Taking "crowdfunding" to the next level, those we see in the crowd will be those who funded Season 3.
Fresh off a successful second season, The Chosen is now raising funds for a third. For two years the first multi-series on the life of Christ has broken records by raising millions in donations from fans. Now, the creators have a new way for the faithful to participate, and it’s bringing a whole new meaning to the term “crowdfunding.”
According to Religion Unplugged, the creators of The Chosen are casting fans as extras for the upcoming “Feeding of the 5,000” episode. Producers will select extras from a pool of those who have donated at least $1,000 to the cause. Those we will see among the crowd in that episode will literally be the same people who funded the project.
Producer Dallas Jenkins announced the casting call on a livestream with his production company Loaves and Fishes:
“The feeding of the 5,000 is not only one of the signature moments of the gospels, it is one of the signature moments in the life of the show,” Dallas Jenkins explained. “Just like the Sermon on the Mount, but with a few things different this time around, if you pay it forward at the level of $999.99 or more, that qualifies you to come to the feeding of the five thousand.”
First come first Chosen
Jenkins went on to note that there is a limit to how many extras they can use. The series has always worked to keep the content as true to the biblical narrative as possible. To this end, they will only take 5,000 extras, even if 20,000 answer the call. If space allows, those who donate will be offered the option to bring family members for an additional $100 per person.
The funds will go towards the show’s expenses, as well as maintaining their free-to-watch format. Jenkins says that in order to complete the show’s seven seasons and reach their goal of 1 billion viewers, Loaves and Fishes will need to raise $100 million. He said:
“We want to reach a billion people with this show. Minimum,” Jenkins said. “We want to reach a billion people with the authentic Jesus. And the only way we’re going to do that is if it’s free. And the only way it can be free is if you pay it forward.”
Pay it forward
The “pay it forward” model allows individuals to donate money so that others may watch for free as well. Suggested donations range from $15 to $25,000, with different levels of reach listed for each degree of donation. They estimate that the donation required to be an extra, $1,000, will bring The Chosen to an additional 1,000 viewers.
The show is largely funded thanks to this campaign, which has helped produce the previous two seasons. The third season is well on its way to full funding. When this article was written, they had already raised over $1,525,000 of their $2,250,000 goal. To date, they have nearly funded six of the next eight episodes.
On their website, show creators note that the donation of $1,000 can be made over several payments. Unfortunately, donations from previous seasons do not apply. They also state that extras under 18 are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult. Extras will be responsible for their own costume, for which guidelines will be sent.
The production team also notes that all extras will be required to follow COVID-19 guidelines. The Chosen must comply with regulations set by the Screen Actors Guild, which has been strict throughout the pandemic. They say it is possible that they will require a negative COVID-19 test, but they will know more as they approach their scheduled filming in Spring 2022.
Read the FAQ and learn how to sign up to be an extra at The Chosen’s support page.