Today we have a special videoconference on the book and movie The Ultimate Gift, organized and sponsored by Polycom. Students from California, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas interviewed the author, Jim Stovall; the screen writer Cheryl McKay; and the lead actor, Drew Fuller. Macomb ISD provided the bridging and facilitation. Thank you for Jim Wenzloff, Macomb ISD, and Elaine Shuck, Polycom for the behind the scenes work that made this event possible.
The program started with introductions from the panel, and then students took turns asking questions. Here are some of them.
- For Drew: Did you find it difficult to play the part of Jason in the movie?
- For Jim: What impact has this movie had on your life?
- For Jim: What was it like for you to be in the movie?
- For Cheryl: Did you change any parts of the story and why?
- For Cheryl: Did you find that you emphasized some gifts more than others?
- For Jim: Did you get to have any say over which actors would be in the movie?
- For Drew: Which was the most difficult scene to act?
- For Cheryl: Was it hard to transition from the book to the movie?
- For Jim: Are any of the scenes in the book things that happened to you in your life?
- For Cheryl: What made you want to add characters that weren’t in the book?
- For Drew: What inspired you to be an actor at such a young age?
- For Jim: Since you are blind, do you find it hard to not be able to see the movie?
- For Jim & Cheryl: Which parts do you wish you could have changed in the movie and which parts do you think changed for the best?
- For Drew: What was it like playing Jason and how do you relate to the character?
- For Jim: Did they use any actual quotes from the book in the movie?
- For Drew: If you were actually in Jason’s position, what would you do with the inheritance?
- For Drew: Do you think you’ve been impacted by the 12 gifts and changed in any way?
Students learned about the process of writing a book, writing a script based on the book, and then making it into a movie. They learned about how the book impacted the lives of each panelist. One interesting note is that in the credits at the end of the movie, there are little clips that show all 12 of the gifts from the book and how they were woven into the movie.