Thursday, July 14, 2011

The "17 Miracle Workers"--T. C. Christensen and Ron Tanner

T. C. Christensen and his cousin, Ron Tanner, are the miracle workers for "17 Miracles."  They made it happen.  The interesting thing about them is that neither of them are "professionals."  Well, they actually are, but they don't do this for a living.  T. C. is a cinematographer and Ron, if I remember right, is a financial planner.  They do an amazingly professional job for not being "professionals," huh?

I wish I had the pictures that I took of T. C. Christensen as he worked on set.  It was incredible.  He was patience, quiet, professional in every moment.  I was amazed one night during the barn scene (I hope it made the cut in the movie).  It had been a very long day for everyone, but especially for him.  At midnight, he was still going strong.  I asked him if he weren't tired.  He looked at me puzzled, as if what kind of question was that.  His answer:  "I love doing this.  To me, this is fun!"  I did get the picture below when he was talking with some of the actors/extras.  Perhaps it is appropriate that this is the picture of T. C. that survived.  He always had time for people. 

There are some neat pictures of him, as well as others, at the website below.  (But don't go there until you have seen the pictures of our favorite Ron that are here!)

Ron Tanner, T. C.'s cousin, worked very closely with him on this movie.  He took charge of recruiting, organizing and verifying the extras.  In the movie, "Treasures in Heaven," he was called the producer and production manager.  I don't know if that is what he was called in "17 Miracles."  The thing that impressed me with Ron was his constant smile.  I know that there were some challenging days, when people who had promised to show up to be extras, didn't show up.  It put a lot of stress on him and T. C.  But Ron just kept on smiling.  I think that attitude in Ron and in T. C. was what made being an extra on this movie so fun, as well as kept everything so positive.

Ron, with his constant smile

Ron would arrange for all the extras, calling us the day before to let us know what time to arrive.  Then he was always checking that list. He would make sure we had shown up and signed his list.   I often thought of Santa Claus, "making a list and checking it twice," when I saw him.  As jolly as old St. Nick, it seemed to fit. 

Each day, Ron would have a list of all the extras (maybe the main actors/actresses too, for all I know).  We would have to sign a release so that we couldn't sue them.  I never saw anyone get injured, but I had a small mishap myself.  In one scene, I was given a heavy pot to hold.  In between retakes, I would set it down on the ground next to me.  I was positioned in front of a handcart with an axe tied on the back of it.  One time when I was standing back up from retrieving the pot, I hit the axe with my mouth.  Even though my mouth was closed , I chipped a tooth.  Thank goodness it was a very minor chip and needed little work.  It is my "souvenir" from the movie.

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