THE LAST LAP!

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BIG ROUND TOP – WHERE THE STORY OF SUMMER RAY BEGAN

Though I am not a runner now, I used to run races in school. Lap after lap, I remember the agonizing pain of having to press my overtaxed body harder; then harder some more. As sweat soaked my clothes, I had one goal in mind and that was to cross the finish line. I would notice other runners quit due to exhaustion, while others would fall but get back up. I hated running races. I hated running period and it is precisely why I don’t do it now. But it taught me one of life’s greatest lessons. No matter what, go for the finish line  and don’t stop until you cross it.

I have seen the pitfalls of being a screenwriter and how so many talented artists gave up their crafts due to what they thought was failure. Rejection, if it is accepted in the right manner can be the catalyst that sparks the necessary change to produce something outstanding. Obstacles are simply road blocks. But they can be overcome. When you are driving home and there is a tree blocking the road, or a sign that says, “Detour,” do you just give up and never get to your desired destination? Or do you take the extra time to get where you need to be? Sometimes, you have to wait for help for the road to be cleared of any debris. For instance, I sent my screenplay for analysis. Both times, I was given excellent advice on how to fix the problem areas. I could have gotten all bent out of shape when I was given a 7 page synopsis of the errors. But, I didn’t. I was thrilled instead. Why? Because I knew I was getting professional advice from people who knew what I did not. It paved the way for further rewrites to what I now believe, is an excellent and compelling script.

Although I must admit, the detours at times were excruciating. I could give you example after example of how I was broken down by problems, difficulties, hindrances and people who tried to sabotage my efforts. But by the grace of God and with the help of those who truly believed in this project, I continued to run the race. They were and still are my cheerleaders and supporters on the sidelines. Filmmaking is a collaboration of many people with specific purposes and talents. So it is at this final lap of “Pre-Production,” as we cross into the finish line of “Production,” I am giving it all I’ve got. Just when I thought I could not take one more step, I am empowering myself as I take that last corner to the finish line. I see it in sight. I race toward it and I run and I run and I run.  I don’t think of the past and all we have had to endure. I only see the finish line and it’s glorious accomplishment and how excited we all will be the first time we hear, “Action.” It is time we cross it and “roll camera.”

So, to the many people along the way who have helped us, who are helping and who will in in the future, I am indeed forever grateful for you. I know I could not have made it this far without you, or where we will be in the future at our first Premiere! God is good. From the first edits of “This Fair and Blighted Land” when my friend Jessica sat up for 24 hours writing on hundreds of note cards, to Renee who edited the story on paper to perfection as it is today; to Summer Ray’s biggest fan Carol, who gave me the thought that if a woman like her loves this story so much then maybe it really is a good story; to her becoming a supporting role Kat as well as a wonderful friend; to Carole Dean, our Fiscal Sponsor who believed in me so much she let me take her class for free; to Jason with all of the ups and downs added the bits and pieces needed to make the story stronger and more exciting; to Justin, my A.C. my awesome Figure Skating Coach; to all of our cast members who stuck it out through thick and thin; to Bill and Lori who offered their beautiful mansion to film at as well as their friendships and support; to my landlords, who are also like sisters and worked endless hours created amazing storyboards without pay (soon to be); to my Board Members Carol, Louna and Diana and my secretary Nedja – my rocks in the wind; to my family who I love with every ounce of my being and the reason I am so incredibly blessed; but most of all to my God. He is the reason I ran this race in the first place. His heart is in this. His love is ever reaching for the lost to find Him. If you are already found by Him, you will want your loved ones and others to see these films as you yourself will see that God is in them. You will see truth of real life Christian vs demonic struggles and possibly relate to them and witness firsthand the overcoming power of the Christian faith in action.

We want to Light the World. But we must start in our own backyards first. History in America is in danger of being erased. Throughout some parts of the county, it is already being defaced. Though our story’s genres are historical/fiction and suspense/thriller, we are doing our part to preserve the truth of history for future generations. Why is this so important? So as not to repeat it. But also to show future generations where we came from and how far we have traveled since.  After witnessing the brutally of the Battle of Gettysburg, Tillie Pierce once wrote:

May the heart of this fair land be forever inclined unto wisdom, so that we may never fall into the folly of another war and be compelled to pay the fearful penalty that is sure to follow.”

It is my prayer that the book and film series of Summer Ray, will be like stars shining brightly in the midst of a dark and treacherous world. This is why I could never give up. I pray we as a nation will be forever inclined to wisdom and turn back to the God who loves it!

 

Juliana

 

 


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