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Abel's Field (2012)
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Thematic elements, brief violence and a smoking image
Kevin Sorbo, Samuel Davis, Trent Moore
Tough-as-steel Seth McArdle is a high school senior who fixes cars to pay the rent and is raising his little sisters alone in Sinai, Texas—a former oil town whose only green patch lies between the field goal posts. A run-in with the football star lands Seth in a month of after-school work, facing Abel, part-time groundskeeper, and a looming deadline to prepare the field for homecoming.
Abel's Field (2012) | Preview
A Visit to the Set
Brock & DeArmond
Without even factoring in heat, manual labor, and generally being on your feet, have you ever focused intensely on something for eighteen hours straight? Now imagine trying to disconnecting from it for about four hours to get a little rest and doing it again the next day with as much concentration as the day before. Now imagine this pattern for a few weeks. Suffice to say, filmmaking is not glamorous, and it's certainly not easy. And unless you're a featured player, i.e. actor/director/producer, you probably don't get to feel like it's ultimately your project.
So what compels so many creative, passionate souls to convene on a single story committed to film? That's a question best left to informal discussion, but the truth is, it happens. And it's amazing and humbling to watch. We recently attended the final two days of filming of Abel's Field, an inspirational drama with humor and pain, directed by Gordie Haakstad and starring Kevin Sorbo and Samuel Davis. What can we say? Other than: this experience is one we're going to be talking about for the rest of our lives. Wow!
Abel's Field is about a high school student named Seth (Samuel Davis). Seth doesn't have it easy. His mother dies and his father leaves him and his twin sisters alone. Seth has to work two jobs, go to school, and raise his sisters. He later gets into trouble for a fight and he has to work with the school's groundskeeper, named Abel (Kevin Sorbo). They can't stand each other at first, but then they share a deep bond. Abel becomes Seth's mentor. Seth even gains a love interest. (Who is played by a beautiful girl named Nicole Elliott.) All goes well, until Seth loses his house and his sisters have to live somewhere else. He needs Abel more than ever, but Abel is ready to skip town. Seth discovers that Abel has been running from something, but what could it be? What did he do in his past? What will become of Abel? Also, what will happen to Seth?
The atmosphere on the set was warm and loving. It was like we were all going to give each other a big group hug at any moment! The journalists, cast, and crew all wanted to get to know each other. No one had an ego. We were all in the same boat, Christians in the entertainment industry. We all worked, ate, and hung out together. Every person did his or her part to help this wonderful film move along. We met some people that we will treasure for a lifetime.
Typically on a film shoot the director sets the tone which filters down through the entire production team. Gordie Haakstad is the kind of director you want on a project. In addition to being talented and intelligent, he is also level-headed and respectful of everyone on the team. Considering we watched him work on the last day of a film shoot without ever raising his voice, we were so impressed. On top of that we got to see a few rough cuts of some scenes in the movie. The footage looks fantastic. The characters are well defined and the scenes are poignant. We obviously haven't seen the whole film, but we can tell Haakstad's love for the story is infused in the end result. Bravo.
Tore Knos is the film's producer. Knos was a very humble man whose faith shone through. He was very sweet. He believes in this film so much. Knos and Sarah had the pleasure of talking during lunch and were able to get to know each other. He was very interested in getting to know her and asked lots of questions. What a great man!
Of course no discussion of Abel's Field would be complete without discussing Kevin Sorbo. As the "name" actor attached to the project he's invariably going to attract some Hollywood attention. We were made aware that Sorbo had supported Abel's Field a few years ago before financial setbacks postponed the production. As Knos and Haakstad informed us, Sorbo never gave up on the film, and his commitment is truly admirable.
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