Thousands of volunteers descend on North Texas for filming of ‘The Chosen’s’ feeding of 5,000
MIDLOTHIAN, Texas (KLTV) - Thousands of people have been flocking to a 900-acre movie set in North Texas over the last four days. The purpose? To film one of the most iconic Biblical stories for a TV series called “The Chosen,” which has taken the world by storm.
The movie set is located in Midlothian, Texas, on land owned by the Salvation Army’s Camp Hoblitzelle.
Over the last four days, 12,000 extras, including men, women, and children from 36 countries, came to Midlothian, Texas, for the filming of the biblical story about Jesus feeding 5,000 people. The shoot is for Season 3 of the international hit TV series “The Chosen,” which is about the life of Christ from the perspective of his followers.
“The majority of the people here have made their own costumes. They’ve come at their own expense to be here,” said Derral Eves, the CEO and executive producer of “The Chosen.” “It’s really great to see the diversity of costumes and the diversity of people, and it’s just a blessing to see all the support.”
Eves said that the vision of the show is to reach a billion people, so they can see an authentic Jesus. In order to reach that number of people, he said they must create quality content that speaks to people, compelling them to share it with others.
“Ultimately, the people that are putting their life on pause, coming out here, helping us with the feeding of the 5,000 means so much to me because they’re so dedicated to the show and that will also translate to them sharing it more because they’re going to be in an episode, and they’re going to want to share that with their friends and family,” Eves said.
Amber Shana Williams, who plays Tamar in the show, explained how she watched the first four episodes of “The Chosen” prior to auditioning and knew she had to be a part of the show.
“‘The Chosen’ is one of the only projects, I might actually say the only project, that I’ve been a part of where I’m actually an avid fan,” Williams said. “Like, I have seen every single episode; I’ve watched them multiple times. I call my husband to watch them with me. I’m calling my mom to check to see if she’s on the most current episode, making sure they’re all staying up to date.”
Midlothian, Texas, was selected as the permanent site for the new set due to the topography and weather which “The Chosen” producers believe is similar to the Middle East.
“It feels like it might have been somewhere in the Middle East or something like, except there’s chiggers here, beware of the chiggers,” Williams said. “It’s great. It makes you feel like you’re a part of the place and the time especially when we film during the summer because I’m not sure if you guys are aware that when we shot last year in the middle of the historic Texas ice storm, this is a lot different. We went from frozen Chosen to toastin’ Chosen.”
The feeding of the 5,000 is among the series’ first large-scale productions on the site where CRC Construction is currently building a two-acre first-century village movie set and a 30,000 square-foot state-of-the-art sound stage.
Tad Eckerle, the chief operating officer of CRC, and owner Robert Akin explained how the film campus provides accommodations for meal space, prop storage, a place for sets to be made, and hair, makeup, and wardrobe – all things integral to filming.
“That sound stage allows them to film in inclement weather, when there’s planes flying overhead, and film effectively but it’s all those auxiliary buildings that really make it a film campus,” Eckerle said.
Eves recounted watching 5,000 extras participate in the epic moment that Jesus was ready to feed them spiritually and physically, and realizing that it truly was a miracle.
“I want people to walk away feeling like they experienced it, and when they get back to the Bible and into that verse, they’ll see it a little bit differently because of their experience here, and hopefully it will deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ,” Eves said.
The Chosen has been translated into 56 languages and is free to watch on the mobile or smart TV apps with no fee or subscription necessary.
The show is funded by viewers who “pay it forward” after viewing.
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