South Students Work Onset Of “Jesus Revolution”

By: Amelia Rose Zimlich | Editor in Chief |

Photo by: Andrew Bryant | Photographer

Several South students got the opportunity to work onset the Erwin Brothers’ newest movie “Jesus Revolution,” which was filmed in the Mobile area in March.

The film, which takes place in California during the Christian revival in the 70s hippie era and stars Kelsey Grammar, Grace Barlow and Johnathan Roumie, filmed a few scenes in the Mobile Bay area. Scenes included a large baptism scene at Pirates Cove and the movie’s final sequence at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Daphne.

Students acted as production assistants and were tasked with directing extras, passing out wristbands and masks to the cast, delivering food, keeping track of the cast and crew’s belongings and other tasks. The days onset were long and the job kept students busy, teaching them to be quick on their feet.

“Being onset, right in the middle of the action, is such a thrilling rush and you aren’t allotted much time to figure anything out,” said Benjamin Ratley, a senior majoring in Communications with a concentration in Digital Cinema and Television. “You’re pretty much forced to adapt, and I personally love that about the field. My first couple of days working on set were blissfully chaotic and I treasured everything single second.”

This is not the first time the Erwin Brothers filmed a California-based story in Mobile or the first time they have filmed in Alabama. Spring Hill College’s campus was used as a location for and featured extensively in their 2020 movie “I Still Believe.” Their 2015 movie “Woodlawn” was set and filmed in Alabama.

“It was an eye-opening experience really,” said Andrew Bryant, a freshman. “I major in Digital Cinema and Television, hoping to be a filmmaker one day, so this was the opportunity of a lifetime…At the end of the day, watching the sun set over the hill full of hippie cars shipped from California, as hundreds of extras dressed as hippies walked around and relaxed, was the most beautiful sight.”

Working with the cast and crew of “Jesus Revolution” gave students the real-world experience to reinforce what their classes and coursework taught them.

“There is so unfathomably much that goes on during and behind the scenes of a film set and I hope that I am lucky enough to one day gain more experiences like this one,” said Ratley. “Every single person I met was so kind and helpful. Each time I arrived on set the passion was evident and just added more fuel to the fire. I am so fortunate to have had this opportunity and I cannot wait to see the film when it comes out!”

“Jesus Revolution” is scheduled to be released in 2023