Hollywood comes to West Michigan, with a ‘heavenly’ twist

Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-06 21:07:02-04

WEST MICHIGAN — A little bit of Hollywood came to the lakeshore this past weekend as filmmakers began shooting a new movie in the Muskegon area.

The film "Do You Believe?" comes from the same people behind "God's Not Dead," one of the highest ranking Christian movies of all time that hit theaters earlier this year.

FOX 17 recently sat down with the producer of the film to discuss the new project which is in partnership with the production company, 10 West Studios, based out of Mainstee.

While not giving too much away, the creators say the new film will explore faith-heavy issues while taking viewers on a ride through several different storylines that are all meant to converge at the end of the movie.

"It's definitely going to be the next big thing," said David A.R. White, the producer on the project who has also acted in several Christian-themed movies.

White's production company Pure Flix is heading up the project. While the movie isn't a sequel to "God's Not Dead," the team is hoping to find just as much success. "God's Not Dead," which was released in theaters earlier this year, raked in more than $60 million after crews produced it for just around $2 million.

"I think the stories are getting bigger, and I think the scope is getting bigger but the heart is the same," White said.

"God's Not Dead" ranks closely behind "Heaven is for Real,"  "Passion of the Christ" and "Son of God" as top ranking Christian-themed movies at the box office in recent years.

Actor Delpaneaux Wills, who stars in the film, said he was drawn to the positive story line that explores how faith fits into today's modern society.

'It's a faith based film that is going to touch everyone's life," Wills said. "There's a story line with a girl trying to give up her baby, she finds her way to God, a story line with a marine who comes back from the war dealing with PTSD, he finds his way to God."

Wills said he also enjoyed getting the opportunity to shoot in West Michigan on a project he hopes will be more meaningful to viewers than the average big budget blockbuster.

'It`s giving a lot of work for local Michigan cities and it`s giving me a chance to go all around Michigan, from Manistee, then we`re here, then to Grand Rapids," he said.

"We need to give a lot of hope for people, everyone wants to make the big Transformers movie, but what's that really saying when you can actually make a movie that touches people's lives?"

"Do You Believe?" is slated to hit theaters by Easter of 2015.