MIDLOTHIAN, Texas (KDAF) — In the course of a weekend, more than 10,000 people flocked from around the world to Midlothian to be an extra in the show ‘The Chosen,’ a free-to-stream television drama about the life of Jesus Christ. The show’s creators needed the thousands of extras for a scene depicting the biblical story from the book of John of Jesus using five loaves of bread and two fish to feed 5,000 people.
“The vision of a television show that could be HBO quality in entertainment but be true to the scriptures as well,” Executive Producer and CEO of ‘The Chosen,’ Derral Eves said.
But without the backing of a major film studio, funding is limited. For a massive scene like the feeding of the 5,000, producers had to get creative. But, through the power of crowdfunding, they found a way.
“The majority of the people who are here made their own costumes and came at their own expense to be here,” Eves said. “It’s really great to see the diversity of costumes and people who are here. It’s a blessing to see all the support. If you’re trying to bring 5,000 extras, even in costumes, if we had to do it ourselves, it would be cost-prohibitive for us.”
After two seasons, that eager crowd the creators count on for help had grown around the world.
“We have all 50 states represented [here] and then we have 32 countries that are here,” Eves said. “The farthest one I met personally was from Australia, the other side of the world. They took a 28 hour flight to get to the US and then another four hours to get here.”
Eves said one of the keys to the show’s success has been viewer enthusiasm.
“Part of The Chosen is getting people involved and have people feel a part of it,” he said. “The way season three got funded where people could pay it forward and unlock it for other people.”
Amber Shana Williams, who plays Tamar on the show, said the energy from the energy from the thousands of enthusiastic extras has been contagious.
“It feels like a loving warm family from the moment I first came – I was on set for three days,” Shana Williams said. I felt sad when it was over. Especially today because we have all of the fans, ‘The Chosen’ army baring the heat with us for the past two days. Midlothian is such a kind, warm town and they’ve got us set us nice out here.”
Watch ‘The Chosen’ and download the app here.