Do you believe in miracles? Sony Pictures newest release, Miracles from Heaven, explores the idea of miracles and fate, while telling the true story of Annabel Beam. Anna Beam is a vivacious young girl, whose life is perfect. She lives with her adoring parents, Christy and Kevin, and her two sisters, on an idyllic farm, under the shade of a gargantuan cottonwood tree. She plays, she goes to school, she is a normal child. Until one day, when Anna falls sick with terrible pain. Her parents rush her to the nearest hospital but no doctor can diagnose Anna’s illness. After a desperate search for answers and hundreds of specialty doctors’ visits, it was concluded that Anna suffered from pseudo-obstruction motility disorder, a crippling, incurable disease that leaves patients unable to digest food.
Despite the dire diagnosis, devoted mom Christy (played by Jennifer Garner) relentlessly searches for a way to save her beloved daughter. Everything changes in an instant when Anna, while climbing with her sister, plummets thirty feet into the base of the cottonwood tree, mere feet from her front door. Anna miraculously survives the fall unharmed and begins to tell an amazing story of a visit to heaven. Her family and doctors become even more baffled when the young girl begins to show signs of recovering from her fatal condition.
Did you know that this movie was filmed right here, in Newton County? Scouts began the hunt for the perfect house for the Beam family, and they found it! A local Covington, Georgia family was approached by the production team about 4 months before filming began. Their hobby farm, with its gorgeous white farmhouse and rolling pastures, was the perfect location for a huge movie production. We contacted the family about their filming experience and they gave us some exclusive memories from the set.
The family says that the production team had access to their property for a full six weeks. The crew consisted of over 200 people, all of whom were in their home during filming. Most of the family’s furniture was taken out and replaced with props, but they said that their animals were allowed in the film. The family raises 4 pigs and 5 goats on seven acres, and the filming crew fell in love with them. The family said that the crew would hang out with their pets and feed them extra food scraps from the catering truck! We asked the family what the strangest part of the filming process was. They mentioned that, during scenes that needed to take place at night, their entire home was blacked out with curtains and tape. They said it was pretty creepy to drive by their house and see black curtains hanging from their windows and doors.
The biggest project was the construction of the ginormous tree, where Anna would subsequently fall and be healed from her illness. First, a construction team dug a six-foot hole into the family’s front pasture. The hole was then filled with cement and steel anchors forming the base. Once that was completed, a metal framework (which was built in a studio workshop in Los Angeles) was reconstructed on the site. All told, the tree would reach over 60 feet in height. Funny story! Once the filming was completed, crew members had to use plasma torches to remove the metal framework. Someone accidentally caught the tree set on fire! Talk about a hot day at the office!
Miracles from Heaven was released through Colombia Pictures, and is based on the book by Christy Beam. Go see this incredibly uplifting film tonight with your family and try to spot the Newton County home. Miracles from Heaven is currently still in select theaters. By the way, all of the photos used in this article were provided by the family. Thank you so much for allowing us to tell your story and for sharing your awesome shots!