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Laughing At The Moon

WRITING PLAYS
Alyssa grew up in southern California in a Christian home.  Her parents were gone a lot of church events, so it was her godly grandmother who Alyssa says was also instrumental in her life.  At the age of 7, Billy Graham had a crusade.  One night she couldn’t go because she wasn’t feeling well so she and her grandmother watched it on TV.  When he asked if people wanted to receive Christ, Alyssa asked the Lord in her heart with her grandmother in the house.     

Alyssa started acting in church productions when she was 4, and by the time she was 14, Alyssa started writing songs and music. In high school, her drama teacher took Alyssa under her wings and showed her the ropes on putting together a production, from beginning to end. Alyssa decided to study film in high school and in college. Although her double minor was in Theater and Social Work, Alyssa went into domestic violence counseling after graduating.  Evenutally she took a break because she was felt that she continually in crises, in shelters, etc.  Alyssa didn’t live very far from Hollywood so she decided to get back into doing more theater.  She began auditioning for roles that grieves her heart.  A pastor encouraged Alyssa to write a play, so she wrote 4 of them.  With the knowledge she learned from her drama teacher in high school, Alyssa directed them and put them on at what is now Calvary Chapel in California.  The play that almost everyone liked was “Laughing at the Moon,” which she decided to take to a church in North Carolina (her father was a pastor in California.)     

She entered “Laughing at the Moon” in a nationwide State Theatre, Plays and Playwright Festival Contest and it came in as top finalist.  “It took 3 years to convert to a screenplay,” says Alyssa.  At the time, she was introduced to Alex Kendrick who produced Facing The Giants, Fireproof and War Room.  She talked to Alex Kendrick, and met cinematographer Bob Scott (Fireproof, Courageous, War Room).  Both men were busy producing faith-based films, but while they were filming their movie, Courageous, they invited Alyssa to visit the set.

THE MAKING OF
One day Bob called Alyssa because his wife looked at the script for Laughing at the Moon and liked it.  He took the script on a trip with him and decided to read it.  Eventually he called and said he had to film her movie (after initially telling her he couldn’t).  “It’s taken a lot of death and resurrection with this,” says Alyssa.  “Everytime I turned around, God would do a miracle.” Alyssa raised the money to make Laughing at the Moon by presenting it to people and eventually she got a few investors.  “It was amazing how it came together.  After all that, we didn’t realize how much it would take to distribute it.  That’s been a whole different journey,” she says.

The movie is a heartfelt, faith-based comedy about Iris (played by Alyssa) who is an eccentric, altruistic woman who moves in with a self-absorbed, snobby roommate named Natalie (played by Erin Bethea who starred in the movie, Fireproof).  Iris is weird and wears mismatched clothes.  Natalie and her friends don’t realize what they are getting into when Iris walks into the door.  The movie opens on September 9 in limited markets in Atlanta, Georgia and Knoxville, Tennessee. And on September 16th, it opens in Los Angeles, California and Southern California.  If your city is not one of the initial opening markets, please fill out the form online and request the film be released in your area.  Someone from CounterAct Pictures will contact you and let you know what needs to be done to bring Laughing at the Moon to to your city. For ticket information, please visit www.Fandango.com.

“The message of the movie is sacrificial love,” says Alyssa.  “Our thought is to offer an alternative to what’s out there to bring the message of Jesus through film.”  Alyssa is requesting prayer.  “There’s so much spiritual warfare.”  This is one of the first faith-based film written, directed, produced and put in theaters by a woman.

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Guest Info

Credits

Get Tickets for Lauhing at the Moon

Founder, CounterAct Pictures, Writer/Director/Producer

Graduate: University of Georgia Athens, Double Minor, Theater and Social Work

Married

4 children: Justin, Teila, Hillary & Elliot

Acting teacher

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