Story and passion were consistent themes at the Film-Com Financing, Packaging and Distribution Market in Nashville in June.
Knowledgeable panelists dropped valuable tidbits of wisdom and advice, such as…
Mitch Galin (“Apostles of Comedy”) on the abundance of opportunities and the need to keep focused on the main thing: “When I started out, there were three buyers (of TV programs: ABC, CBS, NBC). Now there are 57. It’s the wild west out there. But at the end of the day, we’re storytellers. No matter what the platform, the story’s the thing.” Continue reading Story and Passion
I participated in the Faith in Film Conference and the Film-Com Financing, Packaging and Distribution Market in Nashville last week.
In addition to pitching our film, SHOOTING THE PRODIGAL, I also picked up some wonderful tidbits about story, filmmaking, and working with cast and crew from Howie Klausner, longtime screenwriter and relatively new film director who participated in a panel discussion on the making of his upcoming film, “The Secret Handshake”…
- On the importance of relatable characters: “We go to movies because we want to watch these people in stories that reflect our lives.”
- On working with actors: “Talk with them on a human level. Ask them how they’re doing, if they have any questions, if there’s anything they want to talk about. You’d be surprised how many directors don’t do this. They just expect the actors to show up and perform.”
- On getting the day’s work done, even if it seems insurmountable: “I learned from Clint Eastwood (he said somewhat shyly, apologizing for name-dropping. Eastwood directed Howie’s screenplay “Space Cowboys”). I gather the cast and crew at the beginning of the day, hold up the day’s pages and say, ‘this is what we have to do today.’ By bringing everyone in on the agenda, we all feel ownership. People will work their butts off if they feel they’re part of the team. “
- And, on choosing crew members: “Don’t hire position-fillers; bring in ‘family members.’ A sense of family keeps a crew going through tough days.”
More gleanings and droplets of wisdom from the conference in a later post…
Why does the church need to be involved in producing movies? I hear that question often… especially when we talk about how much it is going to cost to produce “The Prodigal Project.” (read more about that…)
“Doesn’t Hollywood already do a good job of it? And aren’t there other churches producing Christian films?”
The most obvious answer is that we have a story to tell – the story of God loving us so much that he came to live among us, showing us how to truly live. It is the story about God searching for the lost… and throwing a party when we’re found! If it isn’t the church’s job to tell that story, then whose job is it?
Unfortunately, most of the Christian films produced by churches speak primarily to a Christian audience. They tell powerful stories filled with the Gospel, but they’re done in such a way that “secular” folks will never see them.
Another answer to the question, “Why are we doing this?” appeared in a recent blog post by John Stonestreet.
He reminded his readers of the famous quote by Scottish politician Andrew Fletcher, “Let me write the songs of a nation, and I don’t care who writes its laws.”
We’ve got to realize that the ideas that most effectively shape a culture are not necessarily those that are argued, but those that are embodied. They capture the heart and mind because they capture the imagination.
So let’s embody God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and opportunity for second chances. And let’s tell compelling stories which reveal that truth. Let’s pour our energy and resources into capturing imaginations… Like Jesus did when he talked about wedding banquets… and travelers mugged on the side of the road… and farmers sowing seed… and fathers welcoming home lost sons.