Hollywood has arrived in the Tri-Cities with the local production of the made-for-television movie “Believe,” which is currently filming part-time in Grundy, Virginia, and part-time in Bristol.
Producers of “Believe” contacted RTVF officials at ETSU directly and invited any film students who were interested to apply to join the crew as production assistants on the movie throughout the month of March.
RTVF student Cortland Welch jumped at this opportunity to gain some real world experience in the industry and make some money while he was at it. Welch applied for a production assistant position and heard back from the producer right away before officially being brought on board.
Welch said his job mainly consists of being an extra pair of hands for the cast and crew around set.
“I would do lock ups when we were filming, get food and water for the cast and crew, and basically anything else they asked me to do,” he said. “It made it very easy being a PA with all of the other experienced PAs helping me on the job. I learned so much from them, and it’s information they gave me that will help me work on other professional sets in the future.”
Welch has now experienced something that few film students are able to before graduation. While Welch did have some prior experience with video and film projects, working on “Believe” was his first time on a professional movie set.
“Some of my favorite experiences from working on ‘Believe’ was just learning first-hand how movies are made and what it takes to make a good movie, meeting new people and potential future work partners, and meeting some of the cast,” Welch said. “The work experience, knowledge and incredible cast and crew I met all made for an incredible experience.”
“Believe” is being marketed as a family-friendly Christmas movie and is currently set for a November 2016 release. Written and directed by Billy Dickson, “Believe” will follow two families from different walks of life who come together to save the annual Christmas pageant in the small town of Grundy, Virginia.
“I think this will be a great movie,” Welch said. “With the hard working, incredible cast and crew that was on set, there’s no way it won’t be good. Everybody has worked so hard on this, and I truly believe this will be a great movie.”