‘The Chosen’ film campus in North Texas holds ribbon cutting

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 10:31 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2022 at 9:06 AM CDT

MIDLOTHIAN, Texas (KLTV) - “The Chosen” TV series held a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday for their new film campus in Midlothian, Texas.

A behind-the-scenes tour revealed how this show about Jesus is impacting the world.

“What I learned was, one will always become two, if there’s something that impacts people,” said CEO of The Chosen Derral Eves. “And, two will become four, four will become eight, eight will become sixteen, sixteen will become thirty-two until we can really spread the earth.”

Dozens of guests gathered inside The Chosen’s new film campus for the ceremony. They toured the first century village set and sound stage where most of Season 3 was filmed.

Director of The Chosen Dallas Jenkins said creating a series about Jesus has given them the opportunity to explore the backstories of characters.

“Well, I’m standing on this first century set with the goal of authenticity, trying to capture what the first century was really like,” said Jenkins. “That’s the heart of The Chosen, we are trying to capture the authentic Jesus.”

In 2017, Jenkins made a short film called “The Shepherd” on a farm in Illinois for his church.

While filming the short film, he felt like God gave him the idea for a TV show, but didn’t know what to do with it.

The short film went viral with 15 million views worldwide and later served as the pilot episode of The Chosen.

Jenkins said God led someone to tell him something that has guided him through every stage of the process.

“It’s not your job to feed the 5,000; it’s only to provide the loaves and fish. And, God also put on my wife’s heart I do impossible math,” said Jenkins.

He says at each stage of the process, he prays for God to provide in that moment, not for the future. Speaking to a crowd of financial donors, he said it would be easy for him to cast a vision for the future, but he wasn’t going to do that.

“If this was all God had for us, if it ended here, or if the contributions that you are making to The Chosen ended here -- God be praised,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins said God made it clear what He meant by impossible math when season one of the show broke an all-time crowdfunding record, raising over 10 million dollars from 16,000 people from around the world.

“When we were looking at those numbers that didn’t seem to make sense, Amanda started crying, my wife, because she’s like God is making it as clearly as he did when he first told me,” said Jenkins. “This is what he meant by ‘I do impossible math,’ and we’ve seen it over and over and over again.”

Producer Chris Juen said they describe filming Season 3 as a storm circling around the shoot day, with the shoot day in the eye because of all the moving parts.

“This city was being built, the sound stages were being built as the season was going on,” said Juen.

Jenkins said the crews building the set experienced supply chain issues due to COVID, but they pushed forward because they felt like they were called for a higher purpose. He calls the entire process extraordinary.

Producer Chad Gundersen says the challenges also brought triumph.

“I mean, where we’re standing right now, the fact that a group of amazing folks got together and this town was built, and the stages were built -- again it’s become extremely humbling to just be a part of what’s going on,” said Gundersen.

Jenkins said it was a challenge to find a suitable location for the film set, but ultimately they partnered with the Salvation Army’s Camp Hoblitzelle as a permanent site.

Filming of Season 3 wrapped up about two weeks ago.

Jenkins said the theme of Season 3 is “come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

He said The Chosen is not one to gloss over human struggles, and they want the viewer to identify with the characters.

“If we can see Jesus through the eyes of those that actually met him, including their struggles, including their questions, including their doubts, which we focus a lot on in Season 3, then you can be changed and impacted in the same way that they were,” said Jenkins.

The Chosen’s remaining four seasons will be filmed on the new Midlothian set.

The first two episodes of Season 3 of the show will premier in theaters on Nov. 18, before being made available on The Chosen app to be watched for free.

“The Chosen” TV series held a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday for their new film campus in Midlothian, Texas.