It would be impossible to truly say "thank you" to our prayer warriors and for all the HARVESTER CHRONICLES JP KNIGHTS prayer team as we give our book to screenplay report this mont. Each of you who love this book and have been interceding in prayer for our team know the real results is all about God's mission, His provision and eternal timing.
The target audience of the book is different than our movie. Therefore, the creative elements will change in our transition, but the ethos remains. Great lessons, wonderful characters and exciting challenges form the backdrop for a new movie that is inspired by Beth Lambert's book. In this blog in January 2019, we will give the entire team of intercessors the update for your prayer journey following the JP KNIGHTS.
RESEARCH & MISSIONAL STRTEGY
These past few months since the fall, hundreds of hours of reading, praying and seeking the best way to transition this book into a film have been our screenwriters unified goal. From the early days approximately one year ago, we knew our task was large, because it was to communicate the supernatural and spiritual warfare from the heavenlies to illuminate "light". We also realized the mission from book to film was different, so how would we resolve these issues with excellence founded on Beth's heart and spirit.
We began with a diagnostic discussion of our mission for Beth's book to become a movie. A book is not normally written in the "visual language" often and especially when the heart is to be inspired by Harry Potter, one of the most successful movie franchises. However, Beth always saw this story transitioning into a film, which is why GRP FILMS connected.
Therefore, the mission is in the beginning creative discussions as we seek to identify the "flagpole" upon which we base the visual language in a story for film, using the same ethos. Once we arrived together for the new "flagpole" or creative mission as a team, this gave us insight to do everything within our power to bring the story to our target audience in the best way possible. Evolving into what God wants is the next key to this strategy and over a few days, we were led to grab the pole like the Marines at Iwo Jima.
BETH LAMBERT SCREENWRITER
Beth will be the first to tell you she is an author, but the team is excited to have her creative insights into this powerful storytelling journey for the movie. She was stretched to think of the visual strategies we might consider adding for a new audience. Your prayers carried us while we were in Colorado and are helping in our decision making process, so please continue with your loyal commitment and if you want to join the prayer team, please contact the Lambert family.
Beth was invited to join the screenwriting team by director Kevin McAfee to provide additional insights into the filmmaking process. She is a blessing to the team of veterans. God's word is the true foundation of the team's unified charge in this creative endeavor and now the methodology is transitioning into the optimal setting for young people in the visual language.
When you transition from a faith based book addressing a faith based audience to a movie that has an underpinning of faith to a secular audience, the expectations completely change. The mission does not in the ultimate goal Beth defined for the entire team.
NEW CREATIVE BOUNDARIES FOR CINEMA
When you have a group of decisions that relate to a secular middle school audience and even high school audience, there are creative boundaries the team is now considering. These are the primary motivations for ensuring we have the right "model" for the film, verses just taking the written word to "show" verses tell in exposition. Felt needs, spiritual attacks, real problems and viable solutions to teen issues in crisis are serious for secular audiences today. Even younger films are "edgy" filled with bad language and compromising situations, which our team is family friendly in purpose. The very "position" of the hearts of young people today are being compromised at every turn and truth with "action" is needed to capture their attention. These are the very reasons and challenges Beth began in this journey.
We are reminded we do wrestle against flesh and blood, but with the principalities of this earth and the very powers upon which the Bible leads us to forge ahead as ambassadors of truth. In order to accomplish this cinematic goal in secular filmmaking, we are taking "the best part of our book" and most impacting segments to bring about a movie "INSPIRED BY THE HARVESTER CHRONICLES"!
Beth gave us from her chapter summaries over fifty ideals and values we are adopting as we address the secular audience. We all working now to finalize the beat outline for the newly identified audience and are excited to bring this report to your attention.
WHY CHANGE PERFECTION
One of the real measures of finding a book and making this journey transition into a film is the realization the audience and also the visual language. How many times have you read a perfect book or even seen a perfect movie? It's not possible to find either, so when you go into different art forms, you have to consider the who, what, where, why and how of every creative decision made.
In a book, you have twenty pages to set up a back story, but in a movie, you have thirty seconds. So, we begin with the process by "cherry picking" the best book elements and then establishing the best cinematic locations to illuminate the core lessons. This means the film will look different but include the spirit of what Beth has created.
Many of you may wonder, why do we need to craft a new visual backdrop? Allow us to provide additional insight here. The visual language is very different to young people who live in a sight and sound generation and are not church goers. The book has many church oriented analogies and is written to the church audience. Beth wanted to go further and create a Harry Potter type of experience for a secular audience.
When you consider the greatest film franchises which are allegories, fantasies or action oriented to capture the imagination of this target, one must look at Disney, Marvel, DC Comics, Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and the list goes on and on. Millions of young people are going to watch these films each week and are being impacted with their lessons. Add on top of this, the video games and services in streaming platforms being provided in today's world through social media? It is a radical new visual experience young people have learned to accept. We must be in the "zone of acceptability" and think in a new way!
There is a real war for the battle of the mind going on in every generation, but none greater than the very group of young people today. In the latest film we saw at the end of January, THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING there is a modern allegory for the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the round table, but the darkness portrayed in the film is huge. Unfortunately, there are no beings of light, which is why Beth's story will connect to this audience.
Uniquely, the team watched THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING on opening weekend before we met with Beth to discuss JP KNIGHTS and comparisons. What was discovered in the JP KNIGHTS story again and again was the exciting "beings of light" and the angelic counters in the creative realm which no film has ever attempted like hers.
This led us to a group of "thinking outside the box" ideas, so please buckle your seatbelts and place your tray tables in the upright and locked positions. It's going to be a fun movie ride courtesy of Universal Studios.
EXCITING NEW CREATIVE ELEMENTS...
If you are a young person, you will be very excited to hear about these new visual elements the creative team is currently constructing. Here are some of the preview elements we are considering adding to this movie as we connect with our target audience. We will discuss the different book audience from the film audience in a moment, but check out these new additives we are adding to your cinematic dinner.
In the world of the supernatural and spiritual forces, we are creating a unified chain of command in the areas of "light beings" and dark creatures with the identification of a prominent villain from the dark side of the story. This is very Biblical and also exciting. Using the very characters you have come to love created by Beth, we are truncating the story with a new "backdrop" and visual setting, which will be during the time of the end of school year and beginning the "summer camp" season nestled in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Our JP KNIGHT heroes will encounter a powerful and beautifully painted geography in this arena, which is the largest creative leap we felt the Lord provided us. (One of the creative signs God kept providing was "goose bumps" when we knew it was not our idea, but His!) This new shift from the book will prove to be exciting and give the entire story Beth created the optimal visual design for the future allegory.
You will see Hawk Watch and meet creation in new visual elements along with creative designs for Beth's wonderfully crafted story you have come to love. An entire team will be assembling to visually depict a new wonder from the imagination of the screenwriting team.
Our team wanted to stop and thank each one of the dozens of you who have been praying because without you, this would not even be happening! We also this past month during the creative sessions brought in a seasoned veteran from Youth For Christ to pray over the team and give us future stories of "camps" where working with young people, amazing events have taken place in the spiritual realms. This creative discovery process continues into the coming days, so keep those prayers coming. Now, back to some of the new ideas you can be excited to experience on the silver screen...
Our lead characters are the same as Joel's name has been abbreviated for the film to J.D. because his name was Joel David in the book. His friend Kyle serves in the same creative position, but possibly a bit darker. Then, the main characters Jill, Garrett, Pastor George and Liz are also broadened in their character arcs. Because the film will be ninety minutes, we will have to make the cast list smaller than the book, which is also common. What does this mean? This means we are adding a level of character flaws in each character helping connect with the reality of young people issues they are facing.
PROBLEMS YOUNG PEOPLE ARE FACING
One of the problems in the youth area globally is the "drug culture" which is consuming our young people today, so we will be hitting this arena head on. Beth provided an additional creative inspiration in the spiritual realms of having creatures of darkness looking like "beings of light" based on His Word. Everyone jumped out of their chair with enthusiasm as we could sense a divine direction even in the new creative ideas. Over and over again, the "goose bumps" were there as we prayed in each segment of our brainstorming.
Connecting with the most powerful lessons from the story and getting advice from Beth of her understanding of God's mission and word, there was not a time when we could not feel and sense the presence of prayers. This means great news from the literary opportunity as new books will be created on the horizon! Author Beth Lambert will be a busy lady and needing your prayers in this regard too.
HANDLING THE SUPERNATURAL
Demonic forces are "sensitive subject matters" and we are not going to give people an excuse to simply move away from the Lord if they make bad choices by blaming their behaviors on the spiritual attacks alone. Do you remember the old Flip Wilson comedy sketch where Geraldine said, "The devil made me do that"! It's not a Biblical truth, but a very funny line we can all understand.
We are working to ensure the faith based market gets a new understanding of how God's forces and his angels are always at work, always present. One of the great blessings of our faith as Christians is that we can call on the Lord and He will answer us. However, his answers may not be in the way we want, but in His perfect timing. The fine creative line is being considered at every turn and we will be seeking out youth pastors and advisors to proof what we are doing ensuring the right steps for the future.
All through the process, the team wants to ensure we have pastors, advisors, counselors and people who will pray for us as we creatively walk the tight rope of fantasy and imagination with the Word of God. These experts will also be "trusted sources" for our deliberations. Clearly a movie that is fantasy based on spiritual warfare is not the easiest road to navigate, but one of the most exciting you can possibly imagine. Thank you to all who have joined our team for this purpose. You are here because people are praying.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR HOSTS - THE GROMER FAMILY
Jim Gromer and Rachel Gromer opened their beautiful home to our team as we gathered in the snow for six days to search the heart of God for this epic story. We deeply appreciate their hospitality and heart in making our experience amazing. The research which has begun in the fall is culminating into one of the most complex and wonderful transition of a book to a film, we have ever encountered.
Rachel thank you for a wonderful dinner prepared for our team with your family. It was such a blessing to be with you all and to know your heart. Please extend our love to your children and to Jim's parents for making all of us feel at home. Your hospitality and love never ceases to amaze us.
CONTINUED PRAYERS NEEDED
Change is never easy and we want to thank Beth and all the "book lovers" who enjoy this wonderful literary work. The book THE HARVESTER CHRONICLES JP KNIGHTS includes many wonderful sermons and is written to a Christian audience. The movie as we have shared, will be shifting to a broader audience who does not know God and is not in church, which is why the backdrop has changed. You will want to talk about this book in your area where you go to church and if you don't have a copy, please order yours today.
Remember to continue to pray for the entire team as we "let go and let God" take over the new setting and look of this book. Beth wanted to provide the optimal visual presence over her own book to consider what the Lord leads the three member team. This selflessness is not easy for an author, but the screenwriting team has invited Beth to participate and become a part of what God is doing.
HONORING FLIGHT 93
Beth wrote the book in her hometown and was inspired by the geography of this beautiful area. When the filmmaking team arrived in Pennsylvania the first time, they recognized the heros of Flight 93 and immediately began to discuss the possibly addition of this sacred memorial to the movie. Our film could make people more aware of this amazing sight.
It is agreed by all that the setting of Johnstown, Pennsylvania is where the movie is going to be filmed in the additional outlaying areas, woods and farm land around Flight 93's hallowed grounds. The heroes of Flight 93 provided the very ethos of introducing the JP KNIGHTS to how brave souls were willing to take a stand against darkness.
These grounds of Flight 93 are forever in the hearts and souls of the team and we thank the Lord for their act of sacrifice during the worst terrorist attack on US soil in history. Without these heroes, many would have lost their lives. If you have not visited this memorial, you need to go and experience the impact of these brave men and women who were patriots giving their lives for others. They are the ultimate warriors.
THE LAMBERT'S VISION
Thank you Beth for being willing to "listen" and know this is all about God and for your creative journey. Your vision to expand the target audience was groundbreaking along with your vision of the "angelic beings" in a beautiful story. We are all so thankful for the prayer team which has assembled, because without people praying, sacrificing, fasting and seeking the Lord, none of this would be happening.
Gary Lambert is the champion for this creative crusade and without his unending support and belief, we would not be here. His faith in our team, the process and reaching young people continues to inspire us. Ben's creative job in helping us with the filmed overview was outstanding and Katie's support has been deeply appreciated. This is a huge step of faith that many could not see, but this family, along with Dee Butler have been awesome.
The vision demonstrated by this Pennsylvania family is a testimony to all who know them. There is a calling and a destiny on their lives and they deeply appreciate your support and prayers. This doesn't mean it will be easy, because visionaries are often discounted and not seen as realists. We beleive the opposite is true.
Our followers are growing, the screenplay is being developed and a new vision is on the horizon for one of the most exciting films to touch young and old. This will be a family friendly endeavor and a film all will enjoy. Included in the movie will be humor, suspense, romance, action and more, so stay tuned as we transition this book and make a movie "inspired by an epic story of adventure".
We recognize from the past about THIS PRESENT DARKNESS and any film which is about the spiritual realm there will be spiritual attacks. Wrongful accusations, lies, deceit and even mistakes will be surrounding all who are involved. Please pray for the families, the members who so faithfully are in this body for protection, safety and angelic protection.
Without people praying this is an impossible quest. But with God, all things are possible and we know He is going to get all the glory. May the Lord bless you all.
YOUR GRP FILM TEAM
Dr. Beth Lambert is a Pediatrician and Medical Director in Pennsylvania. JP Knights is the first film from her books.
Kevin & Lynn McAfee along with Jim and Rachel Gromer met to begin the script writing process for JP KNIGHTS the movie. Thanks for praying for the entire team!
Dr. McAfee and the team of GRP with Stephanie Musser met with city fathers in Pennsylvania at the Holiday Inn to discuss strategies for shooting in Johnstown.