COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – More and more movies are being shot in Georgia lately, including in the Columbus area. We got some insight on how that was still done during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic with John Graham, the director of a faith-based movie shot in the small community of Upatoi in July of 2020.
Graham – the latest guest on our “Run The Race” podcast, also wrote “The Greatest Inheritance” which has well-known stars including Mena Suvari and Jaleel White, known as Erkel from Family Matters. It just premiered in the last couple weeks.
Graham, an alum of the Savannah College of Art and Design, has directed or produced seven feature films, but he says doing this latest one during COVID was unique and challenging.
“My feeling was…we walked with the faith we could do it. We all did our part to be safe but we were blessed, not a single case (of COVID). We tested some people 3 times a week, sometimes 2 times a week depending on their position,” Graham said.
The award-winning filmmaker and founder of Mustard Seed Entertainment talked on the pod about the “leap of faith” to make a movie amidst coronavirus concerns and what they learned about safety for the future.
There are also stereotypes about faith-based movies. Graham talks about that, how to get audiences to watch, especially with more places to stream like Pureflix where his movie “Switched” – starring Denise Richards and John Schneider – was voted a fan favorite. He talks some too about working with bigger name actors and actresses.
We also asked Graham about the infamous moment at the Oscars, Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, which he said was extreme but indicative of the times.
His advice for future filmmakers that he helps: Go do it! He also gets some fitness in while shooting a movie.
In his writing and directing of movies. Graham talks on the podcast about how faith and the Bible influences his storytelling and making family friendly entertainment.
One of his next projects is a movie called “God of the River” about whitewater rafting and he says they may come back to Columbus for it.
To listen to any of the 104 episodes of our “Run The Race” podcast – focused on faith and fitness – go to www.wtvm.com/podcast/.
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