By Nikki Velarde, The Belton Journal
It was a long day of filming Thursday as Solar Flight Productions teamed up with Tiger Media from Belton High School to work on filming one of five short films to premiere at Grand Avenue Theater April 25 to benefit The Chosen Tree.
Solar Flight Productions is an independent Christian production company founded by Garrett Ray in 2014. Ray and his team are “dedicated to producing uplifting entertainment and providing high quality productions.” They aim to “provide a positive alternative” to the mainstream entertainment that we consistently see nowadays. Their comedy skits and dramatic shorts hold to a higher sense of morals; they make you laugh and make you think without leaving you feeling dirty unlike most of what we see in today’s entertainment industry.
“We want to be able to make a film and have people say not only was that a good movie, but there was good in it,” Ray explained. “We’ve seen a resurgence in redemptive films” but the aim is to “invest in people” in order to do and make good.
Solar Flight Productions along with Belton High School is set to host First Flight, a film premiere benefitting The Chosen Tree.
The Chosen Tree provides programs and resources for those at risk of trafficking and abuse. One such program they have in place is Operation Princess, where gift bags are provided to girls in safe houses and detention centers who are recovering from human trafficking. “It is our goal to make each girl feel like God’s special possession,” said Jessica Brinkley, Founder and President of The Chosen Tree.
Although human trafficking is undeniably more prevalent in other parts of the world, it still plays a large role in the underground life of crime in the United States. “Depending on who you ask, Houston is either the leading trafficking site in the U.S. or very near the top,” Brinkley explained. According to a study, “nearly one quarter of all trafficking victims in the U.S. end up in Texas.”
Human trafficking is the most profitable crime in the world and is the leading crime behind illegal drug distribution. Only 48 hours after running away from home, 1 in 3 children will be picked up by a pimp according to the US Department of Justice. According to the United Nations, just 1 in every 100 victims of trafficking are ever rescued. “We will be donating half of our profits to (Chosen Tree) so they can continue the great work that they’re doing,” Ray replied.
“Belton High School has one of the best AV Departments I’ve ever seen so we were excited to partner and work with them,” Ray added.
As freshman, students “come into the Intro to Media class and learn about the camera and the basics of editing,” said Randy Bell, Tiger Media Producer. In the Media Program “we’re probably looking at 450-500 students involved,” explained Mark Fitzwater, Tiger Media Director. “They’ve got a leg-up on pretty much anyone that hasn’t had that kind of exposure,” Bell added.
BHS Senior, Chris Hahahaas, says “it’s great to see the behind the scenes of an actual production and to be a part of something where the High School can help do something for the community.”
Fellow Senior, Branden Hawk expressed how it was nice to be a part of a production “that puts Christian morals” in the forefront.
“Funny doesn’t equal crude, and drama doesn’t equal cheating spouses,” Ray explained. “Solar Flight Productions is dedicated to making entertainment good again. We can be effective by being honest. Our goal is to glorify God with what we do.”
For more information on Solar Flight Productions, please visit their website at solarflightpro.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information on The Chosen Tree, Human Trafficking, and how you can help, please visit their website at thechosentree.com.
Tickets for First Flight at Grand Avenue Theater on April 25th at 6pm can be preordered for $10 online by visiting thechosentree.com/#!events/cbys or can be purchased at the door for $12. Don’t miss out on your chance to join the fight against human trafficking!