Archived Story

‘Sacred’ years in the making

Published 11:03am Thursday, June 19, 2014

Director returns to FF to shoot second film

Sarah Larson started work on her second film for Redeemer’s Song Ministries two years ago. In that time, the project has stalled out and been delayed, to the point where Larson was not sure if it would ever get made.

Chris Reinoos/Daily Journal Curtis Deterding and Alixandra Johnson go over a scene while director Sarah Larson (far left) looks on. Larson began shooting her second full-length film, "Sacred," Wednesday with scenes at Kennedy Secondary School.
Chris Reinoos/Daily Journal Curtis Deterding and Alixandra Johnson go over a scene while director Sarah Larson (far left) looks on. Larson began shooting her second full-length film, “Sacred,” Wednesday with scenes at Kennedy Secondary School.

But on Wednesday, Larson and a cast and crew of about 30 gathered at Kennedy Secondary School to start work on “Sacred,” finally bringing the project to life. Those involved could not be more excited.

“I don’t think most of us have slept or eaten much the last couple of days,” said Alixandra Johnson, who plays Brianna West in the film. “It’s nice to be here and actually have our hands in it.”

“Sacred” comes on the heels of “He Leadeth Me,” Larson’s first film which premiered at A Center for the Arts in 2012. By that time, she had already begun early work on her next film.

This film was originally scheduled to shoot last year, but those plans fell through. Then, Larson and her husband moved to Kyle, Texas last year, throwing another monkey wrench into the shooting schedule.

But Larson had already committed to filming the project in Fergus Falls, and when things got back on track late last year, she began organizing a shooting schedule.

She initially wanted two weeks for filming, but schedules dictated that be bumped down to one week. The film is expected to be around 90 minutes long, so Larson will

have her hands full filming a full-length movie in seven days.

“It’s crazy, but it is funny how manageable it is,” Larson said of the hectic schedule.

“Sacred” tells the story of a group of teenagers learning to work through problems and find a stillness in their lives, according to Larson. The story was inspired by a cousin of Larson’s, who died at the age of 24.

There are about 20 new faces on the set as compared with the group that worked on “He Leadeth Me,” but Johnson, who worked on that first film and several other stage productions under Larson, was more than willing to work with her again.

“Everyone who experiences her as a director kind of falls in love and is always really excited for the next project,” Johnson said.

Larson said Wednesday was actually set to be one of their busier filming days. The crew will also be shooting scenes this weekend at Stavanger Lutheran Church, Larson’s church when she lived in Fergus. The church has lined up several extras of its own for the scenes, and Larson is anxious to return to Stavanger.

Larson’s script has taken on a life of its own since she arrived back in town last week and started working with the actors. This is Larson’s favorite part of the job and she praised the cast and crew, all working as volunteers, as a committed and talented bunch.

“As we move forward through things the last few days, I’m discovering all sorts of things that are personal to me that I did not even realize,” Larson said.

Helping to spread Redeemer’s Song Ministries’ message to a wider audience is something that excites Joe Larson, who plays Ryan Bentley in the film.

“I hope people can look at somebody’s character and say, ‘That relates to me’ and take something away from it,” he said.

Larson hopes to premiere “Sacred” in June 2015 in Fergus Falls. A location has yet to be determined.

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