Movie being filmed in Salisbury
By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — As a crowd of youth rally participants listened to an inspirational speaker Sunday, a woman ran into the gymnasium and screamed in panic that someone had been shot.
Several people ran out of the room, while the rest of the crowd reacted with shock, fear and confusion.
Moments later, they burst into applause.
About 100 local residents participated as extras Sunday in a faith-based movie that’s filming in Rowan County.
A few scenes for Waiting on the Warrior were filmed Sunday at and around the Old Salisbury YMCA, now known as the First Ministry Center at First Baptist Church of Salisbury.
Another dramatic scene featuring a rescue was shot with the help of Rowan County EMS and East Spencer police and fire officials.
Salisbury resident Chad Costantino wrote the screenplay for Waiting on the Warrior and is directing and producing.
Costantino runs Abundant Life Outreach Ministries, Abundant Life Counseling Center and Abundant Life Films. He drew on his counseling experience and his own rocky past to write a script that he hopes will inspire others and change lives.
In Waiting on the Warrior, he plays a pastor named David struggling to find forgiveness and redemption after causing a car wreck that killed his brother, his best friend and a stranger.
“He knows God has forgiven him, but… sometimes the hardest thing for us to do is to forgive ourselves for something we did,” Costantino said.
He said the film is called Waiting on the Warrior because “often people say we’re waiting on God, and that’s true, but I believe God is waiting on us, too.”
Pastor David seeks redemption by beginning a youth outreach center, and documentary scenes about how such a center operates will appear in the film.
Actress Erin Bethea, who starred in the 2008 movie Fireproof with Kirk Cameron, plays a role in the independent film as the pastor’s counselor, Krystal Fowler.
Costantino asked Bethea, of Orlando, Fla., to read his script and be a part of his movie.
“I’m usually pretty picky about my projects, but I felt like Chad had a really good heart, and I thought that his story was special,” Bethea said.
She said she wants to get involved in films that are being made for a greater purpose than money or selfish ambition.
“I look for projects I know are going to change lives or projects where I can feel like by being a part of it, I can help invest in somebody’s dream,” Bethea said.
Costantino has been great to work with, she said. Bethea arrived in Salisbury on Sunday and will be in town for two more busy days of filming.
Other shooting locations include Wink’s Barbecue, Kidsport and Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury; Lynn Honeycutt Funeral Home in China Grove; Tiger World in Rockwell and other Rowan County locations.
Salisbury photography and videography team Ron and Chris Totten — husband and wife — are helping with filming, along with employees of the Forever Is Tomorrow Production Company.
Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins appears in uniform in a couple scenes filmed Sunday. Costantino knew him prior to making the movie and asked him to be part of it.
Collins said he’s familiar with Bethea from her roles in “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants,” films produced by Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga.
“I know what those movies stood for and the opportunities they gave to people for spiritual, life-changing experiences,” Collins said. “When he told me she was starring in it, I didn’t have to think twice.”
Appearing with Costantino in the movie are his three daughters, 8-year-old Eavan, 6-year-old Leah and 2-year-old Abigail, who also play his daughters in the film.
Eavan said she might like to be a professional actress.
“I thought this was rather cool and exciting,” she said.
Costantino said his goal is to get the film into festivals early next year, on DVD late next year and into theaters.
For more information about Waiting on the Warrior, email Costantino at email@example.com.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.