Also in the film is Kayla Carmona, 15-year-old survivor of the 2011 Joplin, Mo., tornado, who lost her father and sister in the Joplin tornado. Carmona moved to Moore with her mother shortly after the Moore tornado to help counsel victims.
Cleveland County Undersheriff Rhett Burnett, Meteorologist Gary England and Storm Chaser Val Castor appear in the film as experts. Earp also appears in the movie in his role as a pastor.
Earp said all participants in the movie were carefully selected. He worked alongside counselors to ensure all individuals were ready to share their stories.
“These are people who, for the benefit of others, have opened up their hearts and said, ‘Here’s what we’ve experienced and here’s what we’ve felt. And even in the midst of this great disaster, God is still good and you can still trust him,’” he said.
And with the film premiering near the first anniversary of the tornado, Earp said there’s no way around it: The end product is emotional.
“And it’ll be more emotional here than anywhere else, but when you walk out you will be smiling,” he said. “You will have tears, but you will be smiling.”
The documentary — filmed, directed, produced and edited in Oklahoma — was a labor of love by many volunteers, Earp said, and cost an approximate $200,000 to produce. Funding was provided by Elevate Church, faith-based groups and companies. It is a Behold Motion Pictures film in association with Elevate Faith Productions, and was produced by Brian Cates and Chris Forbes and directed by Travis Palmer.
Earp said he would love to see the movie screened across the nation, but his target audience is Moore residents. His biggest dream would be raising enough money to provide copies of the movie to anyone impacted by the tornado. Any funds generated from ticket sales will go back into ministry at Elevate Church.