Introduce yourself and the role you played in Accidental Missionary.
My name is Chip Rossetti and I am the Writer/Director and Producer of “The Accidental Missionary”.
What is your filmmaking background?
I started making documentaries in 2000, and made my first feature film, “Fathers” in 2011 and it was released in May of 2012.
Tell us briefly about your past films.
“Fathers” was released in May of 2012 by Bridgestone Multimedia Group. It was my first feature film. The success of “Fathers” earned me the opportunity to make “The Accidental Missionary” which is slated for release by Echolight Studios this year. I also just finished production on my third feature, “The Things We Leave Behind”. It will be released this summer by Bridgestone Multimedia Group.
How did the idea of Accidental Missionary come into being?
I really wanted to do something a little different. The idea for a Romantic Comendy sounded good, so I started thinking about it. My wife and I have always been fascinated by missionaries and their commitment to spreading the Gospel. In fact, we had been trying to get ourselves on a trip somewhere. We even pitched it as a documentary series of films, to go on the trips and film the various stories. We couldn’t get anyone to bite on that project, so I came up with the idea to do a feature about missionaries.
Where did you film? How did you create your unique setting?
We shot for two days outside of St. Louis, but the majority of the shoot was in Evansville Indiana. There is a huge church on the north side of town and they have this great property with a lake and woods. We talked to the church about shooting there and they loved the idea. We bought a bunch of material at the hardware store, and after looking at lots of books and pictures of Africa, we built our own piece of Africa right here in Southern Indiana.
How did you assemble your actors/crew?
We did some invitation only auditions for most of the roles, but we were looking outside our area. We found Jilanne Klaus out of St. Louis through a mutual friend and we found “Big” Ed Caylor through another friend. Markus Porter and Seth Adair were actors that I met in the Evansville area. Dei”Marlon Scisney came to us through an audition and Jason London made his special appearance, courtesy of a mutual friend.
How long did you spend filming?
We shot for a total of 17 days, over a 20 day span.
Describe a typical day of filming.
I was typically on set for about 16-18 hours a day. It was hot and sticky, shooting in August. We had to deal with bugs, snakes, beavers, huge ants and several other obstacles along the way.
What is your favorite scene in the movie?
My favorite scene has to be the snakebite scene. We shot that late in the day, deep in the woods. Everyone was tired and we were losing our light. Markus and Seth did an amazing job getting through a very tough and uncomfortable scene on a long and hot day.
What was the most difficult aspect of filming or producing the movie?
I would have to say being both the director AND the producer. I would typically get to the set around 6 in the morning and I wouldn’t make it home until around 2am the next morning. Then I would have to do about 2 hours of producer stuff to get ready for the nex day. That left about an hour to get some sleep before it would all start again.
What is your goal for Accidental Missionary?
To make people laugh and to make people think. I think that it is a great story of the kind of transistion that a person can go through once they open their hearts to the Lord. I think that this movie can touch a lot of people for Christ.
Do you have any new projects in the works? If so, can you share?
Like I mentioned earlier, we wrapped production on my next feature, “The Things We Leave Behind”. We are debating a name change to the movie, but it is slated for release in the summer of 2013. We also have several other feature projects in the works, and I just finished a funny short called “The Online Breakup” that we will be submitting to film festivals and also selling on DVD.
How can people learn more about Accidental Missionary?
They can check out the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AccidentalMissionaryMovie.
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