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Yes, You Read That Right

Color correction for Counter Column is complete! Like every other step in this production, it involved prayer, suspense, and a last-minute miracle. After all, it wouldn’t really be Counter Column without the challenges—you all know this best of all!

Color correction is a vital aspect of post-production. It happens after the locked edit (when all the scenes are in place in their correct order), often at the same time as sound design and music. It has a huge impact on a film: “It was interesting to see how much color changes the mood of the movie and makes everything cohesive,” Producer Matthew Jordan shares. “[It] went faster than we thought it would!” Which is a huge praise, as you’ll see in a minute.

For Counter Column, our colorist Barrett Kaufman had a particularly challenging job because he had to get the footage from our two different cameras to match up. “Because of our limited resources during filming,” Matthew explains, “the initial color in the video files recorded by our two different cameras looked far from identical.” You can imagine the problems this would cause—imagine the look, feel, and color of a movie changing with every shot during a scene or conversation! Definitely distracting and detracting from the film’s message.

But Barrett accomplished this and more, including adjusting several night scenes that we had had to shoot during the day! And, the job was finished faster than Matthew and Gilbert expected. “We barely met a tight deadline,” Matthew says, “and literally got the last shot approved on the last day we could’ve…Another mini miracle.”

What’s Next?

Next month, we’re going to share some before and after coloring pics so you can get a feel for how color impacts a film—Counter Column in particular. Additionally, we’ll also share a fun fact about how Counter Column‘s coloring is a little more involved—and a little more colorful—than most.

Now that the coloring is finished, the next step is to complete the sound design and music composition. Again, both of these steps will really transform the film beyond its current state and push us that much closer to release—which is still slated for this coming spring.

You Can Still Help

We are thrilled with how things are progressing, how we’re continuing to see God move, and how we’re getting closer and closer to the privilege of sharing this powerful, gospel-saturated story with the world. In addition to your prayer support (for which we are so thankful!), you still have the opportunity to propel this process and help ensure Counter Column‘s successful and timely release. 

Our donation page is still live, and we still need help. Our post-production budget is $25,000. Click here to see how you can help us shrink that number a bit today!

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About the Author
Grace is a freelance writer and editor for hire living in Indiana. She crafts weekly writing newsletters for her blog/service Writing Life and is the script supervisor and newsletter-writer for Counter Column.

Will Jackson Photography ~ [email protected]

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It’s Almost Ready!

Breaking news: On July 27, Matthew and Gilbert completed the locked edit of Counter Column! This means that all the footage is in place, all trimming and rearranging is finished, and the visual storyline of the movie is in its final form—it’s locked!

This could not have been accomplished without the dedicated work of Johnick Petry, who took care of the last-minute technical aspects to prepare the film for our colorist, and Will Jackson, who masterfully created the visual effects. Thanks to them, we finished on time and are still planning a Spring 2020 release!

So what’s left to do?

Next, our colorist will insert final touches, adding vibrancy where it’s needed, toning things down if that’s what a particular scene’s mood requires, and ensuring that the film is cohesive as far as color is concerned.

This phase is also when sound effects and music are added. We are now in the “finishing touches” stage, which is a huge praise, and are excited for the next step—marketing and prepping for release!

Early Audience Reactions

Back in the beginning of June, a select group of Kickstarter backers and supporters had the opportunity to see a rough cut of Counter Column. The feedback we got was beyond what we’d hoped. People really enjoyed the movie, it made them think, and it’s not even finished yet. We are excited about what God is doing with this film!

How Can You Help?

We still need help to get to the next step: 

(1) Donate: In order to complete Counter Column, we still need to raise $25,000. We couldn’t have gotten this far without support, and we won’t get much farther without its continuance. If you feel led to help us reach our goal of $25,000 and get this movie ready for audiences, please visit our website through the link below:

Click here to contribute! 

(2) Join: After Counter Column is completed, we still need to get it out to the public. Matthew Jordan is currently putting together the logistics for our online marketing team, which will be launching soon. If you have marketing expertise and feel called to join the Counter Column post production team, stay tuned for more info coming soon!

(3) Pray: We have been so grateful for all the prayer support we’ve received throughout this entire process. Please keep those prayers coming, and forward our emails to your family and friends so we can expand the prayer chain!

Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement. Stay tuned for more info soon!
 

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About the Author
Grace is a freelance editor and script supervisor living in Indiana. She crafts weekly writing newsletters for her blog/service Writing Life and is the newsletter-writer for Counter Column.

Will Jackson Photography ~ [email protected]

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> > COMING TO YOU APRIL 2020!* < <

*Date subject to change

That’s Right Folks, It’s Less Than a Year Away!

Thank you all so much for praying us through the production of Counter Column. We couldn’t have accomplished it without the Lord’s help through each one of you. We wrapped quite a while ago (August 18, 2018 to be exact), and now have an expected release of April 2020! 

So what’s happening right now? How can you continue to pray with us through the remainder of this project?

Pray Without Ceasing

Right now there are five specific ways you can lift this project up in prayer:

Editing: Matthew and Gilbert have been editing the raw footage and are now on Draft 6. They have shown previous drafts to various audiences, including all the crew who were able to attend the Christian Worldview Film Festival this past March (see above photo). It was super exciting to see it coming together so well! Please pray for them to have wisdom in what to keep and what to cut. They have over 34 hours of footage to sort through, and pairing that down to about 90 minutes is certainly a daunting task!

Post Production: Pray that God will lead Matthew & Gilbert to the right music composer, sound mixer, and color grader (among other possible tech-related positions) to help with post production, and that He will open up the right connections for distribution so this movie can go where He wants it to.

Money: As the post production budget is finalized, Matthew & Gilbert need wisdom on how much to budget as well as the ability raise what is needed. We watched God raise more production funds than we’d hoped, and we pray He will again provide us with exactly what we need.

Time: Counter Column can be all-consuming, Gilbert admits. He & Matthew ask for your prayers that they will know how to use their time wisely, that they don’t neglect their families, jobs, or other responsibilities, yet can finish the project. Sometimes it’s a hard balance to find.

Wisdom: Each of our requests has a common theme: wisdom. This is the first feature film for Matthew & Gilbert, so as they take each careful step in faith, they ask prayer for wisdom in each decision they make, and for God to lead them as they walk forward. Thankfully, God promises exactly that in James 1. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” ~ James 1:5 We are praying now for Him to give His wisdom, generously and without reproach, to help us make Counter Column a movie that will truly glorify and honor Him and share His message of salvation with the world.

Most of all, we want to just thank God for all that He has done, all the countless ways He has blessed us, and all the things He has given us that we don’t deserve. I’ve heard it said by multiple crew members (and I heartily agree) that it felt like God gave us a family with Counter Column. We have a special connection with each other after experiencing hardship and joy together, and it is exciting to watch where He is taking this.

Join us in prayer and giving, as you feel led, as we run with endurance the race God has set before us, and finish this great project to which He has called us.

Also, if you haven’t visited our website in a while, you should check it out. It’s had a facelift and looks amazing!
 

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About the Author
Grace is a freelance editor and script supervisor for hire living in Indiana. She crafts weekly writing newsletters for her blog/service Writing Life and is the script supervisor and newsletter-writer for Counter Column.

Will Jackson Photography ~ [email protected]
Crew Picture
📷: Elijah Perry

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M E E T  T H E  C R E W

MEET THE CREW VOL. 1, ISSUE 6

Christina Loeffler: Props Master

We’ve all heard of props. Generally, they’re associated with stage productions—they are the objects actors carry around and interact with on the set that help them tell the story. They include dishes, brooms, chairs, and more.

On a film set it’s the same idea. Props are items that actors directly interact with that help tell the story. They are different from set decoration, however. To be a prop, an item must be handled by the actor onscreen as part of the story.

For example, let’s say there is a breakfast scene (like the one in Counter Column!). There are several plates of food, some silverware, a few cups of juice, and a dozen eggs. During the scene, one actor eats off his plate with a fork, another takes a swig of orange juice, and a third cracks and scrambles two eggs. These are the only items touched or used. The fork, cup of juice, and two eggs are props. But what about everything else—the other plates of food, cups of juice, silverware, and ten eggs? Those are merely set decoration. They weren’t used by an actor, so they are just there to set the scene and provide context.

On Counter Column, Christina was our Props Master, which means she was supervising all props, making sure they were present when needed (and not present when they weren’t!), watching for continuity (like refilling juice glasses for each take so the amount of liquid didn’t keep changing), and keeping them in a safe place when they weren’t being used so they would be ready for future shoot days. She worked closely with Brittany Polzella (our Production Designer) not only artistically, but also practically, as props can flip between being props and being set decoration, which was part of Brittany’s department.

There is so much detail and organization that goes into making a film! Counter Column was blessed to have Christina on board to make sure everything looked like it should. Below, Christina and Brittany prepare an onscreen meal for our actors. Some of these dishes are props, and some are set decoration. You’ll have to watch the movie to see which is which!

Counter Column was actually Christina’s first experience in film! And in the short time between wrapping that project and now, she has been part of three additional feature films and several short films. She is pursuing film as a career. Connect with her on Facebook!

Favorite Verse – Psalm 30:5: “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
“It is truly amazing,” Christina says, “how as true believers we can have favor with God because of Jesus’ sacrificed blood for us.”

Favorite Food – Pizza!

Fun Fact – “When I’m not working on a film, I am a part-time barista in a downtown coffee shop.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know our crew! Each member is vital to a film’s success, and amazingly, every department is closely connected with the others. Next month, get ready to meet Daniel Cleghorn from our camera department—and learn just how set decoration and camera operation affect each other!
 

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About the Author
Grace is a freelance editor and script supervisor living in Indiana. She edits and publishes content for her clients via her blog/service Writing Life and is a script supervisor as well as Counter Column‘s newsletter-writer.

Will Jackson Photography ~ [email protected]

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M E E T  T H E  C R E W

MEET THE CREW VOL. 1, ISSUE 5

Production Designer Brittany Polzella

In our last newsletter, we talked about production design. Today, let us introduce our very own Production Designer, Brittany!

A film’s Production Designer is in charge of the overall artistic look of the film in terms of props, set pieces, and decoration, Brittany tells us. “My main job is to make a space look like the character belongs there,” she says. “I.e. that they stay in that bedroom, that their Abuelita decorated that living room, that their girlfriend gave them a picture to put in their room for Christmas… That sort of thing is my job to explore, imagine, and create.”

As you can imagine, this job takes a huge amount of prep work and a thorough understanding of the script and its characters. “I work alongside the Director and the DP [Director of Photography] to make sure that what I decide to put on set connects with the rest of the film visually.”

Although Brittany is in charge as a department head, she doesn’t work alone: “I lead of team of set dressers, as well as the Props Master, to carry out the Director’s vision in an appropriate amount of time. On Counter Column, I was blessed with many art department team members that all used their individual giftings and talents to make the art department on this film shine!”

Below, Brittany and our Director of Photography Dave share a laugh.

How It All Began…

Brittany graduated from Liberty University in 2017 with a Cinematic Arts degree. She has since worked on 12 short films and three features, two of which have had theatrical releases (Extraordinary and Indivisible). She is pursuing film as a career, particularly as a Production Designer. You can see her website and examples of her beautiful work here: https://brittanypolzella.com 

In 2018, she attended the Christian Worldview Film Festival for the first time. While scrolling the group’s Facebook page afterward, she noticed an announcement for a military movie to begin filming that summer. “So I commented and asked for more information. A few days later I submitted my resume… Two weeks later, I received a random Facebook message from this guy named Matthew Jordan, asking if I was ‘the Brittany’ he was trying to find. Somehow he had heard of me…and connected my name to the resume I had submitted. He was interested in me coming onto his project, and within a day or two I was gifted with the chance to production design my first feature, Counter Column!”

Favorite Verse[s] – Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'”
Matthew 5:16: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
“One speaks of God having a plan for our lives that is for good,” Brittany shares. “The other is about how we are to use our lives to shine Jesus’ light. I must believe that the Lord has a plan for my life when my own health is a miracle, and I choose to believe that He must continue to have a plan with my career. Even when life isn’t the most joyful, I choose to shine because the Lord has saved me and there’s no greater joy than that.”

Favorite Food – Chocolate-covered strawberries and homemade lasagna or ziti with goat cheese.

Fun Fact – “I am a huge Captain America fan, and I have a costume with built-in muscles to prove it,” Brittany says. Also, “Bugs and Brittany are not friends.” Any girls lodging with Brittany during Counter Column can attest to this. 😉

Above, Brittany and Matthew Jordan (our Producer) sit in a San Antonio jail as the camera crew sets up.

Brittany’s main wingman during Counter Column was our Props Master Christina Loeffler. Get ready to meet her in our next newsletter!
 

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About the Author
Grace is a freelance editor and script supervisor living in Indiana. She edits and publishes content for her clients via her blog/service Writing Life and is a script supervisor as well as Counter Column‘s newsletter-writer.

Will Jackson Photography ~ [email protected]

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We Made the News!

WFLI News recently did a TV spot—about Counter Column! They sat down with Gilbert and Matthew and interviewed them about the experience of creating this feature film.

Gilbert and Matthew had a chance to share about the importance of their faith and why they wanted to create Counter Column in the first place, as well as tell a little bit of the incredible story behind its production.

The video features behind-the-scenes shots of production along with the dialogue to give viewers a full and colorful picture of this incredible experience.

Click the link below to watch the news story:


Click to watch WFLI’s story!

Praising God

When 20-some young people plus Gilbert crowded into that industrial-style Airbnb in San Antonio last June for our very first production meeting, we had no idea the challenges, changes, and miracles that lay ahead of us.

In fact, when those same people plus a few more all dropped to our knees in the Purdue Armory that muggy August night after wrapping the last scene to thank God for what He did, we were in a place we never imagined we would be. God had done a counter column in us.

And He is still working. Now He has given us yet another avenue to share this incredible story—His story—with everyone we can.

Are you with us? Share this link with your friends and family and anyone else you can.

Each one of us has a unique sphere of influence only we can reach. Each one of us has the power to impact people in a way no one else can. And each one of us has been touched by God’s loving salvation in a way we can’t keep to ourselves.

Help us spread the word on what God is doing by pushing this story to every edge of your sphere.

Join us as we give Him the glory, great things He has done.
 


Click to watch WFLI’s story!
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About the Author
Grace is a freelance writer and editor for hire living in Indiana. She crafts weekly writing newsletters for her blog/service Writing Life and is the script supervisor and newsletter-writer for Counter Column.

Will Jackson Photography ~ [email protected]

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