Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Dear Friends & Family,
Well it’s that time of year again…and what a year it has been! This season finds us full of excitement and business. The picture theme this year is “The Wizard of Oz” in honor of the film that inspired my dad to make movies. 2016 has been such a blessing. We have seen God’s provision in our lives and our film company in ways that astound us. We have made many new friends and had extraordinary experiences and opportunities.
January found me in the middle of my sophomore year at Heritage Christian School. I turned 16 and cut my hair shorter than my dad’s. I started drawing a lot. I learned how to snowboard and my dad bought me ice skates so I could better partake in my new favorite activity. Basically, a lot changed. I guess I got to the age where I’m starting to drag my dad around to everything I have to do instead of vice-versa.
March welcomed the newest family member, our dog Asher, into our lives at 5 months old. In April, I sang a duet with a friend at a music festival and I performed the lead role in the school’s spring play as Amelia Earhart. This experience inspired me to look more into theatre acting, which I was to pursue as a career. This month also brought us Dallas, a foster boy who lived with us for 6 months. We had previously done respite with Dallas and accepted him to come live with us for as long as the Lord would lead.
In May, I got braces on a scholarship and I finished my sophomore year. My dad and Dallas acted in a short film clip that our partners, Jennings and Aaron, made about Mars. June brought summer in a truckload. I began to work as a teen intern at an acting summer camp that I used to attend called Camp Equinox. Dallas also attended. I enjoyed this experience just as much as when I was a camper, and I look forward to my continued work there next summer. We also held casting for our film, Take Two, which was a total blessing. We even got to do a radio interview and had an ad on 99.1FM (which is how we got our lead character). June is also my dad’s birthday month.
Camp Equinox ended in July and we traveled to Wyoming for a scholastic pageant that I was entered in. The experience was amazing and I will be entering again next year, God willing. While there, I won 1st place in Creative Writing for a short story I submitted, Personal Development for all of the activities I am involved in, and most importantly Spirit of the Pageant award. This award is given to the teen girl who most embodies what the pageant is about; namely confidence, inspiration, and the like. My dad wrote a letter to me about why he felt I should receive this award, and it was read in front of everyone when I won. This was a beautiful picture of our testimony and an opportunity where the gospel was shared with many—perfect for us as we began filming right after this.
August-September was full with filming!!! This was absolutely amazing and such a crazy experience for my dad and I. As mentioned before, we met a ton of wonderful people who we now call friends and family. It was weird to see our story come to life all over again, but with different people. Our main actors, Robert Rogers (Dad or “Clay” in the film), Izzy Merriman (me or “Sophie” in the film), and Dawn Long (my mom or “Michelle” in the film) were so much fun to work with, along with our entire cast. Our crew is such a blessing in the cinematography, makeup/wardrobe, dog wrangling, sound, production, etc. We have truly been blessed with remarkably talented people whom we love dearly. (You all know who you are).
September brought the beginning of my junior year and volleyball season. Our team made it to the state tournament again, and it was hosted at our school. I joined the Robotics team and was elected as the school Secretary for Student Government. In October, my dad went to California for more filming, and in November he went to Nashville for editing. Our church, Calvary Chapel, met for the first time in our new building on November 6th—an exciting milestone for our church family. I also got 5th and 6th place at the MSU Science Olympiad with some of my best friends in my 2 events. We finished the first rough assembly cut of our film.
And now December. Snow is upon the ground with Christmas spirit in the air. This year, I wrote and directed the Christmas play at our church. I continue to do kid’s ministry and nursery. My dad is soon to go to Nashville again for more editing. While I am sad that such a wonderful year is ending, we are looking forward to whatever the Lord has for us in 2017.
I hope this season finds you blessed. Thank you for being a wonderful part of our lives. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Robert & Kristi Kollar (and the pets, Asher (dog), Leo, Tiger, and Lily (cats)
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” ~ John 1:14