Thursday, June 26, 2008

News from Iowa

Greetings from Northwestern Iowa.

This is just a short report on the filming of Winning Favor. We started filming last week Monday morning. We did our first shooting at one of the local high schools. The first week was great but very long. Three of our shooting days were over 14 hours long and the rest were in the 12 hour range. We shoot six days per week. This week has been much easier. We have had later call times and the hours have not been as long. The crew is is small but we work well together.

Hunter Richards, Director of Photography

John Doryk (Sound recordist), Matt Ashford (Actor),
Steve (Actor) and Jamey Durham (Director).

Jamey, Hunter, Kiera (Camera assistant), Kristen (1st AD), Kimberly (Script supervisor) and Kathryn (Loader/Data management)

A bunch of the actors

This past Sunday several of us went rock climbing.


John and Steven Doryk.

This face was the hardest thing we climbed

This route was one that I spotted and wanted to climb.
It ended up being one of the most fun climbs we did.

David trying out the new route.

John, Steven, me and David.

The Rocks at the park are stunning. If we go back we might try out some routes on the the backside (right side of the picture) of this rock.

Well that is all for now. I hope that you all enjoyed this small peek at what I have been up to.

Video Footage

Sorry you guys I get a kick out of following what Nate's up to. I found this article with a link to some video from Tuesday night's filming of "Winning Favor". If you'd like to see it, go to the link and look below the video box. There are a list of videos. Scroll down to the video for "Orange City teams on the big screen". Enjoy!

From the Sioux City Journal
By Tim Gallagher Journal staff writer

ORANGE CITY, Iowa -- Leave it to the folks in hoops-crazy Orange City to practice shooting basketballs on the night a basketball movie is being shot.


"I'm here to open up the new air-conditioned gym," said Gary Richardson, superintendent of the MOC-FV School District. "We've got some girls who want to get some shooting in tonight."

The "old" gym -- the one without A.C. -- was reserved this night by Jamey Durham, the Northwestern College professor shooting his new project, a movie called "Winning Favor." The feature film, due to be released in the fall of 2009, follows the 2005 boys' teams from MOC-FV and Unity Christian. Both squads brought home state titles to this Sioux County community of 5,582.

The film stars Matthew Ashford as Coach Loren DeJong, leader of the MOC-FV Dutch.

Ashford is having the time of his life this week in Orange City.

"This is great," he said while polishing off a Mountain Dew at Jaycee Park near the high school campus. "I was born and raised in Iowa and this is what a I remember. My idyllic youth was spent here (in Iowa)."

One of eight children, Ashford played basketball on the driveway in Davenport until his parents moved the family to Virginia when he was 13.

This movie, he said, celebrates shared responsibilities and teamwork often found in small towns like Orange City. That two squads from the same city reached the pinnacle the same season speaks to the dedication these young men and their families had for the game and one another.

There were plenty of teens around Tuesday as filming game scenes began in the gym. Durham and producers Anita Bomgaars and Donna Durham invited former players from MOC-FV, Sioux Center, Boyden-Hull and Unity to don their uniforms for a night of shooting -- as in film shooting. Players from MOC-FV and Bishop Heelan were asked to recreate scenes from a substate final last night (Wednesday) at the Bultman Center on the campus of Northwestern College.

Tyler Meekma, 22, was a senior for the state champion Dutch in 2005. He left his construction job Tuesday to devour a burger courtesy of the Sioux County Cattlemen's Association before reporting to the gym for his possible Hollywood debut.

"We're supposed to be extras out on the court showing the actors what to do," he said.

Meekma is hopeful he'll make an appearance in the movie. His only other on-camera credit, you see, involves an interview he did on KTIV Channel 4 during the Northwestern football campaign last year.

"I did an interview during the season and it was terrible," said Meekma, laughing at himself. "I looked like a tool!"

He looked like nobody's tool dashing up and down the court Tuesday against players from Boyden-Hull. It was evident which players were the real deal and which ones came from Hollywood.

Didn't matter to nearly 200 fans from Boyden-Hull and MOC-FV who turned out to lend their voices, faces and school shirts to the background. Like good fans from the Siouxland Conference, they shouted enthusiastically at all the right times and even complained about the officiating a few times. The "game" also marked the film debuts for referees Jim Kleis and Terril DeHaan, both of Orange City.

"They told us the teams would go up and down the floor a few times and they wanted us to call whatever happened," said DeHaan, who simply followed orders.

"At the end, I think they're going to have some scripted plays," Kleis added.

As the session with MOC-FV and Boyden-Hull began, an engineer checked his sound levels against a roaring crowd. A camera operator skated backwards while players pounded basketballs and glanced toward their actor-turned-coach.

"Alfred Hitchcock called filmmaking organized chaos," Jamey Durham said while surveying his hot surroundings. "This is it, man!"

Several current high school boys and girls peeked through the doorway to watch the 2005 state champs hustle through the din for another film shoot. Those future stars quickly returned to the quiet of the new -- and much cooler -- gymnasium. Their noise? No crowd, just the sound of bouncing balls, swishing nets and an air conditioner humming along.

In Orange City, it's how another "Winning Favor" unfolds.

For video from Tuesday night's "Winning Favor" film session, see

Monday, June 23, 2008

Goin' Huntin'

A few weeks back, our family received a marvelous mystery box in the mail.

Things around here right before the convention can become quite busy. We run a bit low on the fun things. Well not this year! Dear friends of ours, the Hemmers, sent a surprise treasure hunt for Haley and Matthew! It was INCREDIBLE!

Nate did the honors of setting everything up. They had it so organized that he didn't have to wonder about a single thing. {I think he had as much fun setting it up as they did hunting.}

A video of our favorite Danny Kaye movie.

This clue was to be attached to the pool ladder. The Hemmers didn't know that the ladder is stored separately from the pool for the winter! Nate had to do some creative hinting for this one.

This clue was the most hilarious mix up!

This beautiful picture was painted by Melody. She put a picture of it on their blog for the kids to see. The clue sent them to their blog. Well our computer had a glitch and wouldn't show every picture in any blog post. So you guessed it, that picture didn't show when the kids went to the blog. (Imagine Nate describing this in total disbelief) So they thoroughly studied our blog instead. . . . . . . several times over. I think Nate finally had them look at the H's blog on a different computer.

So they raced to the picture, took it down, turned it every which way and even began to peal a label off the back. Nate had taped the clue on the side of the frame with masking tape and they missed it every single time. [When Nate told us about this clue he would just cover his eyes, stutter and shake his head. This was almost too much even for him! ]

If you couldn't figure out the clue you could unfold more of the paper to reveal further hints. WOW you guys thought of everything!!

Nate almost had to perform a surgical operation on this one. Not the Hemmers fault of course. We won't say who's. (Haley got her finger stuck in one of those cones of thread!)

They hardly had to hunt for this clue. {I'm glad, I shudder to think of them digging around in the china and crystal.}

They had to look up letters in the president's names. (ie the 8th letter in the 22nd president's name.) It spelled out the clue! CLEVER!

This one was on a swing. We have a baby swing set also. Nice trick Nate. HA!

Hidden in the food pantry!

Faith and Melody, you just couldn't resist the harp could you??

The treasure was in happy storage---in with our plastic glad containers. =)

Our family loves to play games and we have learned some of our favorite games from the Hemmers. This was the treasure at the end of the hunt! It's a really fun game.

Our thanks to the Hemmers. Their family truly exemplifies this verse! We love you guys.

"Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. "

Romans 12:9-10 (New Living Translation)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Look At What I Found!

I just found this article. It's about the movie Winning Favor! Thought I'd put it up. I know that Nate's trying to put up a post, but with 9 - 14 hour days shooting, he just hasn't had the time. It's fun to get a little peek at what's going on!

Hollywood Finds Its Way to Iowa

One Iowa middle school has had their gym transformed into the scene of a Hollywood movie.

Lights, Camera, Action!

It may look like a movie sound stage in Los Angeles, but it is actually the Gym at MOC-Floyd Valley Middle School in Alton, Iowa.

The movie, Winning Favor, tells the story of the 2005 Iowa state basketball championships in which two high schools from Orange City won the championship.

The uplifting story drew a well known soap opera star to play the role of coach.

"I looked at it and its really a lot of great things in it, and I said ok I'd love to get behind this. A chance to play a new and different role, I'd been playing this one character . . . . for the better part of 20 years, and one thing he has never been is a coach."

But even the professionals hit their road blocks. After turning on a fog machine in the middle school the fire alarm went off forcing cast and crew outside.

While waiting for the alarm to be turned off, Matt Roesner, a Senior on the 2005 championship team reflected on what it is like to see someone else, portray you.

"It’s really cool to see someone else acting out what we just did naturally," said Roesner

For the director and screen writer, it was important to film both on set and with the people the movie is portraying.

"When you film on location it’s just more authentic, no where else can you find these great gyms, you can’t find a great gym like this in a studio. Were filming in people’s homes, on people’s farms, you just can’t find that anywhere else except Iowa," said Jamey Durham, Director and Screen Writer of Winning Favor.

An Iowa film with an Iowa cast.

The crew is looking for folks to be extras for their filming on June 24th and 25th. If you'd like to be in Winning Favor just head down to Orange City High School on the night of the 24th, or to Northwest Iowa Community College on the night of the 25th.

Adam & Johanna's Country House

After the wedding we all piled into our car and took a scenic drive through beautiful Illinois farm land. Adam and Johanna had graciously agreed to let us visit their house in the country. They have done a tremendous amount of work already! We like to see these projects as their being done and before they are finished. That way we can appreciate it so much more when it's complete.

The first thing I noticed when we pulled in was the circular drive and the mature shade trees. There's a fun area in the middle of the driveway for flowers.

They have 5 acres which include a couple of out buildings and a fine pasture area.

Their house was originally built in the 1800's!

You walk in through the screened in porch to this gathering/dining area. There's even room here for a wood stove. In through the opening with the new studs is a big bathroom.

This is the heart of the home, the future kitchen. They will rearrange the windows and have a light and airy space where the family can gather with friends and cook. I can just picture Johanna baking or canning in this place.

The future living room with bay window.

I loved the wide openings between rooms. I wondered if ladies in hoop skirts had ever walked through them!?

Bedroom off the living room. This may be used for something different in the future.

The second story has 3 good sized bedrooms with closets---- which they will continue to work on after moving in. There was also a smaller bedroom up there that they are turning into a bathroom.

What a wonderful attic. It's actually big enough to stand up in. Matthew's imagination was having as much fun as mine. I think we have missed something going through life without a usable attic. Think of how many books have attics in their stories!

The front of the house.
We vote for a big covered porch with a swing!

How could we resist taking a picture of these two - - - - - - - - so much to be thankful for.

May the Lord bless the work of your hands Adam and Johanna. Thank you for the tour!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Lucas Hedding had a Wedding! (sorry I couldn't resist)

Lucas & Melissa

Leon Hedding
For those of you who don't know them, yes they are twins.

Kelli Hedding
We love ya Kelli

It was fun to gather with friends. Melody & Helena

While we waited during the picture taking, we munched strawberries and made memory pages. They had paper, pens and stickers at each table for us to make a page for an album for the bride and groom.

Adam and Johanna Stanford newlyweds themselves.

Yummy cake with beautiful girls, Haley, GJ and Jill.

Lucas and Melissa

Bret and Michelle

Some of our clan!

It was fun for us to remember Kyle and Gretchen's wedding while going through this one. We really had fun at their wedding.

The groomsmen decorated the car. They tried to get the toilet plungers to stick to the outside. Too bad that didn't work! Cute idea guys.

So instead they filled the car with plungers, buckets, and mops! Sounds like just what a new couple needs for their honeymoon, no??

It took a bit of rearranging for the newlyweds to fit into the car! :-)

The lovely bride!