Magic of Christmas to be captured on film by Wake Forest church.
By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — Every year, Living Word Family Church holds a Christmas production. This year, they’re going above and beyond.
They’re filming a Christmas movie.
“Typically we do a very large stage production at Christmas. This year we’re combining a very large stage department and our video department to make a faith-based Christmas film,” said Pastor Micah Caronna, the film’s producer. “The concept was to really show the community as well as our congregation what Christmas is about.
It’s really about forgiveness and redemption.”
Titled Another Chance, the film features four main cast members (and many extras) following the story of a sleazy small-town mayor. The politician has his world turned upside down when he meets two teens trying to overcome their own mistakes who bring him face-to-face with his sordid past.
For the past four weeks they have filmed only on weekends to accommodate their all-volunteer cast and crew. The crew consists of about 30 people and there are some 75 extras.
They’ll continue filming on weekends for the next six weeks, allowing enough time to edit the footage and make it into an hourlong movie.
Though it’s being filmed locally to achieve the small-town feel, it’s not set in Wake Forest.
But movie viewers will recognize many of the film locations, including scenes from E. Carroll Joyner Park in Wake Forest, Triple-R Ranch in Franklinton, Raleigh Christian Academy, the Wake Forest town hall and Wake Forest Coffee Company event room, for example.
It’s directed by Wake Forest resident Paulo Simoes, a former general manager for Sony Pictures’ Rome division.
“He’s a very hands-on, roll-up-his-sleeves-and-get-it-done (person),” Caronna said, crediting support from both Simoes and his wife, Vanessa.
Primary characters are Peter Martin (the politician), played by Jon Hoffman of Wake Forest, 16-year-old Ailyn Andino as Maria Vega, Wesley Elder as Joey Diaz and area resident Jesse Janowsky as Pastor David. Janowsky has acted before, including in episodes of the TV show Dawson’s Creek.
None of the actors, director or screenwriter Rose Heinrich is paid. The entire film is being made on a shoestring budget and much has been donated, including food for the cast and crew, as well as locations rent-free.
The only venue that they’re paying for is Wake Forest town hall for a press conference scene to be filmed this weekend.
“The [cast] are all volunteering. They just love the project and love what we’re trying to do,” said Caronna.
Some post-production editing will be performed at Living Arts College in Wakefield, where one crew member is attending school.
“They’ve been very gracious for that,” Caronna said, adding, “We’re excited about it.”
The movie premieres in three showings Dec. 22 at Living Word Family Church on Star Road. The community will be invited to the shows.