Creative Meeting - Atlanta, GA March 8, 2011

I love road trips! And it's a good thing because at the drop of a hat Ken may call and say, "How about running on over to the house and let's meet." To be interpreted is, "Can you jump in the car and drive 6 hours right quick? Devon will feed you delicious taco salad if you can." Or like last week when he said, "Can you meet me in Atlanta either Monday or Tuesday?" My response is always the same, "Absolutely! My schedule is yours. You tell  me where and when and I'll be there." I never saw myself in the movie production business but I find that I'm energized by each step of the process thus far. Quite intriguing...

So I called my faithful partner in crime, Di Easler and we loaded up and headed south on Tuesday, March 8th, arriving at Maggiano's in Atlanta for lunch around 1:30. Later I met with Ken and the screenwriters and we tweaked the soon to be completed Draft 2 of the script. We met through the evening and into the night, breaking up around 11:00p.m. Again, God was gracious to allow us to share the same heart for the story, with like desires for the message that we intend to communicate.

I'm not pacing the floors, I'm not biting my nails, I'm not wringing my hands, I'm not even twirling my hair - but I am anxiously awaiting a completed script!


Production Meeting - February 24, 2011

As we anxiously await the second draft of the script, Ken moves forward in seeking other producers in his field that can assist in the filmmaking process. Ken is forever the teacher and quite patient with me. He explained the need for assistant producers in several areas, and my eyes opened wide to the reality that one man can't possibly pull this off on his own. Ken arranged for a meeting at his home in Franklin, TN with two other Christian filmmakers who were to be in Nashville on other business, and summoned me to join them. I packed up, summoned by faithful assistant and driver, Di Easler to go along, and we traveled to Nashville on Thursday, February 24th.

That evening we had dinner with Ken and his lovely family (I love Devon and those nine kiddos!), along with the two producers and one actor/producer. All three gentlemen are solid in their faith and are quite interested in Hannah's story. We ask you to pray for wisdom and discernment, direction, and confirmation as we move forward.

Things are happening!


Ken & Cole attend Christmas Board Meeting

On December 3, 2010 we had our annual Christmas Board Meeting. Ken and his oldest son, Cole were able to be with us and share where we are in the developmental phase of the film. He shared the following...

The script is coming together quickly, with the story being told from Jacob Robinson’s perspective. His perspective provides for an interesting story of conflict, both within and without. Since hearing from the screenwriter and Ken the importance of conflict in a good story, I find myself pinpointing conflict in all the movies that I watch. Sure enough – they’re on it! I should have a 3 – 4 page treatment (summary) of the script by the end of this week which I will compile with excerpts from the Executive Summary to create the marketing material to present to potential donors.

Our aggressive timeline is to have the $2m by March 15th, with September 15th being the target date to begin shooting the film. If our efforts in raising contributions do not provide the $2m by early to mid January, we will then solicit investments with a deadline of February 15. If at that time we are still short of our $2m goal, we will then seek financial support from production companies and/or contract with a professional fundraising agency.

Raising money has never been my "thing" - but God is the Master of getting us out of our box and showing us new "things"! Many prayers needed for this endeavor!

Interviews with Erin and Jacob a must!

After 24 hours of processing and 25+ pages of single-spaced typed notes, the screenwriter asked to meet Hannah’s friends, specifically Erin McAbee and Jacob Robinson.

She asked to meet Jacob in the immediate future, so Jacob flew from Texas A&M in College Station, TX to Atlanta, GA on Monday, November 29th. She was very interested in Jacob’s perspective, a “stranger to Spartanburg” who as he and his family visited Dorman High School in preparation for relocation to our area, “happened upon” Hannah. As the Robinsons walked down the hall, Hannah “just happened” to walk out of a classroom, in jeans and a sweatshirt – not at all prepared to be the face of Dorman High School. I assure you had she known, she would have had on “skinny jeans”, a sweater and stilts for high heel shoes, regardless of how uncomfortable that may have been touring the halls of Dorman University. The Asst. Principal immediately stopped Hannah and asked if she would do the honors of taking the Robinsons on a tour of Dorman. Hannah being the “Miss Thang” that she was, a leader, a fluent speaker, a confident representative of anything she was involved in, rose to the challenge. From there Hannah and Jacob became friends, and Hannah worked to save Jacob’s academic life in more than one subject on more than one occasion. And a year later when Hannah was fighting for her physical life on a ventilator in Houston, TX, Jacob returned the favor. Their hearts were knit together, not romantically – but out of a pure love for the Lord and for each other.

Erin traveled from Sanford University in Birmingham, AL to meet with the screenwriter, her husband, and Ken. Erin provides the perspective of the best friend that Hannah had from childhood – a friend who Hannah wanted with her “above everyone else.” It was Erin who Hannah locked eye contact with as she rode up the escalator to board a plane that would fly her to the largest cancer center in the nation, looking passed her uncle and aunt, her cousin, her grandparents and her two younger brothers. As we all waved and held back tears, it was Erin that Hannah never took her eyes off of. It was Erin who would sit on the bed with Hannah’s head resting on her lap, waiting patiently as Hannah slept off the nausea. It was Erin that could get a giggle out of Hannah when there was really nothing to giggle about. It was Erin that served Hannah beautifully as only a best friend can do.

We can’t wait to see how the Lord will use both of these friends in the retelling of Hannah’s story.


The Script!! Draft 1 - January 27, 2011

Ken prepared me well in advance for the "common procedure" of writing a script. "We will go through multiple drafts before we get it just right." And after a couple of more treatment drafts and lots of prayer for our screenwriter, we received the first draft of the entire script on January 27, 2011. Ken called to give me a heads up that it was on its way and he and I both were like kids at Christmas! We could not wait to open the present! I can't emphasize enough the creativity and enormous talent to write that this sweet lady has, as does her husband. I could see the scenes playing out as I read them. The descriptive words that they use for each scene, each mood, each reaction bring the pages to life. What a gift!

As those of you who followed Hannah's story can imagine, deciding what to tell and what to leave out, who to include in the story and who to leave out, and taking a six month journey and compressing it to 90 - 100 minutes is quite the task! Ken called a meeting of the minds, otherwise called a meeting with the creative team, in Franklin, TN on February 4th. Two of my sisters were happy to accompany me for a road trip to Nashville - and I was glad to have the company! The team had dinner at the Carpenters' farm on Friday evening and then joined Ken in the downstairs den for a few hours of "creative thinking." We reconvened on Saturday morning and by the time we parted ways just after 6:00pm, we felt that we were all on the same page for the direction of the story. How good it is to dwell in the presence of and work with believers in Christ!

Please continue to pray for the screenwriter and her husband as he offers a second set of eyes and thoughts. Their hearts are with us - they know the weight that rests on their shoulders to tell this story in a way that will capture audiences all over the country. Looking forward to draft #2!


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