The phenomenal multi-season series "The Chosen" began its campus tour with the intent of discovering if college students like them, only to be welcomed by tens of thousands of youth.
Film Director and "The Chosen" Creator Dallas Jenkins revealed in a video uploaded to the series' YouTube Channel on Monday that they wanted to know the reactions college students have to their online series.
Jenkins, who also is one of the writers of the show, shared in the video that they did not anticipate the welcome they would receive when they arrived at Virginia's Liberty University. He disclosed that the experience was surreal since he studied in the same school.
"Being on Liberty campus is extraordinary and it is so funny to be here when I was here five years ago. But I think back on where I was in life back then to know how much my life was going to change to come back to this very place and see 20,000 students and parents and staff looking up at you because they have been so impacted by what we're doing, it's so extraordinary," Jenkins said.
"Because when I was sitting in that seat when I went to college and I sat in gatherings like Chapel, I didn't have an opportunity to hear some of the things that we were able to share today," he explained.
Jenkins revealed that they wanted to reach out to all generations through "The Chosen" but they really wanted to give college students something. Jenkins gave an inspirational talk during the visit where he shared how impossible it would be for him to give the students a guide in accomplishing what he did through the show.
"I can't stand here now and give you an advice on how to make a show that ended up getting crowdfunded millions of dollars and being in every country in the world. And I can't tell you how to do that. Here's why because, as dumb as it would have been for the boy who provided the five loaves and two fish to go home to his parents and say, 'Mom, I fed 5,000 people today,' that would be how dumb it would be for me to stand in front of you today and say I made The Chosen, here's how. I don't know how; I just provided the loaves and fish," Jenkins emphasized.
The video, which showed snippets of what transpired during their campus tour, presented the testimonials of different students on how they came to know about "The Chosen." One male student shared that his friends always urged him to watch the show but he only kept responding he will add it to his list. The student explained that he kept a list of the shows he intends to watch. He shared that after seeing the trailer presented by "The Chosen" team during the campus tour, he realized that he wants to watch the series already.
Meanwhile, a female student admitted that she had no intention of watching the show until she found out from friends about how Matthew was portrayed in the series. She said Matthew can be portrayed in a sanitized, cardboard cut-out way. But after seeing the show, she said it was not like that.
Hearing this testimonial, Noah James, who plays Matthew in the show, said it is special to him to see how people are excited about the show and be moved by it. James also shared that spreading hope can sometimes be eye-opening for a person.
Other members of the cast such as Elizabeth Tabish (who plays Mary Magdalene) and Lara Silva (who portrays Eden), were also present during the visit. The actresses also shared how the show has impacted their lives through the various reactions and stories they received from viewers.
According to Liberty University's website, Dallas and "The Chosen" cast visited their campus last February to share their faith journey in making the show. Dallas' two children, Sam and Maya, are currently enrolled in the school. The University said Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus Christ for the show, was not able to attend the event. Roumie however prepared a video on his faith journey that was played by "The Chosen" team during the visit.
"The Chosen" is the highest crowd-funded project of all time, which has been translated into more than 50 languages. The show has completed funding for its Season 3 and is currently 33% funded for Season 4 Episode 2, which is at $976,466 through the generosity of 34,300 people from around the globe.
The show gets funding through its Pay It Forward program where viewers who watched the show freely are invited to give donations so that others may watch it freely, too. The show also has an online gift store where clothes, books, and copies of the show can be purchased and added to its funding.