Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Vision As A Filmmaker

I just got back from a film "workshop", and the topic of filmmaking is very present on my mind right now. 

I haven't written much about filmmaking on this blog so far. Actually, I don't think I've mentioned it at all yet.  There are a lot of things, actually, that I'm very passionate about that I haven't taken the time to blog about.  One of these days, I'll invest more time into this blog, and write about more of the things I'm passionate about.  But lately... my time has been spent doing other things, unfortunately.

I've mentioned on this blog that I want to write novels, and that I am working on a futuristic novel presently that I want to publish when I finish.  What I have not mentioned is that I have a strong passion for filmmaking, as well as writing. 

It will probably be quite a few years before I can make feature-length films of my own, but that is most definitely my goal.  In the meantime, I am trying to find as many ways as I can to learn more about the craft, and get experience. 

Someday, God-willing, I hope this will be the blog of a novelist... and of a filmmaker.  Among other things.  :-)

Here is an INCOMPLETE outline of my vision as a filmmaker...  (By the way, many of these things apply to my vision as a novelist, as well.)

I want to make movies that....

* Honor God, that follow Biblical principles, and point people to Jesus.

* Show people that there is a crazy, passionate, romantic, fulfilling relationship to be found in Jesus Christ.  That every longing, every deepest desire in our hearts can be fulfilled through Him.  That through Him, there is hope; not some far-off, elusive hope; but a real, tangible, strong, immense, overflowing hope that makes life more than worth living for.

* Pursue, defend, and proclaim the TRUTH.  That are not afraid to speak the Truth, no matter how unpopular it may be.  That ultimately lead people to the source of all truth: Jesus Christ.  To His Word.

* Speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15).  There are too many people who speak the truth, but do not speak it in love.  The Bible says that if we speak without love, we are only "a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal" (1 Cor 13:1).  And this is so true!  Whoever wants to listen to someone that rants and raves about something, without any love?  It's irritating, just like a "clanging cymbal".  It doesn't matter how right or true their words may be; no one wants to listen.  They might as well not open their mouth.  Actually... it'd probably be better if they didn't!  We need to speak the truth in love.  Not just a cheesy, unfelt little "God-loves-you"; but a true, deep, genuine love, even for the people you disagree with the most (and this is very hard sometimes!!). 

* Have characters who are role models... heroes.  Too many films today depict characters who are role models of how not to live; of how to live in sin, and in rebellion to God.  There is a desperate need for characters that we can look up to.  Now, they will be "real" people, in the sense that they will not be perfect.  They should be 100% realistic, 100% relatable.  But they should be examples of people who are genuinely trying to live in a way that honors God, even when they fail.

* Show children who are respectful and submissive to their parents, not rebellious, as the culture presently encourages them to be.

* Show fathers who are strong, spiritual leaders.

* Show romance in its truest, purest, most beautiful and most desirable way: between a husband and wife.  These will be movies that elevate marriage to the high place where the Bible places it.  They will show that marriage is not when the "fun" ends; it's when the adventure begins!  And... the beauty of true romance simply does not exist, outside of the boundaries of marriage between a man and woman.

* Encourage and inspire Christians in their faith... that motivate them to be radical Jesus Freaks, passionate for Jesus.

* And so much more. 

You know what... I dream of a day when the phrase "Christian film" is not associated with "low budget", "low quality", and "cheesiness".  I dream of a day when Christians no longer have to compromise their values just to watch a movie; that someday, no matter when we go to the theaters, there will always, always be at least one good, high-quality Christian film playing.  It may be a decade or two before this happens, but I believe it can happen.


Because I am not the only one dreaming like this.

Friends, we are in exciting times.  I hear the rumbling sound of a stampede, or an army, on its way over the horizon.  Can't you hear it?  A movement.  A revolution.  There have been quiet tremors for years; and now, the earth is starting to tremble and shake, as the movement gets bigger. 

A movement of Christian filmmakers is on the way.  Christian filmmakers who want to reclaim the media world for Christ.  They are all across the country... some of them may be quiet now, but you will hear of them -- all of them -- in time.  Slowly, their films are becoming more numerous. Slowly, they are released more frequently.  Slowly, they are increasing in quality.

I don't know about you, I want to jump on board this movement.

There are a number of Christian films in development right now that I'm excited about, and I can't wait until they come out.  Here is a list of them.  There are lots more that I'm not listing here, I'm sure.  Feel free to add to the list yourself by leaving a comment!  :-)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Help! I Can't Understand Economics Or Government!

Hey there!  Is that one of your cries of woe?  To you find economics or government just too dull, complicated, or confusing to understand?

If that's the case, I highly recommend two books to you:

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?


Whatever Happened to Justice?

 both by Richard J. Maybury.


These books are short, (Penny Candy is 150 pages and Justice in 250 pages), fun to read, and extremely easy to understand.  You will never feel that the information goes over your head; instead, you will walk away from these books feeling like you completely understand the basics of economics and government.  

These books are especially important for today's economy!  After reading these books, you will understand why the economy is where it is today, and you will know how to face the future; you will know how to prepare, if and when things get worse.  For this reason, I strongly believe that everyone in America should read these books... even if only to understand the economic troubles we are experiencing right now; and to know what steps we, as a nation, should take next.

These books work great as supplements for school economics/government courses, or just as fun, leisure reading.

Now, I will say that the author is sometimes opinionated in these books, and I don't agree with everything he says.  I think that sometimes he just misses the truth because he doesn't have a Christian worldview, but he does come close.  But, for the most part, I agree wholeheartedly with his books; and even if you don't agree with his opinions, you will benefit from understanding the concepts he teaches.

If you want to view these books on Amazon, here are the links:

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy

Whatever Happened to Justice 

I want to conclude with this quote from Whatever Happened to Justice

"Always beware of anyone who tells you a topic is above you or better left to experts.  This person may, for some reason, be trying to shut you out.  You can understand almost anything.  If you know you are giving it your best effort and you are still finding an explanation difficult to grasp, it may be because the expert has poor communication skills.  It could also be that the expert doesn't want you to grasp it.  Many people are twice as smart as they think are, but they've been intimidated into believing some topics are above them." (Page 20)

This applies to both economics and government!  You can understand!

Blessings, and keep pursuing the truth!