Category Archives: Filmmaking

Did we succeed?

First day of principal photographyWhen we started Belltower Pictures and set out to make our first film, SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL, we had four goals:

  • tell a great story and do it well,
  • involve a lot of folks from around the community and give them opportunities to get to know one another as they work together on a meaningful project,
  • give hands-on learning opportunities for the next generation of filmmakers, and
  • in the process of making the film, model the values of acceptance and inclusion that were the centerpiece of the story.

The audience will ultimately decide if we were successful with the first goal.

I think I can say that we did succeed with the other goals. We had 200 volunteers from a dozen or so churches… and a number who claim no religious affiliation whatsoever. We provided opportunities for 14 interns from universities and high schools throughout Virginia to to learn and improve their skills by working alongside seasoned professionals. The participants reported an overwhelmingly positive experience… forging new friendships, strengthening old ones, learning new skills, and experiencing a positive & collaborative film set.

Continue reading Did we succeed?

It’s a film… and a confession


Shooting the Prodigal posterAfter six years in development and production, SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL is complete. I hope it is the first of many from Belltower Pictures, the non-profit film company we launched in 2012 with the mission to “entertain, inspire and tell great stories that reveal spiritual truth.”

Right now we’re sharply focused on distribution and marketing plans for the film. There will be announcements about premiere & release dates, strategic partners and other news in the coming weeks.

I will use this blog to share some of the stories from the journey. And I also want to engage you in conversation around the themes in the film, the most prominent of which are acceptance and inclusion.

Continue reading It’s a film… and a confession

The Green Light

iStock_000031130670Large-720x380After five years in development, SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL got the Green Light in December.

Lord willing, principal photography will begin in June. We’ve begun casting, scouting locations, hiring crew, advertising for interns and volunteers, and fine-tuning the script.

Barbara Mait has come aboard as Executive Director of Belltower Pictures. She’ll keep the production company going while I turn my attention to directing the film. Ken Roy and Heather Waters have joined me as producers for the project.

So you probably won’t see many posts on my blog for the next several months. When we finish, I look forward to sharing the many stories that are sure to unfold. Until then… please pray for us.