Are you ready for Agency D3?

Courtney Baker - LifeWay VBSYou may remember back in June when Katie DeCillo gave you a sneak peek at the Agency D3 sets. During that same time, we were shooting the VBS Overview video. Without further ado, the time has come to “release” it to you.

 

 

 

 

VBS 2014 – Agency D3 Overview Video from LifeWay VBS on Vimeo.

I am really excited about the Biblical content this year. I can’t wait to hear all of the stories from around the world of kids discovering, deciding, and defending their faith.

What are you most excited about for VBS 2014?

 

 

Familiar Faces Coming Soon to a Worship Rally Near You

You never know what you might end up doing here at LifeWay VBS HQ. One day you’re just working away and the next thing you know, you’re being called in to help out on the video shoot for the Worship Rally dramas. Now our video producer, Lynne, is just about the nicest person you’ll ever meet, so when she calls… you come running! But I don’t think any of us knew how many people from LifeWay Kids’ Ministry actually made it INTO the videos until they came out.

Of course these are all cameo appearances… but I guess you could consider this our collective big screen debut. Be on the lookout for us in the Worship Rally videos this summer. Hope you enjoy this little sneak peek!

Angel Ortiz is the man behind all LifeWay Kids resources in Spanish. We are SO grateful to have him heading up the Spanish VBS team. Look for Angel and his lovely wife, Rosalía, as “the TV watching couple.”

James Hargrave’s day job is with 1st-2nd grade Sunday School (Bible Teaching for Kids). But it’s not uncommon to find this showman, magician, and all-around good guy lending a hand to the VBS team. James really loves VBS!

Richard VanCleave is married to our VBS team leader, Rhonda. He got tapped to play a lawyer, but we won’t hold that against him. Richard is actually an area pastor.

Lynne hates being on camera… so SSSHHH!!! Don’t tell her we put her picture up. Lynne looks pretty convincing as a boom operator, but she also served as the producer of these videos.

Here was my big break! See me? That’s my arm on the far right. Hollywood, here I come! A big thanks to Candace (the Queen of VBS), Landry Holmes (Kids Ministry Publishing managing director), and Jeremy (Kids Ministry graphic designer) for sharing the spotlight with me!

Surprise! There’s Gordon, one of our VBS graphic designers. Gordon whipped up the sign he’s holding in the picture and somehow ended up on camera when he delivered the sign to the site of the video shoot!

You’ll recognize Carol’s name from the many VBS products she edits, but her husband and son really earned their keep in a BIG way this year. They are responsible for the amazing toy roller coaster you will see featured in the video. Jeff and James spent TWO whole days constructing the roller coaster together… and still liked each other at the end!

Joyce Frazier’s name was mentioned on an earlier slide, but here she is sliding a t-shirt on the grand prize contest winner. I can’t tell you any more without spoiling the plot. You’ll just have to wait and see what’s going on here when you get the DVD!

Happy Birthday & Thanks for the Props

A birthday shout out goes out to my sweet son who is turning 13 today! Not only is today his birthday, but we are giving him a “thank you” shout out for helping with two of the props for the video drama for Colossal Coaster World. Yep, his dear ole mom roped him into putting together two roller coasters for the video this summer. Now in my defense when I volunteered him, I hadn’t seen the roller coasters, the 5,000 pieces that would need to go together, or the instruction books with no words just pictures. I just thought, “Hey, he likes to build things with legos this should be a piece of cake.” Well, two eight hour days and 5, 000 (or more) pieces later we had the finished products ready for the video shoot. Take a look at the following behind the scenes pictures of the work in progress.

Just the beginning!

 

Did I mention that I also wrangled his dad into helping?

 

Adding the finishing touches.

 

Final inspection.

 

Look for these “colossal” coasters in the video drama next summer.

Report from Silver Dollar City

We’ve completed our week of shooting at Silver Dollar City. Thunderstorms had been predicted for the entire week. Thankfully, we were blessed with beautiful weather every day! It was even cool in the mornings, which was a big help to us.

When we’re going to be traveling with actors and parents, there’s always the curiosity (okay, I’ll be honest—there’s CONCERN!) as to how things will go. The airfare from Nashville to Branson was much too expensive, so we had a nine-hour drive with strangers! Thankfully, we had a great time with Alec Taylor and his mom, Tracie, and with Vance McCarty. Not only were they great actors, they were great traveling buddies as well! Norman Harris from Memphis, met us in Branson. We worked with Norman on Big Apple Adventure, and I was really looking forward to working with him again.

Here are a few photos from the shoot. I won’t divulge what’s happening in the shots. You’ll have to watch the VBS 2013 Worship Rally DVD to find out!

Two of the three main characters: Norman (in the chicken suit) and Alec

That’s Vance, who played the role of “video director,” with Chloe. She was a star!

Discussing the next scene. That’s Bill Cox, our director, in the center.

Now what in the world could this be about?!

We’ll complete the production next week in Nashville. Praying for a great finish!

Shooting at Silver Dollar City®

I’m so glad that I finally can tell you we’ll be shooting a portion of the VBS 2013 Worship Rally DVD at Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, Missouri! They have been absolutely wonderful to work with, making everything as easy as possible for our team! When Bill Cox, the video director, and I made the first call to ask if they would consider our shooting there, one of the comments they made really impressed me: “We want you to know you have a partner in Christian ministry.” Wow! We had not heard that from any other theme park! We knew right away we wanted to find a way to make their location work for us.

Did you see the blog I posted April 18, shortly after we visited our “secret” location? I included two photos as clues, but they were only portions of photos so it would be challenging to determine where we were!

This first photo is part of the building that houses one of their great roller coasters, “WildFire.” I honestly think it may be the best roller coaster I’ve ever ridden! WildFire will be known as “Vaporizer 3000″ in our video. Be on the lookout for it!

This second photo is the bumper that’s on the front of WildFire.

We leave in just a few days to begin production there. I would truly appreciate your prayers for good weather, safe travel, and good health! Thanks!

Video Pre-production

Can you believe we already are in pre-production mode for the VBS 2013 Worship Rally DVD?! Most of you haven’t even seen the 2012 video yet (though I’m confident you will take a look)! One of the fun, but challenging parts of the pre-production process is finding the right location for the story. Is it within driving distance from Nashville? If not, how will we assemble our cast? If we’ll be driving, how many vehicles will be required? What will gas cost us? Yikes!

I can’t wait to tell you about the location we’ve chosen for the VBS 2013 video! The few of us who went on the site survey to this location left there saying, “We want to find a way to work with this place.” We were so impressed with their management team. I was excited when we began to develop our story and discovered that it, indeed, will work at this particular site!

The VBS 2013 theme will be revealed on June 4! Until then, any guesses from these pictures as to where we’ll be shooting? (I did try to make the guessing difficult! Hey, it’s supposed to be a secret until June 4!)

Meet the Actor: Tizoc Fleishour

This is the final installment of “Meet the Actor,” where the cast members of the Worship Rally DVD are featured. If Tizoc were sitting here beside me, I feel certain he would say, “You saved the best for last.” He has a great sense of humor, and I loved bantering back and forth with him. (I, of course, would have to say to him that I liked all the actors equally. Then he would probably tell me he was certain that couldn’t be true!)

Like his fellow cast mates, Tizoc arrived prepared to work each day. And though he takes his work seriously, he also provided us with great comic relief! What a fun kid to have on a shoot!

I loved meeting his sweet mom, Kimberly. I’m thankful to ALL THE PARENTS of these kids, who made sacrifices to get them to the location each day and pick them up at our best-guess time!

Now, I introduce you to my friend Tizoc. . . .

Q: What character do you play in the VBS 2012 video?

A: I played Hollywood. I was one of the three nerds and “the closest thing to a leader type.” :D

That's Tizoc in the brown shirt

Q: What was the hardest part of the video shoot?

A: Sitting in that stuffy military bunker all day. :P But it was definitely still fun, especially when we were in the far back and all the lights got turned off.

Q: What was the best part of the video shoot?

A: Working with the wonderful people there. I’ve seldom meet quite as many questionably odd people who were so much like myself.  :D  I love ‘em all!

Q: Was this your first acting job? If not, what other jobs have you had?

A: No, I have been in Alice in Wonderland and Aladdin, both musicals. I gained a lot in those plays. I never had the ability to sing onstage before that, so it was definitely a good experience.

Preparing to shoot a scene with the old film projector

Q: What’s your favorite part of school?

A: Art class. I like being able to pour my mind out onto paper so that others may view my perception of the world.

Q: What sports do you like, and do you play any?

A: I don’t really play sports and I’m not too interested in any. I used to be on the racing team in grade school, but that was before my addiction to pizza ruined my life.  :D

Q: If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: Europe. I’ve always been fascinated with the language they speak there, so elegant and refined. Besides, I’ve never seen snow before, and that’s something I must do before I die.  :P

Q: Would you like to continue acting?

A: Yes. Acting is one of the few things that can cheer me up. I must say, I haven’t had the happiest life of all, but when I’m onstage everything becomes new. I’m no longer Tizoc Fleishour, I’m the nerdy kid who hangs out with other social outcasts, or the crazy old March Hare that everyone knows and loves. I will definitely continue acting, but only if that’s what God wants for me.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: The time I spent doing VBS will not soon be forgotten. I learned very much from that whole experience. It gave me something that all actors need (seeing as how many times we don’t make the cut :P)—confidence. That no matter how many times you fall off the horse, you can always get back up. J I loved every second I spent with all the crazy whack-a-doos (that’s a compliment in my book) that were in the VBS crew.

P.S. Muffins are just ugly cupcakes. :o)

Meet the Actress: Ariana York

I’ll never forget when I called Ariana’s home to tell her she had been selected to play a part in the VBS 2012 video! She was so sweet, and so excited about taking on the role! Right away, I could hardly wait to meet her face to face! She arrived at our rehearsal with the same eagerness she had when we had talked on the phone weeks earlier. I knew immediately that she and I would be friends. Driving back and forth from the location to lunch each day provided us opportunity to get to know each other better. (The young gentlemen in our cast allowed Ariana to ride in the front seat along with me, providing us the opportunity to talk.) Ariana is a talented, sweet girl with a bright future ahead of her.

Ariana with two of her castmates, Tizoc and Chance

It was so much fun to meet Ariana’s father, Doane, and her mom, Wendy. And, on the final day of our shoot, I got to meet several family members! I loved that! A fun thing you might want to know about Ariana’s family is that they sell Hawaiian coffees and pancake mix. The coffee company is Exotic Coffees Hawaii and the pancake and waffle mix company is Auntie LeiLani’s Hawaiian Pancake and Waffle Mix. They have so many delicious flavors of each, the list is too long to mention here! I got to try the mango pancake mix! Dee-lish! You can order some for yourself by contacting Ariana’s dad, Doane (pronounced “Dwayne”), at 808-782-2390!

Now, I introduce you to my friend, Ariana—

Q: What character do you play in the VBS 2012 video?

A: I play Cat, who is very smart, a major tomboy, pretty funny, one of the leaders, and sarcastic at times! Basically, she’s in the nerd group. Ha!

Q: What was the hardest part of the video shoot?

A: Well, the hardest part of the video shoot was when we were at Kualoa Ranch! (And, yes, we were there most of the shoot!) There were like, wild cows and stuff. So you had to make sure you were SUPER careful for each step you took, so you wouldn’t  step in their manure! Unfortunately in my case, I stepped in it a few times. :P

Shooting at Kualoa Ranch and dodging the cow patties!

Q: What was the best part of the video shoot?

A: The best part, was when we went to shoot at “The Great Barrier Reef” (Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu)!  It was the first time I’ve ever been there, so that was a real treat! :D Haha!

Q: Was this your first acting job? If not, what other jobs have you had?

A: No, this wasn’t my first acting job. I’ve been in the Foodland TV commercial 2010, Descendants 2010, Surf’s Up TV commercial 2008, Wizard of Oz (play) 2007-2008, Cutter Dodge TV commercial 2007, Honolulu Theatre for Youth Summer 2009.

Q: What’s your favorite subject in school?

A: Math! Math is like my FAVORITE subject! I seem to understand it really well, so to me, it’s not that hard! Haha!

Q: What sports do you like, and do you play any?

A: I like football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and ping pong (if that counts! LOL!)! The sport I play competitively is tennis! I used to play basketball and volleyball, too.

Q: If you could go on a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: If I could go ANYWHERE in the world on vacation….. Hmmm… That’s a pretty tough one… But, I would definitely go on a cruise to the Bahamas!

Q: Would you like to continue acting?

A: OF COURSE! Acting is my passion! It just makes me feel super happy. PLUS I get to meet a lot of cool and welcoming people! And, I think acting gives me various challenges & makes me a better person. Particularly this one! This role has made me a lot closer to God! And He just gives me so much confidence to be the person He wants me to be. Cause, I know that I couldn’t be in this situation without God! And I know He has a beautiful plan for my life and hopefully, acting will be a part of it.

Meet the Actor: Chance Bridgman

“Look at his eyes.” That’s what Bill, the video director, said as we watched the audition tapes. That’s one thing about Chance that stands out. He has great expression in his face; a trait that’s valuable to a director and a producer. I think you’ll notice it, too, as you watch the Amazing Wonders Aviation Worship Rally DVD.

As you’ll discover in Chance’s Q&A below, he already is a real professional. And it showed, as he arrived on set prepared every day. Though a video shoot is always hard work, Chance and his fellow cast members helped to make this shoot a lot of fun! It was great to meet his mom, Dawn, and his two brothers, Chase and Chandler (talented actors as well).

The cast. That's Chance in the middle, wearing the navy shirt.

Now, I introduce you to my friend, Chance—

Q: What character do you play in the VBS 2012 video?

A: I play the character “T-Man.” I’m 12 years old.

Q: What was the hardest part of the video shoot?

A: The hardest part of the shoot was working with the “green screen.” For one thing

I had to hold myself in strange positions for long periods of time, and for another I

felt silly acting as if something was happening when it wasn’t! But it was all worth it

when I saw the finished product.

Chance and the green screen

[A note from Lynne: "Green screen" is when you place an actor against a green cloth or screen and capture him in action. When shooting green screen, the actor is isolated, with only empty surroundings. In post-production, the video editor places that actor into a scene or against a different backdrop. In Chance's case, he was placed against video of a blue sky and was falling into the ocean.]

Q: What was the best part of the video shoot?

A: The best part of the video shoot was working with the awesome team of adults and

with the other kids! I was sad when it ended, because I felt like I had made new

friends. My favorite scene was the one where I have to wear the fruit helmet with

the “spy camera.” I looked and felt ridiculous, but it was hilarious and we had so

much fun with that scene!

Chance with the fruit helmet!

Q: Was this your first acting job? If not, what other jobs have you had?

A: No, this wasn’t my first acting job. I had worked on a couple of films for local public

television, and I have been in a lot of community theatre plays and musicals. I love

live theater, but the good part about film is that if you mess up you get a second

chance!

Q: What’s your favorite part of school?

A: As you can probably guess my favorite class at school is Drama! We are currently

working on an adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.” I also like recess and study hall.

Q: What sports do you like, and do you play any?

A: I like most sports, but especially like volleyball, tennis, football and basketball. I am

currently playing basketball for a club team.

Q: If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: I have been blessed to be able to travel to many neat places, but if I could, I would go

to Antarctica… preferably on an ice-breaker!

Q: Would you like to continue acting?

A: YES! I hope to make acting my lifelong career…

Q: Anything you’d like to add?

A: Thank you for giving me an opportunity to answer your questions. I hope you enjoy

the film as much as I enjoyed being a part of it!