Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Sound of the Spirit

Since the early days of the 1920s, Los Angeles and Hollywood have been the undisputed center of filmmaking in the United States. However, a great deal has changed over the last few years. Filmmaking is now occurring all over the country. Thanks to generous tax incentives in states such as Michigan, Louisiana, and South Carolina, producers have discovered it is to their advantage to shoot outside of Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, Hollywood will always hold a dominant position in the production of films.

Today filmmaking has become a democracy of sorts. Thanks to the digital age, you no longer need to shoot on film. Digital cameras such as the Red Camera have substantially lowered the cost of production. As a result, this has led to a boom in independent filmmaking. It seems that today everybody has become a producer or a director.

This is especially true of people of faith who see filmmaking as a means to reach a larger audience with the Gospel message. Case in point: last Sunday, I attended a kick-off event here in the Cincinnati area for a new film, The Sound of the Spirit. The movie is about a thirteen year old Jewish girl named Rivka. It tells the story of how she overcomes her grief in the recent death of her father. She must now go and live with her estranged aunt and uncle who attend a traditional Jewish synagogue. Rivka is a Messianic Jew who is forced into a difficult situation where she must reconcile her faith in Christ along with traditions that she does not understand. She faces disappoint and misunderstanding and decides to withdraw from her commitment to complete her Bat Mitzvah.

The Sound of the Spirit marks the first time the story of the Messianic Jewish experience will be told in a full-length, quality motion picture. The screenplay was written by Michael Wolf who is a Rabi at Beth Messiah in Cincinnati, Ohio. Wolf will also serve as Director for the project. Guy Camera with Kingdom Pictures out of Indianapolis, Indiana will produce the film.

Over 40 people attended the event to hear firsthand from the producers of the film. The Sound of the Spirit is set for production in the summer of 2011 in and around the Central Indiana area. Although the budget is limited, the producers feel confident that they can produce a high-end film which can compete in the marketplace. There was a question and answer session with typical questions such as how do you define success and do you have a distribution deal in place. As always, these are difficult questions to answer. Sometimes success can mean just getting your film made. Filmmaking is never a science but is more of an art form. That always means taking risks.

The producers explained that distribution is a tricky matter. The rule of thumb goes something like this: Raise your money, make the film, and then make a deal. There is never a sure thing in this business. But I believe Wolf and Camera have an intriguing and potentially successful project on their hands. The Sound of the Spirit is fresh, innovative and has the potential to touch hearts. I wasn’t the only one with this view. Most of those who attended shared in the enthusiasm.

I will keep you updated as preproduction continues. For more information on the project and how you can get involved, check out their website at soundofthespiritmovie.com.

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