Monday, April 18, 2011

Beyond the Christian Movie - Part 2

Thanks to the latest development in digital video, it seems that everybody has become a filmmaker.
Here are three questions you should ask yourself before you invest in a movie or decide to produce one:

3. Does this movie have opportunities to train and mentor the next generation of Christians pursuing a career in media and film. Are we disciplining future media missionaries? My experience has taught me that most Christian filmmakers are pre-occupied with the process of making the movie. They don’t see this as a golden opportunity to help the next generations of Christians who want to be filmmakers. I realize working with interns and students who don’t have experience is a time-consuming process,. But I believe the whole point of making the movie in the first place is to provide opportunities for future media missionaries. That’s big-picture thinking.

But making the time and effort to train people requires first a determination to do it. You need a plan on how things get done. You need a buy-in from department heads such as the director of photography, production manger, production designer, etc. You also need a budget because it will take more time to work with inexperienced interns. You also will need to think about designating an education coordinator who’s responsibility is to oversee interns and students. They need to create a discipleship model as well as providing training before the production process starts.

The final ingredient is access. The best education you will ever receive is on-the-job training. That means the key people on your production must make themselves available and be willing to teach as they are in the process of making a movie? Unfortunately, none of this is easy. Few people do it because it is just easier to make the movie.

Final thoughts

One movie is just one movie. Today most films have a very short shelf life. You get your 15 minutes of fame, and you’re off the stage. What is going to last and stand the test of time is the impact that we have on the lives of the people who worked on the film. Let me put it this way. Future filmmakers can go on and have a career spanning 40 years. Think about the number of projects and films they will work on throughout their career. How many people will they come into contact with who are nonbelievers? How many opportunities will they have to share Christ? Yes, making your film is important. But there is a bigger picture to think about. So the next time you are approached to give or invest in a movie, maybe, you should ask the questions: Does this film go beyond just making a movie?

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