Don Beebe loves a good challenge, and his budding movie project certainly is providing one.
Between refining the movie's script, pursuing funding and crucial decisions to be made on filming location and casting, the Kaneland graduate and former NFL receiver is putting his multi-tasking skills to the test, especially considering his ongoing ties to Aurora Christian's football program.
To this point, dealing with the script has been on Beebe's front-burner.
"It typically takes 10 to 15 times to go throughout the whole thing, and so we're in the fourth edition now," Beebe said. "The story's coming to fruition. It's been great, and I've learned a lot about how to make a movie go."
Beebe stepped down as Aurora Christian football's coach in December – in part to free up additional time for the biographical movie – but remains on as the Eagles' staff as offensive coordinator in support of his brother, Dave, the team's new head coach and longtime former defensive coordinator.
Beebe is hopeful filming can begin this fall, with an eye toward a potential release date in 2015 or 2016. His role with Aurora Christian football is only one of the reasons he would like the film to be shot locally. Beebe said the Aurora/Sugar Grove area is his preference for filming the movie, but if that can't be worked out, it likely would be filmed in Georgia.
"This is where I'm from," Beebe said. "I was born in Aurora, and I want it shot in Aurora just from a logistical thing, too, me being able to be around a little bit more because Georgia, I'll be gone for a while because I'm going to be on set every day. I'm going to be heavily involved in the making of this movie, and that's what I wanted.
"I want the truth, the real story of what God did for me, and not for it to be something that's not real."
The faith-based film does not yet have an official title but will be thematically similar to a 2012 book on Beebe's life entitled "Six Rings from Nowhere," charting Beebe's ascent to the NFL despite being undersized and playing college football at little-known Chadron State. Desert Wind Faith Films is handling the movie's production.
Beebe's long-term vision is to become a faith-based, global speaker, and he thinks the movie will help him on that path.
"It's always been a passion of mine," Beebe said. "I love doing it, and if this thing does go through, it's going to give me a great platform to be able to travel the world and speak."
Beebe said he'll travel to New York in the coming weeks to continue working on the project's funding. The level of funding secured would give Desert Wind more options when it comes to casting and production.
Ever the optimist, Beebe is upbeat about gaining the necessary financial backing.
"If God wants it to happen, it's going to happen," Beebe said. "There are no barriers and no obstacles that can't be climbed. I'm a living example of that."
As for his new role as an assistant coach for Aurora Christian, Beebe said it does not feel like a major change considering both he and Dave Beebe heavily were involved in the past and will remain so.
"We still look at our roles as two brothers just coaching football and having fun doing it, and that's it," Beebe said.