The Making of “Found”

This video was particularly fun to work on. Thanks to my partner-in-crime, Jacob, we set out one night to make a “cool video”. I had been feeling down about not having the opportunity to make videos that were rich and impactful- the kind of videos that attempt to reveal something deeper than “buy this”, “look how cool this is”, or “you should like this”. Generally, that’s the motive behind most videos. No, the kind I like to make are the ones that no one will pay me for. In essence, they are the ones about human nature. Even more, they are the ones that reveal our connection to our Father and how that guides our every move and desires.


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So one night, Jake comes to me and says “I have a date planned for us”. I was curious to see what he had in mind. It ended up being the absolute, most wonderful, perfect date. He said, “We’re going to get up before the sun comes up and film a video in the woods”. Did I say perfect? Yes, I did. It was exactly what I wanted, and also what I needed. It’s curious how God works sometimes. Because no more than an hour later, a HUGE thunderstorm came. Production value. We grabbed my gear and started prepping to catch this amazing storm. The next morning, we got up at around 5:00 am to get some early dawn shots over at Possum Creek near Chattanooga, TN. We were familiar with the area and knew it would make for a great place for our shoot.


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So the idea of the video was to create something centered around the theme of Romans 8, particularly verses 18-25. We had been focused on this passage at our local church and felt like it would make a great framework for a story. We played around with a “lost & found” theme, too. I tend to think that I’m closest to God when I’m with loved ones and nature. Therefore, we have Jacob, Shadow (his German Shepherd-wolf hybrid), and the woods. So, Shadow has run away in our story, and Jake is on the mission to find her despite the unforgiving weather and terrain. Much like when we seek God in unrelenting times, we also tend to believe more in what our eyes can see and our hands can do. To have faith, hope and belief in something that is unseen is something entirely different. It’s scary, it’s unpredictable and out of our control.


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Just like Jake searches for Shadow in the darkness, we too are called to seek God in the darkness. And we are told that if we seek God with all of our heart, we will find Him.

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?”

-Romans 8:24

This video was shot on a Canon 5D Mark II with a 50mm Sigma lens. A lot of the moving shots are just me and the camera with no support. The coloring is practically untouched. Every lens flare is 100% natural. Music licensed through The Music Bed.

I find it interesting that such an organic process on such an organic story could turn out so good with such little effort.


So happy today because FIGHTER received the “Audience Favorite” award at the MTSU Student Film Festival this past Friday. It’s always a wonderful opportunity when you can present your work before students and faculty. There’s something about being around those who are from the same community that makes you feel like family. At other festivals, you may not know everyone there and the story behind what it took to make each film. So, needless to say, it felt very good to win an award at this one.

Also…… FIGHTER has been accepted into the Festival South Film Expo in Hattiesburg, MS at the Grand Theater! The girls and I couldn’t be happier! This good news is such a blessing! Stay tuned for more info about FIGHTER’s journey.

2015 – 54 Film Festival Middle TN

This past Saturday, the Regal Hollywood 27 Theatre was filled with many talented filmmakers who competed in this years 54 Film Festival. Premieres like this are always so special to me because it puts what I do into perspective. Sometimes when you work on projects and you are isolated in dark rooms, you tend to feel like you’re the only crazy person out there. But when you get a chance to network and gather with those who “get it”, it inspires you to continue going at it! It inspires you to keep making beautiful things.

We had some wonderful accomplishments: Best Score (Austin Fray); Best Actor (Cory Holland); Best Actress (Marissa Grinestaff); and Best Use of Line.

We also were Runner-Up for: Best Directing, Best Writing, Best Make-Up, Best Editing, Best Film, and Judge’s Choice.

Overall, I was pleased with our final product in “Through Thick and Thin”. We as a team grew so much from last year’s film, “Apart”. We were able to tell a clear and defined story of one of the hardest questions in life. More than the product of a great film, my favorite part of this whole experience is the feeling of accomplishment. Not only did each of us work together to make something great, we had a great time doing it! I am incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful and uplifting people. I couldn’t be more proud.

Now…… check it out!

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“Through Thick and Thin” Teaser is here.

This year’s Murfreesboro 54 Film Festival went extremely well! The Back Road Films team chose the genre “historical fiction/ period piece”. Along with that, our prop was a ‘bottle’, our action was ‘biting’ and our line of dialogue was “You promised.” Quite an order to fill for only 54 hours of production time!

This year didn’t fail to be anything but a ton of fun! Our team works so well together that I couldn’t imagine doing these timed competitions with anyone else. We had a long night of writing Friday night and ended up completely re-writing our story at 6 AM on Saturday morning! We started shooting around noon on Saturday- a much later start time than initially expected. However, we were able to wrap shooting at 5 PM. Whattttt?

Easy? No. But those quick 5 hours were filled with a lot of professionalism and talent. We all went into it as a unit and pulled off what we needed to do. Then, it was passed off to editing! I spent just around 2.5 hours before I retired for a 12 hour nap! Ha! On Sunday, we had Risha and Scott on audio making it sound gooooood. And we had Austin at another location making that incredible music that you’ll get a glimpse of below.

Our Crew this year was (drum roll)……

Kelly Rozell – Director | Writer | Editor

Alex Hochstetler- Producer | Writer

Jeffrey Brant- Assistant Director | Writer

Jordan Powell- Director of Photography

Risha Chesterfield- Audio | Dialogue |Mixing

Scott Gregory- Audio | Mixing

Austin Fray- Music Composition

Spencer Holloway- Lighting | Assistant Camera | Gaffer | Writer

Derek Beistad- Behind the Scenes

Amber Powell- Behind the Scenes

And our starring roles: Cory Holland & Marissa Grinestaff

Here are some behind the scenes stills of the weekend:

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And here is a 54 second teaser trailer of “Through Thick and Thin” to whet your taste buds until the premiere March 21, 2015 at the Regal Hollywood 27 Theatre in Nashville, TN. The Murfreesboro screenings start at 2:45 PM. Award Ceremony is at 5 PM.



Our film “FIGHTER” will also be showing at the 54 Film Festival on the same day, showing at 12 PM. So go and check it out too!