By Steve Jalsevac
See Part I at https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/feb/07020507.html
LifeSiteNews: It sounds like what you are doing is similar to that of the producers of Bella.
Jonathon: That is actually how we became connected with them because Steve McEveety, who is one of the producers of Bella, got on board and was strongly supportive of our movie as well. So now we are really happy that there is another movie coming out. It is interesting how some people have already asked us if it has gotten competitive between us and Bella and we have said that that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Deborah: Now there are two finally in Hollywood – it’s about time. We need as many people as possible there who use this powerful tool and who just have a slightly different message. We need to help one another and we need to encourage new film-makers.
We are currently working on our next project that will have elements of a culture of life message – that will not be overtly pro-life because we want to reach the secular world but they will be hearing truth.
LifeSiteNews: Can you tell us about your background?
Deborah: I am an actress and I have been a professional actress for many years in Hollywood and I have done a lot of theater and independent films, etc… But very quickly there came a point in time where I realized that I did not care so much about working as I did about the message of the film. What I see as amazing and wonderful is how God brought Jonathon and me together, not just in our marriage, but also as partners because he was a writer/director.
My background also is in developing scripts and stories, so we worked on that and I continued to act, but my number one most important roll is being the mom to two beautiful children. I get to work a few times a year, work on our projects together in the evening, and spend the rest of the time with our children, which is my biggest calling.
Jonathon: And I married up because as I said, she is former Miss Colorado, second runner-up Miss America.
What is very important to us is we shot on 35 mm film and it had to be done with excellence because nobody is going to hear the message if its not. You are going to get that “pretty good for a Church project”. If we are not competing with the top movies that are being made then why are we even in the game?
Deborah: And unfortunately, we have been a little bit behind the curve, that is, people with a conservative value method, as a group, when it comes to the quality of film-making. We always stress we have been film-makers in Hollywood – Jonathon works for a major studio – we’ve been doing that for a long time and God has put us there for a reason and as many times as we have wanted to get out – he has said, “No, you have been developing these skills so that you can put the message behind a professional level project.” So, our goal is to make many films that approach different culture of life issues.
LifeSiteNews: Can you tell us anything about your next project?
Deborah: Well, simply that it’s in the development stages and it has several different stories woven together that deal with the question, “what is the value of life – how do we value life in this culture?” It is going to be done in a way that people are going to first say “oh, this is a compelling story” and then suddenly they are going to see the thread of what we are saying, which is our culture from every side – whether it’s a woman valued for her appearance, or someone valued for how much money they make or a life that isn’t valued if its fragile, and weak and unprotected. It is going to come from many different angles.
LifeSiteNews: Is this going to be a similar budget to A Distant Thunder?
Deborah: No, this will be a full length feature.
Jonathon: This will be much more and we have other people that are interested in helping us.
LifeSiteNews: Based on what you have already done?
Jonathon: Yes, it has helped. It brought us into the company of other people that might have known what we were doing. I don’t know any multi-millionaires but we are finding a lot of people that are conservative and are looking for places to put their money – but to do it in a way that they are going to have a greater impact.
LifeSiteNews: Do you have any cast in mind?
Jonathon: We have one (referring to Deborah)! With the script itself, we are after the best talent that we can get for the movies, because we want the project to also be speaking to them as well. Even like our current movie, not all of them were pro-life people – very few – and once they were reading the script they were saying, “This doesn’t really happen” or, “Is this true”. That discussion is starting now and so, in the process, we know it is going to have the same impact when it comes out there as a feature project.
Deborah: And you change one heart and mind at a time – even if it’s the people you are working with.
See the LifeSiteNews review of the movie
See the website for A Distant Thunder