“Refuge from the Storm” did this REALLY happen?

Behind the Scenes of the Movie "Refuge From the Storm" Actress Kristen Quintrall Preparing for the upcoming scene. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie “Refuge From the Storm” Actress Kristen Quintrall preparing for Marah’s deliverance scene. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

The producers of Refuge From the Storm met for the first time in November of 2009, in a Vista sushi bar to discuss making films. They wanted to produce stories about God’s power working in the lives of ordinary people. It was possible to produce inspiring, faith-based movies that tell the real stories of people’s lives, not sterilized versions. They saw the need for movies that show how dark and broken a life can become, and how God can then restore that individual to complete wholeness.

It was also clear which story to tell first. So, right away they interviewed the woman, and began to write the script. They finished Refuge from the Storm in June of 2010.

And a new generation of faith-based films was born.

Almost everything in the movie is based on actual events. Marah received complete deliverance in the hospital that day. We don’t know if the real Steve ever wrote the book.

Sam did try to attack Linda that night in the parking lot behind Katrine’s bar. But we’re not clear exactly what he saw. Whatever it was, it scared him off. When Linda turned around to see, the place was deserted. We believe Sam saw angels. We portrayed them as gang members.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie "Refuge From the Storm" Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie “Refuge From the Storm” Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Stories of God’s deliverance happen in the lives of people all the time, everywhere.  Most go undocumented.

The real Linda never wanted the focus to be on her or any one person. Rather, she wanted to share the principles, which cause God’s power to kick in, so God would receive the glory. For this reason, we’ve never publicly released the identity of the characters portrayed in the film.

Why did the main character agree to have her story told?

She thought her story would benefit and inspire others. People looking for answers can know it’s available to see God’s power operate in their lives to a greater degree. The real Linda is quick to say she actually knew very little of the Word of God at this time in her life. But she’d been taught she had “Christ in her,” and that it was available to do the works that Jesus Christ did and greater.

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

She believed it and acted, and God moved with might.

Kristin Quintrall talks about playing Linda

Behind the Scenes of the Movie "Refuge From the Storm" Actresses Kristen Quintrall and Angie Jerez with Director Elias Acosta and Producer James Ellis. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

Behind the Scenes of the Movie “Refuge From the Storm” Actresses Kristen Quintrall and Angie Jerez with Director Elias Acosta and Producer James Ellis. Photo taken by Debbie Hertzfeldt.

“I’ve actually had the pleasure to meet the woman that this movie is about, and there’d be certain scenes where I’d think, how did you do this? I don’t mean in an acting way, but what really happened. Then, I’d find out the motivation for all of it.”

“It’s been really cool to pick her brain, but it also had its challenges, too. That’s because she was right behind the monitor. Sometimes I’d wonder, am I doing this right? Is this how I’m supposed to do this? But the fact that this IS a true story makes it that much more epic.”

Where’s the real Linda these days?

Since her dramatic deliverance in the 1970’s, she has enjoyed a life free from bondage.  She’s married and has raised three wonderful daughters. Two are married and having children of their own. She’s enjoyed seeing God work in her life for over 30 years, and continues to tell her story to those who desire to understand more about God’s Power and His goodness.

Get your copy of the Movie today!  |   Watch the movie trailer   |   See what Vista Films is doing next!


Refuge from the Storm: Behind the Scenes Look

Men with Lights

Every year at the Oscars, the film industry celebrates the artistry of its cinematographers and directors of photography. They should. A good cinematographer can take a decent story and make it breathtaking.

Thanks to director Elias Acosta, the Refuge from the Storm production had an outstanding cinematographer—Bruce Logan ASC.

They’re friends.

We talked about Bruce in an earlier article.

What people outside the actual filmmaking industry might not know is that no cinematographer is an island. He or she needs his gaffer and an no nonsense team light their visual confections.

We’ll never look at an inside daylight scene the same again.


Photo Courtesy The Decider

Enter Mr. Kevin Funaki, Mr. Trevor Elliot, and Mr. Tommy Gallagher (and company).

They are to lighting, what Heimdall is to Thor–keeping out the forces of darkness.

They have the ability to make the lighting effects happen. And we mean that in a very super hero, man-of-steel sort of way, despite the fact that Kevin is a Raiders fan. 🙂

As a reminder, Vista Films International is based in San Diego.

On Location Butt Saving

Case in point, Linda is at a yogurt shop one night when she runs into Steve. If you look behind her to the left, you see a shop with sit-by-the-fire warmth beaming through its window. It undeniably adds to the gorgeousness of the shot. Thanks to Bruce, Kevin and the guys.

Here’s what happened. The locations manager was supposed to arrange to have that shop stay open long enough to keep their windows lit. Never happened.

Bruce Logan: I need that window lit.

Locations Manager: Ugh!?  OMG. What now? How am I going to light this effin shop window?

Yogurt Shop Owner: Here’s their number.

Owner of Shop with Dark Window: Ain’t no way I’m coming back to light you up, babe.

Locations Manager: S#?@!! Now what?

Nothing necessary. Kevin and the guys already lit the place by shooting a few angled spots from under the awning. Here’s what the screen looked like:



In the end, it worked out better than the shop’s cold, in-house flourescents.

That’s what we mean by superheros. Front light, side light, backlight—and uncooperative store light—all lit to perfection.

San Diego Film Equipment

Trevor Elliot has been shooting films since middle school. He’s currently a partner and director of photography for San Diego Film Equipment. He recently finished a gig as director of photography for a film short called Homestead. It’s in coloration with Bruce Logan at the moment, and will be part of a festival release.

Logan communicated light setups to Kevin Funaki, the gaffer. The grips helped set lights as well as facilitate camera movements.

Elliott shared what it was like to work with Logan. Bruce Logan is highly respected. He was the director of photography for TRON. It was amazing to with so closely with the cinematographer. That doesn’t happen on a big picture. Refuge was a small film, so there was time to really pick his brain. It was a tremendous learning experience.


Film Terminology

A Gaffer is the chief electrician. He coordinates how the lights will be placed | powered.

The Grips support camera crew with positioning: dolly, crane, or ladder shots achieve optimal storytelling angles.

See the visuals in the DVD.