In our previous journal we shared the love story that inspired the family Christmas comedy movie, “The Farmer and The Belle.” Now we take you behind the scenes of the executive producer and head writer to give you insight into how the film started to form.
The Farmer and The Belle
Behind the Scenes: Sculpting the Script [Journal Entry No. 2]
Ginger Beggs, Editor
It’s a crucial process when choosing your executive producer and head writer for your film, and for “The Farmer and The Belle” it’s no different. We were blessed with a phenomenal executive producer and head writer.
Producers Jim E. Chandler and Jenn Gotzon Chandler needed to be truly careful in choosing their executive producer. They chose award-winning producer, Joel Bunkowske. Joel is a Grammy and Dove award winner who works in Christian film as well as the music industry. He has an extensive resume of working with Academy Award nominated actors and Grammy and Dove winning recording artists. As an attorney, he practices law in film and music business affairs as well as film production, global distribution, contracts and even University teaching.
Joel has been featured on Good Morning America, Inside Edition, Fox & Friends, Time.com, New York Times.com, USA Today.com, ABC News.com, Huffington Post.com, Cosmopolitan.com, Glamour.com and many more. Joel has worked extensively in film, music and television with a focus in finance, distribution, consulting, producing, executive producing, directing and the contracts for hundreds of projects worldwide, including with Warner, Universal, Disney, ABC, NBC, FOX, Capitol Records, EMI, and Word Records.
Extensive experience as a CEO has honed Joel’s strong leadership skills. His background in business along with his substantive legal and business knowledge makes Joel an expert in law, business and leadership. On many occasions, since Isaac Hernandez introduced us to making the family Christmas comedy movie “The Farmer and The Belle”, it’s as if the Lord uses Joel as a love note to those he is in fellowship with.
Joel came to the filming of Jim and Jenn’s wedding at New Dawn Farms in Chickamauga, Georgia, on March 17, 2017. He was especially supportive to them during their season of marriage engagement and as newly married couple. He fully appreciated Jim and Jenn’s personalities, strengths and weakness, showing them that they were paired beautifully by God to do His Kingdom work.
Jim is logistical “big picture”-oriented and Jenn is more emotion/high-concept driven. Joel has given the couple the needed strategy to unify their gifts properly. Joel is not simply a business partner to “The Farmer and The Belle” team, but a mentor, friend and Godly brother in Christ.
Next, came the challenge of finding just the right head writer for the script. There was many challenges, including integrating over a dozen writers’ input into one cohesive script. Producer Joel Bunkowske crafted the approach of bringing multiple harmonious writing voices into one. This action of “mining the gold” from a crew of writers became a theme.
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Reuben Evans was selected to become the head writer for the script. Reuben is a gift from God who came on in the late hour of putting the script together. The Chandlers met Reuben at the International Film festival a few months prior to the project. Reuben took the job and knocked it out of the park. God worked the paths of everyone, including Reuben, together beautifully and brilliantly.
Reuben began writing mode and implemented the project’s walls and structure of the screenplay. It was then that the team invited various contributing writers to collaborate together, similar to the “writers room” found in the television business. The idea was to capture the innermost creativity from each person then weave the ideas into the script with great care. Then, it was onto the next round where writer James M. DeVince shined with comedic, Christmas coloring to the page. Reuben was the architect, James was the decorator to craft the screenplay already in motion by writer Billy Falcon and Leo Partible.
To describe this process more in depth, there were two existing scripts already in place so we unified those scripts and worked-in a great amount of new material. The two scripts showed different takes on the story, but the producers wanted to deliver an unforgettable family Christmas comedy movie, so they unified the scripts and invited the collaborating writers to add character depth, scene changes, and even rewrite dialogue, to put an incredible amount of creativity into one film script.
The entire team coordinated the script ideas and changes through Reuben Evans’ founded “Faithlife” program. This made it possible to gather the ideas from truly gifted and dedicated writers from across the globe. They read the new draft and brought their own inspired insights to it. Then it was all brought together and co-writer James M. DeVince decorated “The Farmer and The Belle” with even more humor and an eye for detail.
More to come in future journals, but this is how the beautiful tapestry of a true love story was woven into a script bursting at the seams with the creativity of many writers.
Christmas Comedy Movie Producers Share Film’s Progress in Exclusive Journal
In the coming weeks, we’ll share with you the in-depth filming and production of Jim and Jenn’s real wedding as part of the film and much more. From equipment crew to how to cast the colorful characters that help bring the joy to this holiday film!
The producers wish to give you an early Christmas gift!
Go to www.tinyurl.com/ChristmasComedyMovie, and they will send you a promo code when the movie releases!
Follow the family Christmas comedy movie “The Farmer and The Belle” on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheFarmerandTheBelle.ChristmasComedyMovie and get updates on the website at www.ChristmasComedyMovie.com.
Be sure to share the ongoing journal posts and hashtag: #TheFarmerandTheBelle #ChristmasComedyMovie #RealLove.
Content and editing by Ginger Beggs.