Recently I was honored to be able to have an interview with Christian fantasy author Eric Reinhold, and now, newly flourishing film maker! And here *drumroll* it. is.
Me:What is the most recent development on set of Ryan Watter’s and the King’s Sword?
In August, 20% of the film was completed, on-site in Mount Dora, Florida. The objective was not only to complete this part of the project, but to incorporate it into a 6 min. DVD for potential investors so they could see the direction of the film. The month of September is being spent fund raising, with the goal of getting everyone back on set in mid October so that filming can be completed in November.
Me:Do you like overseeing and being a part of a production of your book?
Working with a small film company has been fantastic. It allows me to be involved at every level with the project. The most important aspect is that the movie stays true to the book. After that, I enjoy providing the final say on actors, giving input on music and having the opportunity to play a cameo role as Mr. Watters.
Me:Do you see any of your other books being produced as well?
I know the goal of Producer, Kerry Fink and Director, Michael Germaine of TYG Studios, is to produce such a high caliber film that its success will have larger studios and investors calling to inquire about filming book 2. I’ve already let them know that the budget will have to be much larger to take into account the fantasy special effects needed for my second book (smiles).
Me:What is your favorite, and least favorite part of working on set?
My favorite part of being on the set is discussing the scene with the director and then watching it all play out. It’s amazing to see actors actually performing a scene that I’ve written and feeling like, “this is exactly the way I envisioned it and wrote it.” It’s also a great deal of fun to interact with the kids playing the roles of Ryann, Liddy, Terell and Drake. They are very talented and it’s obvious they enjoy working together. The least favorite is probably the tedious aspect of how long it takes to film each scene, between set up, takes, moving cameras around and more takes. I could never work in post and try to edit all of the footage they’ve taken.
Me:If you had to name what the main inspiration behind your movie production was, what would it be?
My inspiration is to be part of creating a G-rated, family-friendly film, that parents and grandparents can feel “safe” bringing their 6-12 year olds. The film will be cinematic and beautiful, while at the same time adventurous, funny, and dramatic. I want kids to feel as if they could be one of the three main characters on the screen and fully immerse themselves in the idea of ‘what would you do if an angel visited you in the middle of the night?’
Me:If you had to name what your biggest motivator for writing is, what would that be?
My biggest motivator is to impact kids by getting them to think about biblical concepts and how the Bible is relevant to their lives.
Me:I’ve read that local people are being used in some ways for the production, is this true?
Like ‘Facing the Giants,’ ‘Fireproof,’ and ‘,’ TYG Studios desire is to use volunteers as much as possible in the filming of the movie. This accomplishes two things; one, it helps keep costs down and two, it keeps the spirit of focus on the purpose of the movie (as I noted previously in my motivation for writing).
Me:Do you see your film as a groundbreaking moment for Christian fantasy authors pining to get their books “movie-ized” ?
I hope so. I’ve been told by some friends in Hollywood that the way we are going about filming and producing the movie, won’t work. The budget is too low, we don’t have a big time producer, this is a first time director, etc. I believe God works throughout scripture to utilize the small, weak, and unaccomplished to do great things, so that He gets the credit. My prayer is that the historic aspect of this low-budget Christian fantasy film, will open doors to my friends and fellow authors, who have great, God-honoring stories that would also be impactful on film.
Me:What is your favorite part of using the real Mount Dora?
That readers of my series and eventually viewers of the film can go to the real setting and make it come more alive to them. had to create a Harry Potter world. We already have Ryann Watters town in place (smiles).
Me:Did you ever imagine this happening to the book when you wrote it?
Ten years ago when I started writing book 1, I did have fleeting thoughts, “if they make this into a movie someday, the studio won’t have to create a set. The town is already here.” Now, it is amazing to go back to some of the same places I walked around while writing a scene and watch the actors going through the same motions.
Me:What can you tell us about the four actors that are playing, Terell, Drake, Liddy and Ryann?
The kids are an amazing collection of very different actors. Ryann, played by Justin Taubensee, came about very late in the process through an early morning breakfast function in which I “happened” to be placed at the same table (out of at least 50 tables in the room) as Justin’s father. God definitely directed that encounter as we discussed the project over breakfast and Justin’s father told us about his son’s acting and inquired as to whether he could audition. Liddy, played by Taylor Boswell, is the oldest and has the most experience of any of the kids and is an amazing actress. She’s perfect for the role and came to us through previous films in which director, Michael Germaine, was involved. I wasn’t so sure, initially, about Terell (Myles Jackson) and Drake (Daniel Bell), but they have definitely jelled nicely through the filming. Myles not only has a lot of the characteristics of my character, Terell, he also has very funny mannerisms, which have added to the movie. Daniel doesn’t have the same stocky look as the bully I describe in my novel, but he gets so into character that he’s very believable.
Me:Do you have any plans for movie production of Ryan Watter’s and the Shield of Faith
I am so much more knowledgeable about film making after a fast-paced six months, but there is so much more to experience over the next six months as we continue filming King’s Sword and then shift to post-production, musical score, CD, marketing, etc. I’m going to take all of that in and then see what God does with it. If God wants the series to take off, then we’ll know the answer to that question this time next year.
Me:If you could tell one thing to an aspiring filmmaker, what would that be?
Don’t listen to other people who tell you that you have to write or film certain things to be “successful.” Write/film what you have a passion for, reach out to as many people as you can in person and via the internet, be willing to help others, and then be patient and pray. As Mr. Watters tells Ryann in King’s Sword, “Because God loves us, things often don’t turn out the way we want… they turn out better.”
Me:As a would be author, I have to ask, what tips can you give teens who want to write and write for God?
Hmm… same as above. The world will tell you that you can’t. God will use the humble, weak, and faithful to accomplish His purposes.
Wow! Thanks Mr. Reinhold for that amazing interview! Wasn't that great all? (claps erupt) But that's not it!! Check out the pictures at the bottom of this post, and see some "behind the scenes" videos on his site! Don't forget to check out the movie when it's released, and to buy some books! :D