Roger Lindley has been involved in filmmaking for many years. He was cinematographer and editor for Meant to Be and just made his directorial debut with Taken By Grace, the new Pure Flix movie.
Give us a brief summary of the events that led to the writing of Taken By Grace.
In July, 2012, I was in Los Angeles to shoot a movie with producer, Bradley Dorsey; however, that project was not developed well enough to move forward with production. Bradley mentioned that we should try to find another film, but I did not believe that we could find anything in the short amount of time we had. That night in my hotel room, I prayed, “God, I came all this way, spent all this money, and I don’t want to waste it, so what do You want us to do?” Almost immediately, the idea for Taken By Grace came to mind. I phoned Bradley, and he liked it. The next day we hashed out the story and Bradley called Marshal Younger to see if he would be available to write the script. Marshal had a first draft in a week and a half, and we were shooting the movie in less than 30 days from the time the idea came to mind.
When writing the script did you write it specifically so that it could be shot in eight days?
We did not initially plan on an eight day shooting schedule during development. We only had so many days with expensive talent like Angus and Haylie, so the schedule was born out of economics more than anything else.
What was the greatest challenge with producing a movie in such a short period of time?
One of the greatest challenges of producing the film in such a short time was the script itself. Most scripts take months, if not years, to develop, and we had to get one in less than a month. We did not fully succeed, and the week before the shoot there were five versions of the script floating around which caused a lot of confusion. And even during production, we were still tweaking the script.
Tell us about a couple of the miracles that occurred during production.
Two miracles were getting Angus MacFadyen and Haylie Duff. We had other actors in mind for both roles; however, at the last minute they could not make the schedule work. Angus ended up being the best fit for the role of Lucas, and Haylie joined the show one day before we started shooting. She happened to be between projects which created perfect timing to bring her on. The greatest miracle is the act 3 climax. No one, including Marshal, was happy with the scene as it was written. The day we shot the scene, Angus, Haylie, Bradley, Danielle Hoetmer who played Patty Blackstone, and I worked out three beats that had to be hit during the scene, and the rest was improved. The scene turned out far better than anyone could have imagined.
What is your favorite scene in the movie?
My favorite scene in the movie is at the second convenience store when Lucas mocks Shawn and Carrie’s feeble attempts of marriage reconciliation. Out of the vehicle, Angus had full range to be Angus, and the scene is lively and revealing.
What has been the response to the movie so far?
Every review that I have read online of Taken By Grace tell me that we hit our mark with this film. I am very pleased that with such a low budget and small amount of time, we created a very strong film that is much different than most faith-based films out there. Its gritty and real-world, and all of us can relate to the film at some level.
What is your ultimate goal for the movie?
My ultimate goal of the film is to show the world—including the church—that God offers unconditional forgiveness for anything we have done or anything done to us; however, unless we can forgive ourselves, it is impossible to accept God’s forgiveness.
Taken By Grace is my directorial debut, and I cannot imagine a better film to start with. Being a small film, the intense timeline was manageable. I had the great privilege of working with amazing talent and crew, and now that the film is getting fantastic reviews, I cannot be more pleased.