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Matter To Someone

The Best Thing About Christmas 

Screenplay by Alan Peterson

Based on the Musical by Derek Hinckley

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The Story

Struggling singer-songwriter, Dylan, thinks he’s finally made it when he and his band, Rivers Deep, sign a contract with a big-time Nashville Record Label and he moves his family to Nashville.


But, when his talented teenage daughter, Molly, is killed in an accident on Christmas Eve, Dylan’s world comes crashing down. Seeing her dad self-destructing and on the verge of losing everything, Molly, now an angel, intervenes in Dylan’s life, eventually, helping him create a Christmas miracle no one will ever forget.      


"A Star is Born" meets "A Christmas Carol"


Full Synopsis Experience Here

Just a taste of the more than 20
Original Songs in the film


For more than 30 years, Alan Peterson has directed, written, and produced a diverse cross-section of material for both the big screen and the small screen including directing "TREK", The Movie, a feature dramedy about a group of teenagers on a pioneer re-enactment camp-out. Prior to "TREK", he wrote, produced, and directed "Christmas Dress" that quickly became a Covenant Communications’ best-seller. Peterson wrote, produced, and directed "If These Walls Could Talk", the story of the Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers. Early in his career, he produced the independent feature "Escape from Alaska" featuring Thomas Ian Griffith, C. Thomas Howell, and R. Lee Ermey. Alan also brings experience as an actor to his directing skills having been featured in Disney Channel and HBO movies, as well as CBS’s "Touched by an Angel" and "Promised Land." He also had featured roles in "The Cokeville Miracle", "Ephraim’s Rescue", and "The World’s Fastest Indian."
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Alan Peterson


Derek Hinckley


In the fall of 2018, Derek decided it was time. Time to shake things up and write his story in his own way. He took a Christmas tune he'd penned a decade prior and began tinkering with it. As a lifelong musician and band mate with his two brothers, and an avid songwriter who moved to Nashville with four chords and a dream, he drew from his own life as he created characters, a story, and then inserted his own music into the narrative. That December "The Best Thing About Christmas" made its debut to a room of 100 people in Knoxville, TN.  Little did he realize what had just spun into motion. 
Residing in Mount Juliet, TN with his wife and five boys, Derek has been a creator all his life. He has been the driving force behind his brothers band The Hinckley Brothers and his move to Nashville in 2007 with only a paper-napkin publishing deal is proof. He's written songs since he was 18 following in the footsteps of his musician parents. Derek is also a film-maker with his brothers and operates his own business building custom backyard creations all across the country.  He has always had his sights set on finding specific ways he can share his gifts with others and make a difference. With the launch of the stage musical in 2021, "The Best Thing About Christmas" is now on its way to becoming a household name and the chance to make this film is the culmination of Derek's body of work over 25 years in the creative arts. As he often says "If you don't do good things, good things won't happen".   

After teaming up with Alan, a gifted writer and visionary, this touching story of hope, grit, redemption, and lifting others while relying on God and family for strength is ready for the big screen.

The Journey from Musical to Big Screen

By Derek Hinckley

The musical “The Best Thing About Christmas” actually came from a poem that was given over the pulpit at my church in Nashville. After I asked for a copy of the poem the song came to me very quickly. It was one of those songs that wrote itself but I didn’t really know what to do with it. About 10 years later I felt an urge to try something new...really new. “How hard could writing a musical be?” I thought. After all, I was a songwriter and, in my naïveté, I guess I assumed that it would not be that much different. Whoa, was I wrong. After four years of writing and re-writing, learning how to tell an effective story, and collaborating with some seriously talented and creative people, I knew we had something special. In December 2021, with the help of trusted long time friends and many angels along the way, we debuted the show in Salt Lake City and brought the "Christmas-in-Nashville" vibe to 1600 people over 10 shows. It was truly a magical experience and one that I will never forget. It paved the way to now bring the story and music back home for our first Tour of Tennessee, back where this whole dream began. 

From the outset it was another dream of mine to turn this musical story into a feature film. I've made a couple documentary films with my two brothers and I realized how many of the ideas and scenes I saw in my mind would be so much easier to tell with the detail and nuance of a camera. I had known Alan from a couple other projects that we'd worked on and I knew he was a dreamer like me, a kindred soul. I approached him with the idea and we were off. If anyone understood the life-long struggle to matter, the need to make a difference with our God-given talents, and the juggling act it can be to balance dreams and passion with reality, it was him. 

If you know me at all you’ll notice how closely many of the characters in the musical script and screenplay mirror my own life experience, weaknesses, and hopefully a couple of strengths. I've been writing songs since I was 18 always with my hopes pinned on commercial success and the feeling of triumph I thought would come with people singing my songs by heart...with lighters held high. The songs that you'll hear in the Synopsis sample come straight from my own life and they represent my life's work in music. Some were even written for my brothers band to pitch to record execs as we pounded the pavement on Music Row. Many were written in hard to explain moments when I needed the right tone or message to accent the story and it seemed to drop out of Heaven...all gift wrapped with a bow. Regardless of how they arrived in my hands, I know why they are here. This whole concept came to me when I no longer knew how to make an impact with what I consider gifts from God. They saved me from losing purpose. They represent who I am, who I want to be, and hopefully what we can all strive to become…the best versions of ourselves. Because we too have found out the best thing about Christmas…that to find ourselves we must lose ourselves in doing good.


The Power of Storytelling

by Alan Peterson

"I wanted to create opportunities where complete strangers could go somewhere, share an experience, and feel inspired (if not, just entertained) when they left the theater. Sadly, those inspiring movie experiences seem to be disappearing. "The Best Thing About Christmas" is a wonderful, heart-warming antidote to the negative, dark entertainment options out there. I promise, you’ll find yourself thinking about Dylan, Kara, Molly, and Sadie long after the movie is over. Derek’s simple, honest songs like Matter to Someone, Good Things, Daddy’s Eyes, and That Could Be Me will play on an endless loop in your head (and for all the right reasons). Sadie’s rendition of The Best Thing About Christmas will become one of the best things about Christmas year after year. I hope you’ll join us and follow our journey as we take this soon-to-be Holiday Classic from stage to screen."

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"The Best Thing About Christmas"
Projected Budget

3 - 5  M

Currently Searching for Strategic Funding Partners To Make Our Film

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