Unexpected News An Extreme Days Production Written and Directed by Katie Collins

An Extreme Days Production
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Behind the Scenes
The Story of Making Unexpected News
I decided to make this movie because Daddy brought home the SAICFF movies from the home school convention at the end of May; we watched them and talked about the opportunity of making a movie. Sam didn't want to, but I wanted to make a film so I prayed about it and God told me to do it. We discussed that we only had 60 days to complete the film I knew we were going to have to work quickly.

The Idea
The idea for the story started with a little girl moving away, so I thought a going away party would be perfect. Thinking someone should tell the little girl about heaven, I added that to the story. I didn't want them to finish their conversation because that would be obvious and unreal, so I wrote the part about the moms interrupting. Wanting the story to end happily, I thought news that Emily became a Christian would be a good ending.

It took me one or two weeks to write the script and think of the camera shots I wanted. When I was done, Mommy typed it all into the computer and printed it out for Daddy to read. Daddy was thrilled with the script and told me I had to storyboard it. I asked him to tell me what storyboarding was. He told me I had to draw a picture for each shot. I was not very excited when I heard this. I drew 111 storyboards on 3x5 cards. It took a few days and quickly became a fun part to do.

Next, I sat at the computer with Mommy and made sure my storyboards matched the script. We found out some of the shots didn't match the storyboards so we had to change a few words.

Praying For The Right Crew
Before choosing the cast Mom and I prayed for the right people. Most of the cast I saw in plays at my church, the others are just friends. My mom called, e-mailed or talked to the mother of each child. Some said they could do it, others said they could not. That is how we got our cast of 17 children and 3 adults. One day Mom asked one of her friends, Mrs. Payne, to pray for a location to film and described what we needed. Mrs. Payne said one of her friends had a house that looked just like that. So, Mrs. Payne got permission from the owner to use the house for three days of filming.

While all this was happening we took care of some other details. I went to Mimi's Café, Chick-fil-a, Krispy Kreme and Publix to ask for sponsorships. They all said, "Yes". I also went to Sam's Club, Subway, Taco Bell and a different Publix. They all said, "No". All of the food we were given was used in the movie or to feed the cast and crew. Daddy and Sam built me a dolly and a steadicam to use in the filming process and Mommy and I went shopping for props and clothes for the cast to wear in the film. We shopped around until we finally found what we needed. Nothing left to do now but wait for the days of filming, July 6th, 7th, and 8th, to arrive.

Cameras Ready to Roll
On July 4th, we learned it was supposed to rain for all three days of our filming. When we arrived on the first day the skies were black. It rained all around us, but where we were, it only sprinkled for a short while. The same thing happened on the second and third day too. We all know God did that. God has performed so many miracles to help us make Unexpected News. I have thanked him all the way!

Looking back on those three days of filming I remember long, but fun days. I remember looking into the camera, laughing with the cast when we said we should have bloopers, telling funny stories with the cast and crew at lunch, being in the movie, and just being with and having fun with the cast and crew. I enjoyed the whole experience!

On the second day of filming, I was interviewed by the TV and newspaper. I was on the news twice. I told them about my film and tried to emphasize God and godly things.

Not only did good things happen during filming, bad things happened too. One of the actors quit, another actor passed out from the heat, yet another actor showed up not in the right clothes so he had to leave, one actor's microphone kept falling off, one crew member couldn't come, and the day we went to pick up the doughnuts for the party scene, we found out that the Krispy Kreme that had promised us the free doughnuts had gone out of business. I knew that God would help us through the tough times and we finished right on schedule.

Putting It All Together
While Daddy oversaw the process and I told them what I wanted, Mr. Roshie Jones and Mr. Kenny Strawn edited my movie with iMovie and Final Cut Pro. After several days and many long nights we were almost done with the rough cut, but wait something happened. "Oh no, the computer just crashed!" someone said. Looks like it's time to start over again. Oh well, God will help us finish.

Once we finished editing, we took the rough cut to a friend of my father's who happens to be a musician. He said he would write me an original score. The next afternoon he called. "Am I hearing what I think I'm hearing? Did you just say he's done?" I asked Daddy. "Yes, he is done!" Daddy replied. He sure is fast. Now that we have the music, we have to lay it in. Mommy told me that he usually has to watch the movie about three times to get the feel of what the characters are feeling, but he had to watch Unexpected News nineteen times. Wow!

After another day of work Mr. Strawn and Mr. Jones just finished laying the music. They have been hard at work all evening. Again, Daddy oversaw the work. When they did not need my help I read The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis.

Now we need to make some volume and color changes and we will really be done. I guess I forgot to write about writing the credits. Well, I decided to put the cast last because people want to know who played who, but it doesn't seem like people like to see who worked behind the scenes as much. Mommy wrote the credits in her words so I would understand the order and what to say. I changed almost all of the credits. I am starting to learn how to type, so Mommy let me type out the credits into the computer.

I can't think of anything else to say, so I will end here. I hope this helps you understand how I made Unexpected News. I have written everything that you have just read. I wrote this on lined paper first, and then Miss Angel Dowty, Nancy's mother in the film and also one of Daddy's employees, typed it out.

Katie Collins
Director and Writer

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What's the Purpose Behind Unexpected News?