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.