By Jerry Rollene
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Coyote Country Loser
Jerry Rollene '75
What happens when seven determined JBU alumni with a story for a great movie and a calling to make films that entertain and edify get together? One of the most fun, entertaining and delightful movies I have seen in years, “Coyote County Loser.”
This feature length romantic comedy, in my humble opinion, rivals the quality of anything that Hollywood is putting out. “People go to the movies to be entertained,” said Robert Bethke ’99 one of the producers and writers. “If we can entertain them with a well made production, then we earn a platform to share our message.”
“I think a lot of movies get love wrong, especially the romantic kind,” explained Jacob Roebuck ’97 the other producer and writer who led the effort. “We wanted to make a film that, in its own quirky way, shows us love is more than romance and marriage is a gift from God.” Other JBU students who worked on the film include Lucas Roebuck’97 (writer), Jeff Keller ’02 (line producer), Danielle (Vogus) Keller ’07 (assistant producer), Tracy Letellier ’01 (original song) and Laura Roebuck ‘01(voice talent and production assistant).
Arnie Mayer, alumnus and retired JBU communications professor, said, “It is truly amazing for these guys to have been able to produce a full length feature film of this quality. Most of us don’t realize how daunting such a project is. Very few people who dream of making movies have the determination to take their idea from conception all the way through to the big screen.”
The film follows big-city radio personality Jack Proctor who stops in a small, dusty southwest town only to find himself in a war of words ON AIR with local relationship expert Lauren Hartford about how to help people find love. Fast-paced conversations peppered with witty humor between people you soon grow to care about makes this sophisticated but surprisingly clean (rated PG) movie a sheer joy to see.
One warning: Don’t expect to hear the characters quoting Bible verses throughout the movie. “We wanted our film to take some of God’s truth to the mainstream audiences but we didn’t want to preach at them,” said Jacob. “If people go to a movie and feel like something is being shoved down their throats, they won’t hear what you have to say, regardless of how good it is.”
The film has played in 15 cities around the US and won selections in seven film festivals. Jacob, Lucas and Robert have also shared their movie at alumni events held in theaters in Los Angeles, Rogers, Wichita, and, of course, here in Siloam Springs. The film is coming to DVD this December.
This is where I want to ask the JBU family to get involved. The producers put this project together on a shoestring budget, and now they need our help to get the word out. I am ordering several copies of the film and planning on giving them as Christmas presents to family members, friends and neighbors. I encourage you to do the same. If they are Christians, they will thoroughly enjoy watching it, and if they aren’t, they won’t feel “preached at.” It can serve as a great bridge to opening a discussion on, say, authentic relationships.
Christians often complain about the lack of “family friendly” entertainment. Well, here’s your opportunity to own a great film and vote with your dollars for more to be made. We’re proud of what our alumni have been able to accomplish and I hope you will join me in supporting them. To see a trailer or to order your copy of “Coyote County Loser” go to
Jerry Rollene is director of alumni and
parent relations for JBU.