The new inspirational movie EXTRAORDINARY was created by a group of students in the Liberty University cinematic arts program, making this the first student-led film receiving a theatrical release. Based on the real-life events of acclaimed ultra-marathoner David Horton, EXTRAORDINARY follows Horton as his dream of tackling a nearly 3,000-mile run takes its toll on his body, and brings his marriage to the breaking point.
Based on a true marriage journey, EXTRAORDINARY tells the amazing story of ultra-marathon runner and college professor David Horton, his wife, Nancy, and their attempt to finish their marriage race well. EXTRAORDINARY opens in select theaters throughout the United States on Sept 7th through FATHOM events.
We are honored to be able to catch up with the movie's producer and director Scotty Curlee for this exclusive interview. Curlee is a former semi-professional cyclist, award winning writer, director, and producer with six feature films to his credit. Curlee is also an accomplished actor having played a variety of roles including that of Rick Curtis in SONY's blockbuster hit WAR ROOM and specializes in faith, family, and inspirational content. A native of South Korea, Curlee currently serves as an Assistant Professor in Liberty University's Cinematic Arts program.
Q: Scotty, thank you for doing this interview with us. What first attracted you to the script and story of EXTRAORDINARY?
Dave was one of my professors in college. He impacted my life and inspired me to dream big dreams and to go after them with a lot of hard work and perseverance. As I dug into his story, I began to understand the importance of his wife Nancy and how she contributed to his incredible journey. The fact that Dave is this inspirational guy who held all these world records and ran enough miles to circle the Earth 4.5 times is unprecedented, but the marriage journey... WOW, that's the legacy part of this story.
Q: For the sake of some of our readers who may not know much about the movie, in your words, what's the movie about?
It's about a 38-year veteran professor at the largest Christian University in the world who ran across the United States to inspire his students. On this journey however, he learns some important lessons about finding his identity in Christ and the importance of putting his family and marriage first.
Q: What did you enjoy most in directing this movie?
Two things come to mind... the first is the privilege of making a true inspirational story about a living legend who is also a close personal friend and mentor to me. Second, doing that with 60 film students in what is now the first STUDENT-DRIVEN film to open in theaters nation-wide one night only on Sept 7th. The students literally made film history with this movie.
Q: With the movie dealing with marriage, what do you think are some of the hindrances in preventing couples of going the distance in their marriages?
We live in a culture of instant gratification and quick fixes. If you don't like something, quit. If you find that a commitment is too hard to stick to, then just give up. It's a quick-fix approach to everything, and that's why it's so easy for couples to give up on each other. That's why the message of this movie is so impactful.
Q: How can this movie help couples in their marriages?
The movie deals with the importance of having our identities in Christ, and by doing so, we become less reliant on finding validation in a job title or our accomplishments. We also become less self-focused and more on being others-focused. We get a first-hand look into the incredible contributions our spouses make in our lives, contributions that affect our family members and the people around us on a personal level, things we often take for granted. Another important theme is that of perseverance in marriage and not just starting well, but more importantly, finishing well.
Q: Will single people also get something out of this film too?
Absolutely, audiences will be able to relate on multiple levels. In addition to Dave's marriage journey, the story also focuses on many of the students that Dave has had an impact on throughout his career. He encourages students to never giving up on their dreams, pursuing excellence, and finding their self-worth in God. God loves you and sees you for who you can be... never give up on yourself.
Q: How has this movie helped you personally in your own walk, relationship and life?
Its challenged me to take a closer look at my own life ambitions and the motives behind it while striving for a meaningful work/life balance. It's also helped me to be more appreciative of my wife and the incredible sacrifices she has made in our marriage, and continues to make each day. It's something I don't verbalize enough. The most important message for me personally however is that of having my identity in Christ. As a competitive athlete, it's something I've struggled with in the past. I think we've all dealt with it, especially us men. We find validation in job titles or athletic accomplishments, but what happens when we lose that job or in Dave's case, can no longer run? That's why identity in Christ is so important. We can't get caught up trying to find validation in anything or anyone else. It's got to be in Christ.