Actress Helena Whitaker
How did you come in contact with Leesley Films?
I accompanied my daughter, Sarah, to her apprentice/internship interview with Jamison. Along the way, I had mentioned some long-ago amateur stage experience and my belief that one needs to give 100% whether a feature performer or a bit part or minor crew. At one point, Jamison looked intently at me, said that the character of Carla’s father *, and was I interested. Less than a week later, I was picking up * at the airport for Jamison, and the day after that ‘Ella Davis was being filmed! It may be a bit part, but I’m grateful to Jamison and the Lord for letting me be a part of ‘Apparition.’ What an unexpected, whirlwind opportunity!
How was the atmosphere when you were on the set?
We were filming at the home of a feature cast member. In spite of the ‘invasion’ of her home, she was welcoming, and the atmosphere was comfortable and easy-going between takes. When filming began, though, people got down to work, fun or serious as the scene required. During uncertain moments, the cooperation among cast/crew was amazing, regardless of experience levels, newbee to amateur to experienced professional. It was an honor to work with them all.
How important is the story to “Apparition” to you personally?
As the ‘Apparition’ poster says, ‘Based on a true story … that’s still being written.’ There were off-screen moments that I was a part of during the weekend we filmed that validated this statement. It proved to me that it is critical that the message of ‘Apparition’ is brought to people, and that they believe that it isn’t just fantasy.
What did you like about the character you played in the movie?
Though ‘Ella Davis’ was a last-minute addition, with no official lines, I was given the rare opportunity to ‘run with it’ within the constraints of the scene and one ‘prime directive’ … Be yourself; be realistic. It was great to be this caring, uncertain, sometimes frightened mother figure in a rather unique context. I had a blast! And I hope I did the film justice.
How much time did you/have you devoted to the production of the movie?
Outside of some frantic prep during the week before, and playing airport shuttle once *grin*, I spent a very rewarding, sometimes intense and exhausting 3-day weekend.
What is/are your long-term goals in the Christian film industry.
I ‘d like to support Jamison & Leesley Films, and my daughter Sarah in any projects that may come along, whether acting, or providing off-camera support as opportunities present themselves. I feel led to support on a more local, personal level than the industry at large.
Blessings in all your endeavors!
A message from the director:
The cast and crew of “Apparition” owe their thanks to Helena. We wouldn’t have come this far, with this mammoth of a film, if Helena wasn’t with us. Since day one she has played a vital role in all of the production of the movie on-set and off. It’s always been apparent that God had brought her into this film’s production at the right exact moment. God has used her mightily.
But it’s not all been for the production. God has also introduced her to the rest of us on a personal level. I can’t express this enough, as this is true especially for myself. I call Helena and Sarah (Helena’s daughter) my family, my “sisters.”
Many people involved with “Apparition” know that the joy that I experience is, yes – that the screenplay is coming to fruition for all the scenes, but also because I’ve met the greatest people throughout this whole process and call them “very close friends” of mine today. Helena is no exception.
Thank you, Helena, for believing in what we’re doing, supporting the dream, and for having the faith that you have.