FIREPROOF enjoy a break in the shooting of the wedding scene.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rain Check (Week 4, Day 1)

As mom always said, when it rains, go inside.
With their mom and dad in Albany as first-time movie set visitors, the Kendrick Brothers followed every mom’s advice by moving indoors on a rainy day, scrapping a planned day of outdoor shooting.

“We knew the weather was going to be bad, but we’ve seen God change things, so we went out hoping we’d be able to stay with our schedule,” says Stephen Kendrick, the producer of FIREPROOF. “We know God’s plan is always better than ours, so when we saw the rain was going to continue, we moved to the firehouse.”

A number of scenes were filmed featuring the FIREPROOF fire-fighting crew. Before the shooting began, however, the crew busily painted the firehouse kitchen and added photos to the wall to spruce up the room.
“It all came together well,” Stephen says. “Everyone had a great attitude.”

Saturday, November 24, 2007


After an unplanned two-week hiatus, FIREPROOF is back in production. Today starts a three-week run that will wrap up filming for Sherwood Pictures’ third movie.

While moviegoers won’t be able to see the film in theatres until August 2008, we are able to show you images from the set, thanks to Todd Stone. Todd is a gifted photographer who, following a career in photojournalism, opened his own studio in Albany.

“We’ve been members of Sherwood for less than a year,” Todd says. “We knew we were being obedient in coming here, but we didn’t know why. We think we know why now.”

In addition to the photos you see on the blog and the website, Todd’s images will be part of the press material and will be used in helping promote FIREPROOF. Despite the time it takes from his business, he’s honored to be part of the team.

“The thing that I’ve observed is how willing people are to work together. “There are no egos whatsoever, from top to bottom,” Todd says. “I’m trying to keep my clients happy and doing this as well. I’ve come to the place where I say, ‘Lord, please work it out.’”

From our perspective, things are working out nicely!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Remembering Chip

Sherwood Pictures and Provident Films is mourning the loss of our friend and crew member Robert “Chip” Monk, who was killed in a car accident earlier this week on his way back to Albany, Georgia for filming.
Chip was a talented camera operator, who had been selected by director of photography Bob Scott to be part of the small band of professionals that helped shoot FACING THE GIANTS. He returned to Sherwood last month as a key member of the crew for FIREPROOF.

We ask you to pray regularly for Chip’s wife Sara, who is expecting their first child. Our deepest condolences go to Sara and Chip’s family.

We would also ask you to consider making a donation to a fund set up by Chip
s friends in the production community. You can find out more and donate here.

Please know that any gift you can give will make a big impact.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those that are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fire-Tested (W3:D5)

FIREPROOF is a movie about a firefighter, his wife, and their struggling marriage. According to the leaders of Firefighters for Christ International, it’s a movie every firefighter should see.

“The scenes were powerful,” says John White, a retired Captain who served for 45 years in the Los Angeles Fire Department. “I’m looking forward to seeing the whole movie.”

John, who is the president of Firefighters for Christ, was joined on the set by active New York Fire Department veterans Lt. Gerry Sillcocks and Mike Anson. Gerry has been a firefighter for 28 years, including the past 18 years in the Bronx. Mike is a 25-year veteran stationed in Manhattan.NYFD Lt. Gerry Sillcocks, NYFD firefighter Mike Anson, and retired LAFD Capt. John White (left to right) visit the Albany Fire Department.

While in Albany, Georgia, the group met not only with the actors playing firemen in the film, but also with members of the Albany Fire Department. They also spent time talking about the real-life troubles that firefighters’ marriages face.

“Because of what we do, firefighter marriages fall apart regularly,” Gerry says. “We’re under a lot of pressure. We’re gone for 24 hours at a time. A lot of marriages don’t make it.”

Gerry, John, and Mike have been married to their wives for a combined 85 years. And they all would give God the credit for keeping those marriages together.

“I’ve seen it both ways. I gave my life to Christ when I was 35,” Mike says. “My whole life changed when I met Jesus.”

Firefighters for Christ, which began in 1976 and has chapters around the world, will be supporting FIREPROOF when it arrives in theatres next autumn. And we can be supporting them by praying for our local firefighters.

“It’s a ‘me’ society,” John says. “The unique thing about firefighters is that in our jobs, we ask, ‘What can I do for you?’ If a firefighter isn’t willing to risk his life for others, he should be looking for another job.”

On The Air (W3:D4)

A number of ministry guests have been on the site of FIREPROOF this week, getting a first-hand, behind-the-scenes look at the latest production from Sherwood Pictures.

The guests have had the opportunity to watch scenes being filmed, hear about the heart behind the story, talk with the cast and crew, and enjoy the incredible meal catering from the Sherwood Sunday school classes!

With guests representing radio networks, family and marriage ministries, firefighters, Christian stores, and many other ministries, the set has been abuzz this week.
Producer and co-writer Stephen Kendrick discusses FIREPROOF with AFR radio host J.J. Jasper during a live remote broadcast. Retired LAFD Capt. John White listens in.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Prayer on Center Stage (W3:D3)

Wondering what makes a Sherwood Pictures movie different than other movies? Prayer, prayer, and more prayer.

“Before we write a scene, Alex and I spend time together in prayer,” says Stephen Kendrick, co-writer of FIREPROOF with his brother Alex. “We ask God to give us the biblical principles that set the stage; humor to connect with people; a storyline to resonate with where people are; creative twists; everything we need.”

Prayer is just as important during production. Each day begins with a short Bible study and a time of prayer. And prayer continues throughout the day.

“Whenever we have scenes on the set with a lot of drama and emotion, or if a particular actor is nervous, we have everybody who’s not involved with the scene gather and pray,” says Jim McBride, executive producer of FIREPROOF.

“There was a scene where one of the actors really needed prayer,” adds Curry Bushnell, the lead make-up artist. “We all came together and prayed for strength for her to do the scene. We have that freedom and ability to pray here.”

After all, this is a Sherwood production.

“Prayer is the wind in the sails of this movie,” Stephen says. “We know what prayer can accomplish with a willing and sovereign God is on the other side of our prayers. We can tell a significant difference when we don’t pray and when we do.

“When we don’t pray, it’s like driving with the parking brake on. With prayer, we just fasten our seat belt and hang on.”
FIREPROOF cast members pray before shooting a scene this week.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A House-Warming Gift (W3:D2)

Scenes from the movie FIREPROOF needed to be shot in the “home” of the main characters, Caleb and Catherine Holt. So, where do you find a house to use as a set?

Bill Butler, a member of Sherwood, offered a spec home on Ivy Lane that his company—Ray Lloyd Realty and Construction—had built and was trying to sell.

“I told them if they needed a location, we had a few houses available. We’re glad to do it. Everybody helps out doing their part,” Bill says. “The house they chose had been on the market for a while. But we had an open house the Sunday before we began shooting here and we found a buyer. They wanted the house in 30 days, but we told them they couldn’t have it until the end of November.”

The new homeowners will see their house on the big screen come next autumn when FIREPROOF opens in theatres around the country.

“It’s really exciting,” Bill says. “We’re blessed that our church in Albany, Georgia is touching people all around the world by making movies.”By the way … Bill Butler knows a little something about the power of Sherwood movies. He played the appreciative father that buys a truck for Coach Grant Taylor in FACING THE GIANTS.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Back on the Set (Week 3, Day 1)

Following a week’s hiatus from shooting, the cast and crew of FIREPROOF are back on the set in Albany today. This is the third week of filming and for the second time, scenes are being shot at Caleb and Catherine’s house. (We’ll have a blog entry on Tuesday about the house and how it became a main set for the film.)

One of the special things happening this week is that a number of ministry guests will be visiting the set. We’ll give you more details in the coming days.

For now, here’s a great shot from a scene that was filmed during the second week of shooting at a local hospital. It features Caleb receiving medical attention following a fire.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Script Doctors (W2:D5)

Paging Dr. Kendrick, Dr. Kendrick.

The Kendrick Brothers get a healthy laugh on set of their newest production, FIREPROOF.

Outdoor/Indoor Lighting (W2:D4)

This elaborate set up outside of the house that is being used as the home of Caleb and Catherine Holt in FIREPROOF is actually lighting the interior of the house, allowing for the right lighting no matter what time of day or night the crew is filming.

Director Alex Kendrick, right, oversees the hardworking crew.

You Don't Say ... (W2:D3)

Nurses at the hospital where Catherine Holt works as a public relations executive enjoy a break in their routine as they discuss the happenings around the hospital.

Found Before Lost (W2:D2)

Justin Tolley, who is serving as the production coordinator, is on his way to Hawaii after FIREPROOF wraps up shooting in December. A friend works on the set of the TV show Lost and he encouraged Justin to head out to Paradise to work with him. While his wife and most of his belongings are already in Hawaii, Justin will be in Albany, Georgia for a while longer.

Justin teamed up with the Sherwood team through David Nixon, who is back as assistant director on FIREPROOF. A former electrician, Justin began working with David Nixon Productions after graduating from film school.

“Dave hired me as a production coordinator and I overheard him talking about this film,” Justin says. “I told him I’d come here for free. This is my first feature film. I just want to learn more and more about the industry.

“I hope to open my own studio with my brother some day. It’s fun watching Alex and Stephen Kendrick—my brother and I do the same thing with movies. I’ve learned a lot about trusting God and waiting on Him.”

Justin Tolley (left) and Stephen Kendrick get caught up on communication during a break on the FIREPROOF set.

And ... Eat! (Week 2, Day 1)

The cast and crew get ready to shoot a scene from a courtyard cafeteria. We hear it turned out to be a (ahem) … tasty scene!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

That's a (Week 1) Wrap

As the first week on the FIREPROOF set wound down, director Alex Kendrick was pleased with what he had seen.

“Everything that I hoped would come of the page and onto the screen is happening.”Caleb Holt receives some shocking news. What might it be? ...

Getting a Bite to Eat (W1:D4)

In keeping with a tradition that began on the set of FACING THE GIANTS, the Sunday school classes from Sherwood Baptist Church are once again the catering team for the Sherwood film crew as they work on FIREPROOF. Providing both lunch and dinner, the many different classes do the same work as Hollywood catering companies—except without the fanfare and the pay!

“We have quite a few Sunday schools that are helping out,” says Irene Hatcher, a member of Sherwood since 1969. Her senior adult class joined with another class to serve lunch during the first week of filming.

Having been a part of FACING THE GIANTS, Irene and her team weren’t going to miss out on the chance to serve the people working on FIREPROOF.

“Our church has received lots of emails about how FACING THE GIANTS made a difference in people’s lives,” she says. “A lot of people go to movies that don’t come to church.”

It Takes a Team (W1:D3)

FIREPROOF director Alex Kendrick (left) talks through an upcoming outdoor scene with director of photography Bob Scott (center), and producer Stephen Kendrick.

And ... Pray (W1:D2)

Each day of filming begins with a short Bible study led by Pastors (and FIREPROOF co-writers) Alex or Stephen Kendrick and then a time of prayer. After a long day of shooting (most days, everyone is on the set for at least 12 hours), the filming ends the way it began: with prayer.
Director Alex Kendrick (brown shirt) thanks God for a full day’s worth of impact on the set of FIREPROOF as members of the cast and crew join with him in prayer.

And ... Action! (Week 1, Day 1)

Welcome to Albany, Georgia—the home of Sherwood Pictures and the setting for their newest film, FIREPROOF! Set for release only in theatres in fall of 2008, FIREPROOF began shooting in Albany in October.

The creative minds that brought you FACING THE GIANTS and FLYWHEEL are now hard at work filming their most ambitions movie to date. Telling the story of the failing marriage of fireman Caleb Holt and his wife Catherine, FIREPROOF will bring a unique perspective on marriage to the big screen.

And we’re here to bring you a unique perspective of what’s going on behind the scenes. With photos, stories, and reports, we will keep you updated with news straight from the set.

Thanks for joining us on this new adventure that we like to call the FIREPROOF BLOG!
Catherine and Caleb Holt argue in their kitchen in this scene from FIREPROOF.