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Choice Moments on the Set of The Chosen

When the dramatic series The Chosen shot scenes on June 7 for its upcoming Season 3 episode on Jesus’s feeding of the 5,000, my wife and I, along with four other family members, participated as extras in the production. What follows are some journal-type observations, in no particular order.
 
Details matter. At times it felt like being transported back to Bible times. In those moments when the multitude of extras stowed their cell phones and stashed any modern-day accoutrements that would “give away the game,” all you could see was what looked like a vast crowd of 1st century people gathered to hear the words of The Master. It was awesome. Just seeing the Roman soldiers in military garb mounted on horseback was by itself worth the trip.

It was hot. The conditions were trying. We were in the midst of a heat wave, and some attendees, including our group, were scheduled to be on the production grounds for a good 12 hours or more. Fortunately, the proceedings were rescheduled and our group’s camera time was moved up several hours, allowing us to get off the shooting set by midday, avoiding the hottest hours of the day. Some other mitigating factors: There was a bit of a breeze and some patchy cloud cover. The toughest temps we faced were just touching 100 degrees, while back home (in Abilene, Texas) the temperature that day soared to 108 degrees.

People behaved as Christians. It was hard not to notice the courtesies shown all around. My wife, Kit, noticed people helping one another with their costumes. We’re talking total strangers pitching in and helping others to get their outfits right before the taping. People maintained bright, friendly demeanors. This was all the more noticeable because the hot and humid weather was not exactly conducive to such politeness.

Texas makes a fine Palestine. The production location for The Chosen is land that lies just a few miles outside Midlothian, Texas, which is itself some miles south of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The location is very rural, with rolling hills, broad pastures, and intermittent trees. Add in the blazing Texas sun and you have a good stand-in for the Holy Land.

Dallas Jenkins was impressive. The creator and director of the show, Dallas Jenkins, took time from the busy shooting schedule to mix and mingle with the thousands of extras on the set. He greeted us personally, and even took time to be in a selfie with our granddaughter, Kate. Dallas is tall—taller than I would  have guessed him—and he is every bit the person one sees onscreen in the show’s livestreams.

Our live tweets got some traction. Our family group shared, via our phones, some of the photos we were taking, and along about midday it occurred to me that I could use my Twitter account to do some live tweeting. So I uploaded some images, hashtagging them with #TheChosen. Within maybe an hour, the Twitter account for The Chosen was hitting their “like” button, and later even retweeting, those images, along with those of others at the event.

We saw ourselves on the June 12 livestream on TheChosen.tv.
Knowing that the production company was going to do one of its regular livestream events on Sunday night, June 12, we logged on to see what might be shared about the (prior) week’s filming activity. To our surprise, we saw, in the slideshow that immediate preceded Dallas’s livestream chat, some photos of ourselves that we had posted that week to social media. Then, during Dallas’s talk, we heard his own perspective on the events of that week (the “most difficult” and yet “most rewarding” stretch they had heretofore experienced).
Conclusion. All in all, a special experience. We look forward to seeing the episode we participated in, which currently is slated to be the eighth and conclusing episode of Season 3, which airs later this year.
 
—Jesse Mullins

More Info...

For more pictures and re-tellings of The Chosen’s event Feeding of the 5,000 (#F5K), visit Living as Disciples.
The Official Website – where you can watch the show for free or get the link to download the free app:

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