WSBT 22 gets a behind the scenes look at local film 'Rodeo Girl'


A big time movie star is teaming up with a local film-maker on an unforgettable project. Part of the film was supposed to be shot in Michiana, but a huge fire forced the crew to change plans.

WSBT 22 got a behind the scenes look at "Rodeo Girl" as the crew fights to keep the film local.

Part of the movie was shot at a non-profit horse farm near Grand Rapids that helps kids build confidence and self-esteem through riding horses.

Lucas Miles is one of the producers of this film. You might recognize him. He's a pastor at Oasis Granger Church in Granger, Indiana.

"The film is called Rodeo Girl and it features Kevin Sorbo, who most people would know from 'God's Not Dead' here recently or 'Hercules' in the 90's," Miles said. "it's just a real honor to have him on the project."

WSBT 22 spent an afternoon behind the scenes in Grand Rapids watching Sorbo and Miles shoot a few scenes.

"I'm playing duke," Sorbo said. "Duke is a roping riding cowboy. He does a lot of bronx and he got hurt real bad years ago and it caused a lot of problems not just for him professionally but personally he lost his wife and daughter at a very young age. She was only one when they took off and he hasn't seen them now in about 13 years.. either of them and out of the blue finally - his x-wife drops them at the ranch cause she's getting married. She's going on some boat cruise or something and I've got to deal with being a father to somebody who doesn't know me and I don't know her."

Sophie Bolen plays the role of his daughter.

"My character's name is Priscilla," Bolen said. "She's from the east coast and she is a strong rider. She's very proper and she is a hunter jumper girl and she's very strong-willed and very determined and won't back down and then she has to go live with her dad who she's never met in the midwest in michigan and so that's a big turn for her and kind of adapting to that lifestyle."

The film itself took a big turn. It suffered an unfortunate setback two weeks ago. Smithfield stables, near Edwardsburg, burned to the ground.

The film crew was scheduled to shoot scenes there two days later.

"It was the biggest fire I'd ever seen," Lucas said. "Their barn is the size of a football field. It's a beautiful property. We were looking at using the drive into the house with the barn. It's just a super picturesque drive. From a film standpoint we'll get through it, but from a relationship standpoint we just hate seeing them go through this and I'm so thankful for the way the community's responding to reach out and help."

That's what this community is so good at doing.

Lucas is working to find another local horse stable where he can film, and it's a big shoot.

He needs to find a place to shoot the opening scene of the movie.

"We're going to set up a full horse show," Lucas said. "We'll have a dozen different riders and horses and judges, the whole bit."

Jumps like you see in the most prestigious competitions.

It's the final shoot for a film that has always been about following your dreams.

"I love the big picture be able to see all the pieces of where they need to go and make sure those things fall into place," Lucas said.

Lucas is hoping to find another local stable to finish that shoot very soon. Rodeo Girl should be doneMarch 1stand ready for distribution mid-summer.

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