Author Joe Barfield was at a friend’s house talking about his book Live For Today, and the script—a screenplay. It just so happened several teenagers were present and wanted to read it. “Next thing I know, these kids scheduled meetings with their teachers and principals because they want to make it into a movie,” says Barfield.
Professionals told him it was impossible. “Such a feat can’t be accomplished,” they warned. “Wait until they are ready. Teenagers simply can’t make a movie.”
They were wrong. Barfield believed in the students and their dream, as did Kristin McKenzie of Faith West. After all, students today are computer savvy and extremely IT literate. “We put an ad in The Katy Times for auditions and movie making. 80 local teens showed up from public and private schools,” says Barfield. K-T Films and Vague Studios filmed the movie with one camera—a Cannon 7D that cost a little more than $2,000.
Ricardo Casco, a local 17-year-old student who is now a senior, filmed the entire project. Jacob Berardi, a 22-years-old college grad, did the editing and created the trailer. He’s been making films with friends since he was young, went to school for filmmaking, and wanted to work on a small independent film with a truly great story behind it. “Amazingly, they used simple home computers,” said Barfield. Yet anyone who watched the trailer will be amazed. It looks like a studio film with excellent acting. The commitment of the students shines through.
“Live For Today has finished filming, but there is still work to be done. The time-intensive job of editing sound and film must be tackled before a feature length faith-based film can debut at independent film festivals. Yet thanks to high school students from Katy and the tremendous help from Faith West Academy, The Apostolic Revival Center and Cypress Christian High School, the film will be released. A huge push for funding is underway, as the cast and crew ask the community to spread the word.
Cast of Characters
Genre: Faith based film
Studio: K-T Films in association with Digital Ricky
Plot outline: A broken promise takes a seventeen year-old boy down a suicidal path of self-destruction. Will the persistence of a coach and the love of a girl be enough to save him?
Starring: Denver Danyla, Kristin McKenzie, Lexi Midmay, Miguel Mora, and Brian Matthew Carr
Directors: Del Flores and Travis Ammons
Screenplay by: Joe Barfield
Produced by: Darrell Supercinski, Lucia Barfield, Carla Earhart, Brian Carr, and Eric Foty
Live For Today addresses the very real issues of bullying and suicide, embedded with a positive theme of hope and faith. Both the novel and the movie share a teen coming of age story: an overwhelming family tragedy forces a young teen to face his demons and thoughts of suicide. The bully is flawed, human, but also has feelings like anyone else.
“We see this so many times in society today,” says Barfield, who gives voice to subject matter that can literally change hearts.
“I actually know that the story made one student rethink suicide,” says Barfield. “Did it save him? I don’t know, but he is still working hard. One student admitted himself into rehab for drug use. Did the movie help him? Maybe. Did it help someone we don’t even know about?”
This is a story about losing faith and regaining it, a story about love and hope, for without faith there is no hope, and without hope there is no tomorrow. “With faith anything is possible”— Kristin McKenzie came up with the line.
A Faith-Based Alternative
Barfield hopes the student movie makers and actors will be invited to address their congregations about this unusual and important Christian project, and also show the trailer they have filmed and edited.
“I believe the local churches and this project are a natural mix,” says Barfield. “Many preach the evils of Hollywood and the movies being produced. How great it would be to see them stand behind our faith-based movie that follows along the lines of Facing the Giant?”
Barfield speaks of the irony we see in society. “There is one strange thing I would like to mention. It seems that for weeks the number “One” bestseller on the New York Times Bestseller List is filled with pornography and erotica,” observes Barfield. “Wouldn’t it be nice if word got out and our local churches turned this faith-based novel into a number one bestseller? Certainly, it would prove that people actually read other things.”
Be a Part of the Movement
The ebook can be downloaded from Smashwords to all e-Reader formats, and even to home computers, at a fraction of the cost of a printed book. Visit www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/238121/1/live-for-today to purchase a copy. $2 of every sale goes toward funding the movie. Thanks to Richard Deupree, Live For Today is also available in print locally at Katy Budget Books.
Contact Joe Barfield at firstname.lastname@example.org for ways to get involved and support the film. “We are in need of funding to finish our project,” says Barfield. Katy Christian Magazine endorses this film and encourages readers to rally.
A heartfelt statement from the cast sums it up perfectly: “Experience to make the film is limited, but where there is desire and dedication, anything is possible. All of us are determined to turn this story into a full-length film for people of all ages. This is for all teenagers following their dreams.” Visit the Facebook page and become a fan: www.facebook.com/pages/Live-For-Today/182364011823789.