There was a post by Scott Beggs in “Film School Rejects” recently about producer Saul Zaentz. He’s the prolific force behind the iconic films One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, Mosquito Coast, and The English Patient.
The article resonated with me because Saul Zaentz didn’t start his filmmaking career until his mid-50s. As a 63-year-old former TV guy who’s now starting a new “career” in filmmaking, I take heart from Zaentz’s journey.
Beggs writes, “Zaentz is proof that you can be old enough to play with your grandchildren and still retain the spark of potential for building new triumphs. If you’re dismayed by the calendar or disheartened to see how many young filmmakers are pushing through to earn fame, shake it off and remember the Santa Claus-esque visage of Zaentz taking his first baby step toward the Oscar dais.”
Beggs quotes independent filmmaker Ted Hope, who also took inspiration from Zaentz:
“Zaentz didn’t start his film producing career until he was 50. I’m 50. Over my producing career I don’t look to make 70 more movies, I look to make a few films that have tremendous impact. So I have to help build the infrastructure to allow that to happen. We live in an era when good movies don’t get seen and aren’t appreciated and don’t resonate as deeply as they could. We could do a whole lot better.”
In the faith-based filmmaking arena, we could do a whole lot better indeed. And that’s why we’ve launched Belltower Pictures. Like Ted Hope, I hope to make a few films that have tremendous impact… like our current project SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL. And I’m trying to build the infrastructure to allow that to happen. I look forward to eventually handing off the reigns to the next generation who will change the face of faith-based filmmaking.