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Well, this past week was indeed a mile marker. Lacey, Josh and I have been working for 4 weeks on putting the story together and that phase is now complete. We even had some great discussions on where to start this story (from a feature film standpoint). You might think, "Well, why not start from the beginning?" That would seem like a logical choice. But what beginning? Ah, you see... I can easily get into talking more deeply about our ideas for the story, and believe me, I would love to talk about them. But if you knew everything in advance, where would the anticipation be? P.T. Barnum once said, "Always leave them wanting more." So if you read Lacey's book "The Reason: How I Discovered A Life Worth Living", then we can say that this movie will deliver that "more". How's that? But the beginning we have all agreed on is a great starting point and so far it feels like the right choice.

This past week saw us meeting via FaceTime again due scheduling conflicts. However, much progress was made. In fact, the script writing process has already started. So this is an exciting time indeed. Another good reason to not give away any secrets about the story is that, the script will go through many revisions even once it's done. Some tough decisions will have to be made to trim the script down to fit a feature film length story. And anything that is written now could easily get changed later on or even cut.

Many of you follow along with this production blog to get to know some of the inside scoop on the process of making a film. And we've had discussions about a few of the animated projects along the way. The process for writing live-action is pretty much the same as writing for animation. But I'm finding there is a clear difference when writing a biopic story. I've learned so much about the real events and the real people that when I go to write the script, I'm living in the moment. And this story is intense. It's actually pretty mentally draining to write because it's like I'm experiencing the events along with Lacey's family. I know it was much different in person (I'm not trying to equate the two), but having to write the events and dialogue makes me feel their emotions. And the way God reveals each scene to me, I can vividly see the action - and that, at times, can be exhausting. But writing this stuff is so satisfying that it's worth the effort.

Michael, Josh and Lacey - FaceTime - July 11 2019
Lacey, Josh & Michael - FaceTime

I'm in a real good writing zone right now so I hope to share great progress stories with you over the next few weeks. Please keep praying for us as this is a crucial time and it's so important to me that God continues to show me what each scene looks like and what the action and dialogue is. This is His movie as He is the one who gave this story to Lacey with her life. We just need to honor it and do it justice in hopes to inspire other people who will get to experience her beautiful transformation.

Until next time...

 

I first have to kick things off with a few comments. First, I sincerely appreciate all of the kind words from everyone online and even through email. A lot of you want to know when the movie will be out and are excited to see it. To be clear, we are just now working out the details of the story and then the script writing begins. And after that, a whole lot more needs to happen before this goes into production. So please keep us in your prayers. God's timing is always perfect, so this will all come together on His watch, not ours. Still we are moving along nicely.

Second, I'm getting questions about the story and such - even from close friends and family. Please don't be upset, but I am not giving out any information on the story - to anyone! :). If you want to know more about this story, I once again tell you to please buy her book and read it or listen to it. And once again I'll say - I am not getting any kickbacks from this promo. The story is out there for you to know. We are just bringing it to life in the form of a movie.

Now... on with the update!

Week 3 kicked off with our Press Release. This message went out to over 600 media outlets in North America (including Canada) and over 200 overseas media outlets that have news bases here in the US. So you can say that the news of this project has reached around the world. Click Here to view the Press Release.

Due to the Holidays, Lacey, Josh and I were not able to meet in person. However, thanks to technology and our shared desire to use Apple technology, we were able to hold a very successful FaceTime writing session.

Over the last three weeks, one thing has become perfectly clear - this is a true collaboration effort to tell this story. This is not my writing a story that gets Lacey's approval. She has not only clued me in on some great stories that were not part of the book, but would make for great scenes in this movie, but she is also contributing visions that she has seen on how scenes should be represented and creative suggestions on the events. Josh has had input as well, especially when Lacey needs a little help recalling certain events. So trust me, the message we are getting out there about this being a collaboration are 100% accurate.

We have progressed the narrative to about 3/4 of the way through the book. So, this coming week should get us to the finish line. After the narrative is finished (to our liking), we will then carefully and deliberately go through the notes to make sure that we are pulling the absolute best parts of the story that we feel will connect with the viewing audience while making sure that Lacey's story is told in true fashion.

Until next week...

I know this is only the second week of the Sturms and myself working together, but because I have been chipping away at ideas for months, a lot of progress has been made for just 2 weeks worth of work. I know that the bulk of you who follow along with this Production Blog, you are interested in the process and maybe get some inside information on the story. Well, I can't (or more accurately won't) divulge any secrets or hints at the story (you'll just have to wait like everyone else), but I can walk you through what the process is like to build a story like this.

I've worked with all kinds of content before. Stories made up from scratch, stories inspired by other existing content, Biblical stories that needed to come to life in script format, children's books that needed to be expanded into a full script, and now a Biopic piece where there is a full story sitting there, it just needs to be told in cinematic form.

The first step for this process is to get as familiar as possible with the story. In my case, I consumed each chapter of this book 3 times. I've also heard Lacey give her testimony several different times online. She's very passionate and consistent with her testimony. Then, I go through the book, page by page, and take notes on everything that I think would be interesting for the script and important to the story. The next step would be to have Lacey fill in the blanks on some events that didn't make it into the book. (I will add this - there are some gems that will be in the movie that are not in the book - so there's your little teaser). And then we need to go through all of the notes that I've taken, and carefully decide what is important and what is not important to include in the script, and then begin writing. Once the first draft is done, it then needs to be examined for places to cut it down to a reasonable length (if necessary), and also find out what parts are working and which ones are not. Then make the needed adjustments, and 4-6 versions later you should have a final script.

So where are we in the process? We are about 60% through the narrative of the story. And for only 2 weeks of work, that is great. In the next week or two, we should be done with this process and then cut it down to start writing on the script.

We are looking to do a press release this coming week, so stay tuned for that. I'll probably include a link here on the zoetifex Production Blog.

Until then...

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