Monthly Archives: August 2013

Filmmaking Is Like Boxing

As my crew and I head towards our production start date on LOVE COVERS ALL in just a few days (Sept 3rd), I wanted to share a few words with those who want to be filmmakers and those who enjoy what filmmakers make.  Like any art form, it comes at a cost.  The context may vary, but hear me now, the cost is high.  Filmmaking is like boxing, there’s no victory without bruises and bloodshed.  The last few weeks have been some of the most stressful I’ve had in a long time.  On the flip side, they’ve been rewarding, and I’ve seen God do some amazing things.  I’m starting to see the thing I’ve been striving for since I first began the script over a year ago…fruit.  I see God’s hand on the project more and more as we’ve secured locations like our gas station, locked down cast members we weren’t sure we’d get, found more crew when possibilities fell through, secured a new and final title for the film after tons of headache, etc.  I’ve also seen fruit from those who have read the script and saw its potential.  I’ve seen God work in me and help me to be better as I wrote it, and I’ve seen the wisdom in getting counsel from many people over the last few years with more experience then myself.  Everything I’ve learned since the last film (and some of what I had learned before it) has been poured into this one intimate story.  Is it perfect?  No, no film is.  Do I think God can bless our feeble efforts and impact many?  Yes I do.  I saw it happen with STANDING FIRM, and I look ahead with optimism (something that comes unnatural to me) towards whatever God has in store for this film.

We have a difficult schedule ahead, and there is much yet to be done.  Everything on this production has seemed so fragile every day.  As I’ve matured in my faith, I’ve kept my eyes open for God’s handiwork as best I know how.  When things seem awful people ask “Where are you Lord?” when they don’t realize he’s been there the entire time.  My wife can attest to the fact that filmmaking has been the greatest tool God has used to sanctify me.  Besides my family and my church it is my greatest human joy, and my greatest curse.  It gives me great happiness and causes me great pain because it tests me.  Like a feisty child tests his parents, so filmmaking tests me.  God was wise to make something I love so much so costly to me.  As the last few weeks of pre-production has proven, filmmaking is fragile.  Anything can go wrong at any time.  There is no certainty.  We point to many things as vehicles for sanctification.  Marriage for instance, parenting, friendships, finances, etc.  For me personally, filmmaking goes in that list.  Although I’ve had my times of doubt, wondering if things going wrong was God’s way of saying “you’re not supposed to make this movie,” I’ve come to realize more and more (and when we start shooting I will understand it further), that God has kept this movie fragile for my benefit.  What faith would be needed if all the pieces fell into place?

There’s an element of blind faith that comes with filmmaking.  We start shooting Sept 3rd and don’t have the RV vehicle we need as a prop to begin.  Yes, our start date is close.  Now would be a great time to be freaking out.  But you know what?  I’m not.  Just as I moved forward with faith in raising the funds and writing the script, just as I brought down crew members to start pre-production before securing a single location, so we’re moving towards our start date without every single “I” dotted and “T” crossed.  There has to be an element of faith here.  It’s wonderful being in that place, and terrifying at the same time.  Completely dependent on the Lord for what you’re doing to be possible.  How do you think Noah felt to be instructed to build an Ark in the middle of nowhere?  It must’ve seemed ridiculous.  There was no rain to see.  He had to complete the Ark in faith before God brought the rain to the earth.  Although as a man it can be frustrating not being able to see around the corner, it gives God a wonderful opportunity to shine and make his love known to his children.  It lets God be the hero, to be the one in the place of honor and power.  Without his leading, this movie wouldn’t exist, there’d be no script, there’d be no crew, there’d be no cast, and there’d be no locations to shoot at.  Even with so much rain in GA this year, I’m moving forward trusting that we won’t get rained out.  I can’t know for sure that we won’t get drenched, but I can never know, so we move forward with confidence that no matter what God is going to get us to the finish line.

I’ve felt very ill today, thinking about the road ahead.  There are 10,000 decisions to make every day as a Director. Even when on-set with things going great, it’s not till you get home in the editing bay that you see what you really have, if you really got that great moment or take you thought you did.  That’s a scary thing, but it all requires faith.  Few of you may understand, but filmmaking requires more faith then almost anything I’ve ever done in my life.  Only being married and being a parent have compared so far.  Please pray for everyone involved in this movie.  We all have a lot of work ahead, and a lot of night shooting and long nights.  Pray for my crew, some of whom are away from their families and will be giving so much of themselves to help tell this story.  Pray for my wonderful cast, who have to bring the script to life day in and day out.  Actors are the greatest special effect a director has at his disposal.  They help bring the magic and they need God’s blessing.  Pray for the story, that it would impact people all over the world!  Also please pray for me, that I would have the stamina and the strength to creatively guide the film to a wonderful result.  While me and everyone else involved is bound to receive many bumps and bruises along the way, if we succeed, the reward in the end is far worth the price.  We can’t quit.  We won’t quit.

Hands to the plow,
Kyle Prohaska

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6

Prayer Requests #2

Thanks to all who prayed for our production in the last week.  Yesterday we secured our gas station location for the film which was a huge load off of everyone’s shoulders.  People from all over the place were texting me, sending emails, Facebook-ing, etc. letting me know “We’re praying for you,” “God’s got this!,” etc.  Things like that help expand the bubble that is our little production office in my home and realize this movie is already growing far bigger then us.  There are others out there as far as South Africa praying and hoping that this film turn out well and impact many.  It changes your perspective, and helps you remove self from the whole equation.  It may have started small, but I’m confident in time this film will become far bigger then it is today.  Thank you everyone for praying, and for showing me yet again that the Body of Christ can accomplish much if it’s unified.  That said, there are other needs that need your prayers so please take a look below and add these things to your prayer list.

1) Locations – Pray for the remaining office and hospital locations we need.  These are currently scheduled later in the shooting schedule but are just as important as any other location.  We don’t have many leads yet so we have quite a bit of headway to make.

2) Vehicles – To start shooting next tuesday the 3rd, we need the old RV that is owned by one of our main characters in the film.  We currently don’t have this prop vehicle yet.  There’s also an old pick up we require for the 8th that we don’t currently have.  Finding the RV is top priority.  It only needs to sit on the property until we’re done shooting there, but finding someone who’s willing to trust us with it can be a challenge.  This is very important to find…

3) Casting – Due to things in my way I still haven’t been able to fill all the minor roles yet.  We don’t need them on Day #1 thankfully but time is still short to get everyone secured.

4) Rest – Everyone at the house is trying to get their schedules prepared for the 7pm-7am shooting periods coming in the first week and a half of shooting.  It’s going to be exhausting and we only have a few more days to try and get our internal clocks switched over.  It’ll be a challenge for everyone, so prayers are appreciated.

5) Viewers – Pray for those who will see the film.  Yes, I realize that’s a long way off from now, but praying for this sort of thing starts now not later!  Pray for anyone who might pick this film up off a shelf at some point in the future, or share it with another, or find it while surfing the internet or watching TV.  Pray for their heart, mind, and soul.  Pray they be impacted and encouraged, and that God would graciously use the film to bring those who are lost to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Thank you everyone!

Prayer Requests #1

Our house is now officially full.  Production Designer Johnny Reighard flew in yesterday and DP Ethan Ledden and his AC Ashley Ledden arrived.  It’s getting crowded around here!

Like any production, we’ve had our tremendous challenges to overcome and the ride isn’t over yet.  Filming hasn’t even started and we’ve run into some major issues, some of them very stressful.  But, we know God knows what he’s doing, and sees things we can’t see.  Here are a few things you can pray for regarding the production.  These movies don’t happen without prayer!

1) Locations – Pray for our meetings with location owners.  Specifically one of them taking place today at 6pm.  We literally have no film without this location and haven’t found a back up.  Pray for wisdom, that everything would work out and the meeting would go well.  This is a top priority.

2) Casting – We’ve contacted some of our main cast to secure them for the shoot but minor roles are still left unfilled.  We have a lot of video auditions to go through and haven’t contacted anyone for some of these day-player parts.  Pray we can get all our actors agreements in from our major cast, and that we can fill in some of these other roles in good time.

3) Rest – I know at least for me, I need prayers for a healthy body and mind.  Since official pre-production began 2.5 weeks ago, I’ve been feeling worse and worse.  Odds are it’s the long hours and poor sleeping patterns.  It doesn’t take long for this sort of thing to start affecting your health.  I’ve been getting dizzy spells and having other stomach issues.  Others on crew have also had their fair share of problems since they arrived.  We can’t stop the moving train of this production, so we would appreciate your prayers that everyone involved would get a good nights rest, and that we would get our pre-production completed on time without killing ourselves ;)

4) Viewers – Pray for those who will see the film.  Yes, I realize that’s a long way off from now, but praying for this sort of thing starts now not later!  Pray for anyone who might pick this film up off a shelf at some point in the future, or share it with another, or find it while surfing the internet or watching TV.  Pray for their heart, mind, and soul.  Pray they be impacted and encouraged, and that God would graciously use the film to bring those who are lost to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Thank you!

~ Kyle Prohaska, Praise Pictures

Where’s The Aspirin?

Life is crazy around here at the Prohaska household.  Every day me, my UPM (Unit Production Manager) Nathan Webster and my AD (Assistant Director) Dustin Ledden stay busy answering emails, coordinating the pile of work left to do in the next week and a half, casting still, eating when we can, etc.  It’s been pretty stressful overall for everyone.  I’m thankful in terms of the cast and the locations of the film that they’re fairly manageable.  Had this film been any bigger then I wrote it, we’d be sunk right now.

20130621_144417Last week we had an answer to prayer when on one day we found two of our locations.  One of them, the gas station location is extremely critical and I’ve been banging my head against a wall trying to find it since I started writing the script.  Oddly enough, there was one only 15 minutes away that I had found via the GA Film Office and visited but for some reason it didn’t seem right.  We decided to visit it last week just to see if I was wrong and the owner was there.  His name is Butch and he’s a friendly guy.  He basically told us they’d be happy to let us use the place.  The building was built in 1957 and is exactly what I needed, hence my excitement a month ago when I saw it the first time.  It has a lot of character inside and out and is probably as good as you’re gonna get.  It involved some limitations outside where we shoot a lot, but there are easy work arounds for that sort of thing.  Anytime someone seems cooperative it makes our jobs easier, so thank you Butch if you’re reading this for being so awesome!  We couldn’t do the film without you!

2631759-Hampton-Inn-Suites-Flowery-Branch-Hotel-Exterior-1-DEFThat morning before we went to that gas station we had an appointment to meet with the owner of a local Hampton Inn.  That meeting went very well and it looks like we’ll have our hotel locations handled as well as our cafe scenes which will utilize an outside patio area of the hotel.  Using the same location as a double for another location is always helpful since it means one less move for the crew and easier scheduling.  This hotel will look great on camera as will the Cafe stuff so that’s a load off my mind!  Lord willing we can get all we need in a timely fashion and get out of their way.

There are still other locations to find and cast members to lock so the pressure is high, but I gotta make sure we don’t all get too worrisome.  I am nervous, but I know God has a plan in all this stuff.  Pre-production hasn’t been very fun so far, but I know we have a good story on our hands and the reaction to the script from almost everyone that’s read it has been very positive.  Finally finding a title that we can use is a relief as well, what a pain that was!

Overall I’m encouraged, but anxious to see what God has in store for us in the next week.  There is a mountain of work to do, and I can already feel some of the fatigue.  I suspect many more late nights ahead to get all this stuff done before we even get the shooting started. :)  Fun times.

Pray for us, we all need it as does my wife who’s helping where she can 8-months pregnant while chasing our toddler around.  Early next week more people arrive to stay in our home as well so the chaos will only increase.  Are we crazy?  Probably.  Are we quitting?  Not a chance.  Do I need a good night sleep though and some Aspirin?  Definitely, lol.  My greatest hope despite the craziness lately is that God is pleased with what we’re doing, and will bless the rest of the process.  We need his hand guiding us or we’re doomed!

Onward and upward…

- Kyle Prohaska, Director