Happy Easter!! We pray that you’re enjoying Spring so far. Our family just returned from a month-long trip to Franklin, Tennessee where we got to watch God work in amazing ways. While we were there, we were able to finish the interview process for Schoolhouse Rocked and had the privilege of interviewing Heidi St. John, Carol Swain, Ginger Hubbard, Israel Wayne, Rachael Carman, Mary Jo Tate, Leslie Nunnery, and several others. We also did several Facebook Live interviews which you can see on the Schoolhouse Rocked Facebook page (we’d love for you to follow us there if you haven’t already).
Most of our filming took place at the Teach Them Diligently homeschool convention held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, where we were blessed to witness thousands of families eager to gain wisdom and training on how to reach the hearts of their children through homeschooling. We’ve attended many homeschool conventions over the past 8 years and this was definitely one of our favorites.
We were also incredibly to be able to attend the Christian Worldview Filmmakers Guild and Film Festival where we received excellent Biblical teaching from the Kendrick Brothers, as well as several other experts in the Christian filmmaking industry. Our girls were so excited to meet Mike Nawrocki, the voice of Larry the Cucumber from VeggieTales. He was incredibly nice and didn’t hesitate to speak in his Larry voice! If you are interested in participating in any aspect of the Christian film industry, this event is a MUST!
I’d love to share with you just a few ways in which we saw the mighty hand of God move on our behalf…
While we were planning for our trip to Tennessee, we knew we needed to be there for a little over four weeks, but we didn’t have a place to stay and renting an Airbnb or hotel for that length of time was out of the question. So we prayed…and God answered! An incredibly sweet and hospitable family offered for us to stay in their two-bedroom apartment that they have built into a building on their 4-acre farm. So, for a month, we city folk got to live on a farm. It was a BLAST! We cannot thank the White family enough for their generosity. And, more importantly, God developed a beautiful friendship between our families!
Prior to going, we still had several important interviews that we really needed to capture in order to complete the filming portion of the documentary. So we prayed…and God provided! We got them all, and then some. We are so blessed by the wisdom, experience, and transparency that these people provided. We are certain that many lives will be changed because of them.
There were still several people we needed to have join our team and work along side us in order to complete this movie with excellence and ensure a successful theatrical release. So we prayed…and God directed! (are you seeing a theme here?!?!) We met with several experts and companies specifically within the Christian film industry who we are very excited to be working with.
Whenever we return from being on the road and filming, we always come home with a huge list of things that need to be accomplished. This time was no different. We are working with a great deal of enthusiasm as we continue to take steps toward completing this important task that God has entrusted to us. At the top of our list now is to launch our crowdfunding campaign. Please pray with us as we work with our team to put this campaign together. We are anxious to see how God will work to provide.
We are so grateful for each one of you. Thank you for the continued encouragement, prayers, and support. We are still more than a year away from the release of the movie, but each day we move one step closer. Enjoy these few pictures that will give you a small glimpse into our time in Tennessee.
Soli Deo gloria.
Yvette Hampton, Host and Producer
Yes, we know it’s already the middle of February, but today is tax day in the Hampton household. That means that we have spent the past few days (very long days and late nights) pouring over our receipts and records for 2017. Preparing for our tax appointments is always a lot of work, but this year it gave us a great opportunity to reflect on what God has done in our lives over the past year. A receipt from the Billy Graham Library reminded us of the great friends we have made and the wonderful families who have hosted us in and around Charlotte. $25 in road tolls and a $20 parking receipt from Washington DC reminded us of the fun we had visiting our nation’s capital and the great friends we made in Virginia, and how VERY expensive it is to drive and park in DC! A ticket to the Andy Griffith Museum reminded us of the fun we have had interviewing and podcasting with Durenda Wilson, and the few days of much needed rest we were able to get at the Wilson Cottage in Mount Airy. There were dozens of these reminders. 2017 was a great year!
In the spirit of looking back we want to share some of the amazing things God has done, and is doing, with Schoolhouse Rocked. When we started production on this movie we knew that it would only be by His mighty hand that we would be able to finish it, and that would mean He would get all the glory! He has shown Himself worthy of that glory as he has led us through production, opened doors, and provided in miraculous ways.
While we started pre-production a few months earlier, our first official shoot day was September 17, 2016. At the time we didn’t even have a name for the movie, we didn’t have any interviews lined up, and we didn’t really know anyone in the homeschooling world, outside of our city. Still, we set up lights, cameras, and sound in the living room of our house in Lancaster, California and Yvette started talking about our family’s homeschool journey. That day we shot about an hour of video with Yvette and a great interview with our oldest daughter Brooklyn. If you have seen the first official trailer for Schoolhouse Rocked you have seen and heard some of what we shot that day.
Just a few months later, by the middle of December, we had filmed interviews in Washington, Oregon, and Southern California. We had filmed at the Masters University, a Classical Conversations community, and on the streets in Downtown Portland (these interviews were used in the short film, The Road to Portland and Behind the Scenes on The Road to Portland – our entry into the My RØDE Reel short film competition). These early interviews allowed us to get a teaser trailer put together, which helped us get the word out about Schoolhouse Rocked (which we now had a name for) and allowed us to line up a few more important interviews. So we packed our family into a travel trailer (having sold our house and everything in it) and headed out across this great county to film a movie. Looking back, that first 3 months is a blur, but God was working very quickly and doing mighty things.
We arrived in Georgia a week before Christmas and were blessed to be able to spend the holiday with family and enjoy a bit of down time before picking up production again the first week of January. Our shooting schedule has been pretty crazy ever since. Filming for Schoolhouse Rocked has taken place in 20 states. Not including Facebook live interviews, or b-roll, or the gigantic homeschool graduation we filmed we have interviewed 105 people – homeschool moms and dads, students, graduates, authors, speakers, publishers, educators, activists, and even strangers on the street! You can see a partial list of cast members here. Having been in on the action, I can tell you these interviews are excellent. You will be blessed by the wealth of wisdom and encouragement that these people have shared.
At the same time as all this shooting, God has been raising up a team to bring Schoolhouse Rocked to theaters and to provide homeschooling families with great resources and encouragement on our website and social media sites. We have a great communications team who have begun posting excellent articles on homeschooling. You can see their latest posts here In addition to making a great film to encourage and equip homeschooling families, we are committed to bringing you excellent resources and uplifting articles to help you in your journey. Make sure you are subscribed to our mailing list for exclusive content.
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We need your help! A film like Schoolhouse Rocked doesn’t get made without the support of the homeschooling community (and the power of the Almighty Creator of the universe). As you may have heard, recent changes in Facebook algorithms have made it much harder to get the word out. If you believe in this project and want to help, please do two things for us (and a third if you are feeling really generous). First, visit our Facebook page, click the “Like” and “Follow” buttons, and under the “Following” button, click “See First” (Ironically, you won’t actually see us first in your feed, but this will make sure you actually have some chance of seeing our Facebook posts). Second, share this post on Facebook. Third (but only if you’re feeling extra generous), please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support production on the film. We still have a long way to go before the film is fully funded, so every donation makes a difference.