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In case you’re new to this site, scroll down to see all our “behind the scenes” video blogs. You’ll get to see an inside look at how “What If…” was made from every day on the sit to several days in editing and post production. Enjoy!
After a very strong third weekend and a great Labor Day, What If… launches into its fourth weekend in theaters. We’re doing especially well in San Antonio, Phoenix, and of course Ludington, MI, near where we shot the film. As always, check the theaters link on http://whatif-movie.com for info on where it’s playing. Also, if you like the movie, please post comments on your facebook and twitter pages, as well as sites like fandango, imdb.com, etc.. Remember, the theaters only keep movies playing that are selling tickets, so we can’t let up.
And if you want the movie to play in your area, contact “join our team” and we’ll tell you how you can help.
After two weekends, we’re holding pretty strong and will continue to expand theaters. We’ve done great in a few markets (Arizona, Peoria IL, Appleton WI, San Antonio, and a few theaters in FL especially), not so great in others, but very good in most. Considering we’re doing no advertising, it’s not too shabby. Please continue to check out http://whatif-movie.com for the list of theaters and how you can bring it to your area if it’s not already.
If you’re going to be in Grand Rapids August 10th, and you want to catch the premiere with the stars of the film, check out: http://fb.me/zYCB9rCS
Check out this great review, interview, and info on What If…. Really cool stuff:
Disney Channel star Debby Ryan (“Suite Life on Deck”) plays the part of 14 year old Kimberly in “What If…” Check out this interview where she discusses her career and her role in our film.
Director Dallas Jenkins discusses faith-based films for a festival in Pittsburgh, where “What If…” recently screened to a great response.
And this week on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends,” Dallas was able to briefly discuss the increasing popularity of faith-based films:
Check out the cover story here in this month’s Susie Magazine on Debby Ryan, one of our stars, as she talks about acting, being a Christian in Hollywood, and her experience working on “What If….”
Last weekend we showed a rough cut of the film at a film festival in Charlotte. It was tough because the film hadn’t been sound or color corrected, and we were showing it on a DVD burned off the computer, but the screening went very well. Afterward we handed out a questionnaire and asked the audience to answer a series of questions.
The two key questions are “How would you rate the film” and “Would you recommend it?” The answers you’re hoping for are “excellent” or “very good” for film rating, and “definitely recommend.” The average score for Hollywood films for these questions is about 50-55%, a good score is considered 65%. We scored 84% for those two questions, which is terrific.
We also asked for their favorite and least favorite aspects of the film. These answers were all over the map, with only a few repeated answers, but there was a somewhat surprising answer for “favorite thing.” The character/actor who got mentioned the most was the little girl in the family, 6 year old Megan, played by newcomer Taylor Groothuis. All of our actors got mentioned a few times, and none of them were mentioned in response to the question of negatives, but Taylor got mentioned the most often, which is really cool. This actress is on her way to a big career, so maybe What If… will be famous for being “Taylor Groothuis’s first film.”
The only negative mentioned a few times was that the film was a little long, which isn’t surprising because one, we could still tighten it a bit, and two, there was little to no music in the film and the sound and picture were unfinished and rough.
Over 80% said that even non-Christians would enjoy the film, which is great because this film will be labeled as a “Christian” film, but we always want the film to appeal to everyone.
We also asked if people would purchase a ticket in theaters or purchase the DVD, or whether they would just rent it. At least 85% said “purchase,” a chunk said “rent,” and only two out of 115 respondents said they wouldn’t see it again. Pretty strong numbers, so we’re very excited.
I sat in the audience and wrote down every line that got a big laugh and made notes of all the lines that I thought would get laughs but didn’t. In those cases, I either cut the moment out of the film or do what I can to spice it up in editing. There are also moments that feel long or unnecessary when you’re watching with an audience, so it’s always good to test the film at least once with an audience to see the difference between how a film plays in a room and how it plays on a computer monitor with your editor.
I’m leaving for New York in a couple days, where I’ll spend a day with my editor to make all the final adjustments. Then we’ll “lock picture,” which is when we decide not to make any more changes, and we can concentrate on sound and music. Our composer Jeehun Hwang will spend the month of November writing and performing the score, and we’ll put all the sound elements together in December.
Director Dallas Jenkins has just created his twitter account for the purpose of keeping information updated on “What If…,” among other projects. You can follow it at http://www.twitter.com/dallasjenkins. He will be posting exclusive pictures there that won’t be posted here, so check it out.
Filming is complete on “What If…” and the editing process has begun. Editor Frank Reynolds (In the Bedroom, Midnight Clear) is assembling all the footage in New York and emailing scenes to the Pure Flix offices in Los Angeles, where director Dallas Jenkins and producer Michael Scott take a look at them to make sure nothing important is missing. Eventually, Frank will send the entire assembled film.
The first assembly is rarely pretty; sound hasn’t been corrected, there’s no music, and the footage is still raw. Plus, the editor’s job is to show as much footage as possible and not tighten or cut anything, so the movie always plays too long initially. Dallas will give notes after the assembly, Frank will do another pass, and then Frank will fly to L.A. for a couple of weeks to work with Dallas to complete the film before the composer is brought in. Pure Flix and Jenkins Entertainment will communicate and work together to make sure the film is what they both want and will appeal to the widest audience possible.
Stay tuned for weekly updates, pictures, and more video blogs as the film heads towards its early 2010 release!