The Trump Prophecy
Buy your ticket and grab some popcorn because another feature film driven by Liberty University Cinematic Arts students is slated for a nationwide release October 2 and 4.
“The Trump Prophecy,” directed by Executive Director of Cinematic Arts Stephan Schultze, is based on a memoir of the same name by Mark Taylor and Mary Colbert. The story follows the events surrounding Taylor’s battle with PTSD from years of service as a firefighter.
“I hope they gain a better understanding of the everyday challenges law enforcement, fire(men) … people who work in public safety face every day that we don’t really realize when we see them on the street,” Schultze said. “And that we hold them in prayer and that we realize the power of prayer when we come together as the body of Christ to pray for them — that’s what I hope people take away from the movie.”
“I hope they gain a better understanding of the everyday challenges law enforcement, fire(men) … people who work in public safety face every day that we don’t really realize when we see them on the street … And that we hold them in prayer and that we realize the power of prayer when we come together as the body of Christ to pray for them — that’s what I hope people take away from the movie.” – Stephan Schultze
While the initial announcement of the film was met with some controversy by the student body, Schultze said that Cinematic Arts students were excited for the learning opportunity.
“The reality is, anything related to Trump is kind of controversial. Sure, people are going to get excited. I don’t think our students really had an issue — they were gung-ho and excited to make a feature film,” Schultze said. “I think they see the educational value and the long-term credit for their career working on this scale.”
About 65 cinematic arts students participated in film production and filled roles from set design to sound engineering to camera work, Schultze said. Additionally, alumni of the program served as department heads on set.
“(Alumni) come back and train the next generation of students going through, and those students are making immediate contact through the alumni association that’s out there working — it’s feeding back on itself,” Schultze said.
Though the film was produced by ReelWorks Studios of Charlotte, North Carolina, the entire film was shot in Lynchburg and Bedford, Schultze said. Many of the sets were constructed on the second floor of the former Macy’s department store located in Lynchburg’s River Ridge Mall. The film crew also collaborated with the Bedford Fire Department to ensure safety during filming scenes that included fire.
“(For) all the fire scenes, the Bedford Fire Department came on board and supported us and allowed us to use their training facility,” Schultze said. “They came on board and provided trucks and fire support … so they were a very supportive entity in the process of making this film.”
Filmmaking is a collaborative effort, as people band together from all departments and disciplines to write, produce and market a film. Schultze explained that ReelWorks is covering the marketing for the film, which will be released to 1,200 theaters nationwide — more than double the number of screens from 2017’s “Extraordinary,” which graced 400 screens.
“We’re the only film school in the country, in the history of film schools, that has produced a movie with students that has gotten national theatrical release,” Schultze said. “We’re on the verge of our second theatrical release.”
“We’re the only film school in the country, in the history of film schools, that has produced a movie with students that has gotten national theatrical release.” – Stephan Schultze
Though this is the second nationwide theatrical release for a Liberty student-driven film, it is the fifth feature film that the film school has produced since its inception six years ago. Giving students this type of hands-on learning is what makes Liberty’s film program unique, according to Schultze.
“We really believe in giving students access to the learning process in a very holistic way,” Schultze said. “First of all, we have a cohort system … you’re just focusing on cinema. You get that cohort to make lifetime friendships because you’re making productions together …. the next thing is, at most universities, they will shoot four or five short films, and all the students work on those films. We require every student to shoot a short film … every student graduates having told their story they want to tell.”
“The Trump Prophecy” will be released to 1,200 screens Oct. 2 and 4. For more information and to find a theater, visit thetrumpprophecymovie.com.