I am so excited to share with you an opportunity that I had this week to chat with the writer and director of a new faith friendly film that is coming out this year, called Heavenly Deposit.
I was really excited having read about it and having watched the teaser trailer, to get to actually chat (via Skype) with George Vincent the writer/producer and director who is based in LA. We managed to work out the time difference and got to spend time talking about how the film came about, who is in the movie, the journey of getting the movie made and the reason for making the movie in the first place and his hope for it.
Heavenly Deposit is a film based on George’s own ‘real life’ experience…
Peter Ranos, a man who after losing his father; his best friend as a child, denounces the presence of God and decides to take matters into his own hands. Years later we find Peter, married, living the daily grind of a struggling actor. Despite his best intentions, Peter’s life is riddled with financial ruin, joblessness and ultimately marital challenges. However, in his mind all he needs is that one big break to make things right. But every time it looks like a break is near, something happens which only sets him back even further.
George told me that this film has had ‘God’s influences all over it from the get go’ and after talking with him I can see how. There have been so many ‘Godincidencies’ that you simply can’t discount the favour of God on this exciting project.
A bit of background…
George has been an actor for twenty years but to get this film made, his story told in his own way, he felt he should write and direct it himself. He was fortunate enough to have formed a friendship with another actor and award winning producer Rick Irvin, who he met on a production where Rick was producing and George was acting. It was ‘perfect timing’ as Rick wanted to make a move into more faith friendly films, so he came on board as co-director and producer, which was the perfect combination and use of their skill sets and a great partnership where they were able to complement each other.
George, Rick and Benjamin.
George said ‘it took forever to write the script’, because he wasn’t a script writer. He had produced small films before but this was whole new territory for him. He literally had to learn how to write a script but fortunately, God led the way.
It took about a year and a half to get it written and he was advised to check into the Dove Foundation to get approval for the film. The Dove Foundation is a US organisation based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that issues film reviews, ratings and endorsements of movies that it considers suitable for family audiences. It received a great review and earned 5 Dove Awards for family and faith friendly ratings.
Dove Awards quote,
“This manuscript Heavenly Deposit. hits a home run! It receives 5 Doves from us”.
The next part of the journey was trying to get funding sorted out and they raised some of the funds through a campaign with Indiegogo (a bit like Kickstarter in the UK) and school friends were very generous in getting the fundraising started and the ball rolling so to speak. Soon after, investors came on board.
Obviously the next most important thing to consider is the cast and again through a series of ‘Godincidencies’ they were able to get Benjamin A.Onyango on board after meeting him at a networking event in LA (that George wasn’t even going to attend, but felt prompted to go to). They got talking about the movie and George found out Benjamin had previously been in two other successful faith films called God’s Not Dead 1 and 2 (but unbeknownst to George who hadn’t seen them, had been in a lead role). They exchanged details and Benjamin was interested and went on to join the cast.
A real coup was getting John Savage involved as he was out of the films rather limited budget. But George, who had been looking through IMDB, said when he saw John’s photo it was like ‘John’s face literally lit up when I looked at it and he stood out to me’. Through another Godincidence George met John’s agent and found out that him and his wife had actually been following George’s career and when George told them he was interested in having John involved in his movie they were open to reading the script. Unbelievably after going back and forth a bit, John joined the cast!
Other cast members include;
The next step
Was to find a distribution company, which is key to getting your film out there! This again was a series of Godincidencies. As George was investigating this he felt drawn to a distributor called Pure Flix Entertainment who are an independent Christian film and television studio based in Arizona, who were responsible for bringing God’s Not Dead to our screens.
Back briefly to the networking event in LA and when George and Benjamin were talking George mentioned his interest in Pure Flix and working with David AR White. Obviously because of the tie-in with God’s Not Dead Benjamin was friends with David which gave them an opportunity they may not otherwise have had. Again the Godincidencies in getting the right people involved weave through every aspect of this film.
The film has been shot and has about a month left for post production before a rough cut is made. Then a small team will watch it and check for pacing.
In the meantime, George and Rick attended AFM (American Film Market) one of the largest film networking events in LA where production and distribution deals are made. They met with many distributors including Pure Flix and were able to show their teaser trailer; currently on their website. They were all excited and expressed an interest in seeing the film when completed.
Off to yet another event (all in the day to day life of a filmmaker!) this time in Orlando, Florida and it was an event by the NRB National Religious Broadcasters and guess who they bumped into again? Yes, you guessed it-Pure Flix!
When you are trying to make your own movie and funding it, you take every opportunity you can to get it out there so people know about it and you can start to build interest so people want to go and see it. Rick and George took every opportunity that came their way and one of them was to talk about the film at a friend’s church during bible study.
One of the questions they were asked was ‘have you got distribution yet?’ George explained the ongoing story with Pure Flix and David AR White and then to their disbelief were told that, you guessed it, David attended that very church!!!
Amazingly the film has finished within budget which is almost unheard of in the movie world (so I’m told). They still need to raise some more for the final push which is marketing and this is where they need our help…
As fellow believers we can help get it out there!
How you might ask?
If the distributors see you have a big following they will take you on. If there are enough people in different cities showing interest they will show the movie on a limited theatrical release in these cities, and with word of mouth it will go further. You can do this by visiting www.heavenlydeposit.com and easily getting on their VIP List.
God has been opening doors all along for this movie and this is our chance to open the doors we can open to get this message of hope out there.
Please get behind it and follow them on social media as well:
Check out this teaser trailer.
On the set of the movie Heavenly Deposit.
Please feel free to re-post this blog so we can spread the message in our sphere of influence.