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Batutta
12-11-2009, 09:26 AM
If you're wondering wether or not you can start in Christian filmmaking and have a mainstream career, a writer/director friend of mine who made his first film for the Christian market posted on his facebook page a while ago that he just had a brainstorming session with Steven Spielberg.

Luis Caffesse
12-11-2009, 09:42 AM
Very cool.
Congrats to your friend.
:thumbsup:

Charli
12-11-2009, 09:55 AM
Very cool, indeed!

Cranky
12-11-2009, 10:00 AM
E.T. Two - the Messiah.

Barry_Green
12-11-2009, 10:15 AM
E.T. One was already pretty much that story...

Batutta
12-11-2009, 10:27 AM
E.T. One was already pretty much that story...

LOL!...When someone told Spielberg he made a Christ story, he said don't tell that to his Jewish mother!

Blade Borge
12-11-2009, 11:46 AM
I've got a DP friend who had a production meeting with him a couple of years ago, I asked him how he dealt with it, he said fine, all you have to do is say, "That's a great idea, Mr. Spielberg."

half joking of course.

Macphilia
12-11-2009, 01:07 PM
I've got a DP friend who had a production meeting with him a couple of years ago, I asked him how he dealt with it, he said fine, all you have to do is say, "That's a great idea, Mr. Spielberg."

half joking of course.

Sounds like marriage: "That's a great idea, Honey...." :love4:

J.R. Hudson
12-11-2009, 01:27 PM
Sounds like marriage: "That's a great idea, Honey...." :love4:



The first anyway.

diego1235467
12-11-2009, 02:43 PM
Jurassic Park...dinosaurs...evolution :O
And I'm catholic by the way. As for the topic, that's awesome! Hope it went well!

Luis Caffesse
12-11-2009, 03:15 PM
The first anyway.

Hahahahahaha
:thumbsup:

Sad Max
12-11-2009, 05:56 PM
*shrug* if you have interesting ideas to pitch and know how to pitch them, your interest in the religious business does not particularly relate to your ability to meet people.

Christians aren't marginalized or oppressed in this country, you know. For the most part, the country is run by people who happen to be Christians.

Batutta
12-11-2009, 06:22 PM
*shrug* if you have interesting ideas to pitch and know how to pitch them, your interest in the religious business does not particularly relate to your ability to meet people.

Christians aren't marginalized or oppressed in this country, you know. For the most part, the country is run by people who happen to be Christians.

Yes, but it's one thing to be a vocal Christian, and another to work in the Christian film industry, which is separate from the regular "Hollywood" industry. There is the perception that Christian films and filmmakers don't cross over into the mainstream. People like to pigeon-hole you. Not that my friend is making Christian themed films in Hollywood. He isn't, although he still makes Christian films using a pseudonym.

Gord.T
12-11-2009, 08:39 PM
I think the Christian message is pretty simple. I myself grew up on music like Kansas. I didn't realize until later it was actually Christian Music. I mean, here I was, doing what I was doing, and here all along I missed it. It's a long road I don't want to get into.

I don't think there is a line between Christian messages and your every day short films,
I think you can tell a story that affects everyone, regardless of thier religious beliefs. If even for a few moments. I think the values of Christianity, the good and bad in people, is what might be worthy of focusing on. The values themselves are universal. It's a universal language.

Imo. :)

Doc Bernard
12-11-2009, 09:49 PM
Extend my congrats to your friend, Battuta.

I find that what can be considered "Christian" only really means no sex or overt violence. People need to start considering that this is a very open market. And I applaud it. Too many films these days have sex and violence in them just for the sex and violence sake. Morals transcend religion. A moral movie can be successful in both markets, if done properly.

diego1235467
12-11-2009, 10:48 PM
For some reason when I hear "christian filmmaking" I automatically think of Bible Man.

Sad Max
12-11-2009, 11:02 PM
I think of stuff like The Omega Code and Meggido. Films built around specifically Christian concepts and mythology. Or maybe films like At Play in the FIelds of the Lord, Mass Appeal, or End of the Spear, although I see those more as stories with universal value that happen to be framed in narratives centered upon Christian characters.

Simply insisting upon a purge of anything racy or violent doesn't really land you in Christian territory so much as generically family-friendly Disney-esque type product. I mean, really, just try and make a truthful depiction of the Old Testament stories that aren't saturated with sex, violence, violence inflicted upon people because of sex, or because violence was necessary to get the sex that some particular individual wanted.

Dick Campbell
12-12-2009, 06:31 AM
This thread could get political in a hurry. Let me just say that I am a Christian, and a filmmaker. Does that make me a "christian filmmaker"? Some of my films could be shown in any church, some not. Filmmaking is all about the story, religious or not.

Unfortunately, some like to use their religion to politicize or promote an agenda that has little to do with their religion. I am very wary of anyone who uses religion in this way.

You are judged by the example you set, and the product you produce.

Batutta
12-12-2009, 06:41 AM
This thread could get political in a hurry. Let me just say that I am a Christian, and a filmmaker. Does that make me a "christian filmmaker"?

There is a very specific Christian film market, with films that are marketed to churches and church groups, sometimes with limited theatrical runs and then straight to DVD. They are usually made by the same handful of companies and talent, films like the Left Behind series, or The Omega Code, or more recently Fireproof. My friend made his first film for one of these companies and this market.

Jon Starr
12-12-2009, 07:08 AM
Good for him,

but if he were out there making Christian films with Steven Spielberg, then I think that would be more of an accomplishment (well more in relation to this thread).

Because since he's doing something more mainstream, well it's not exactly the same. I mean yes if you're in the Christian film industry you're seen as not able to make it, but I think it's more BECAUSE they make Christian films. So if you're friend doesn't make Christian films...

But good for him nonetheless.

Batutta
12-12-2009, 07:27 AM
Good for him,

but if he were out there making Christian films with Steven Spielberg, then I think that would be more of an accomplishment (well more in relation to this thread).

Because since he's doing something more mainstream, well it's not exactly the same. I mean yes if you're in the Christian film industry you're seen as not able to make it, but I think it's more BECAUSE they make Christian films. So if you're friend doesn't make Christian films...

But good for him nonetheless.

True, I guess my point has more to do with the way film executives think, or don't think. They love to categorize and keep you in a box, -- this guy only makes Christian movies, this guy only makes black films, this guy only makes action films. I've faced it myself as a minority, with people I meet assuming I'm only going to make films about my ethnic heritage, when I actually have little interest pursuing such a limited agenda. There's a reason my friend still makes Christian films, but now with a pseudonym.

Taylor Rudd
12-12-2009, 07:32 AM
I respect the use of the pseudonym. It protects him from being pigeon-holed, and maybe - perhaps more importantly - it allows his story to transcend his reputation.

That's pretty rad.

Sad Max
12-12-2009, 09:49 AM
There is a very specific Christian film market, with films that are marketed to churches and church groups, sometimes with limited theatrical runs and then straight to DVD. They are usually made by the same handful of companies and talent, films like the Left Behind series, or The Omega Code, or more recently Fireproof. My friend made his first film for one of these companies and this market.

I was surprised - but I probably should not have been - to discover that Salt Lake City is a center for production of product intended primarily for Mormon viewers. I don't know what degree of theatrical play any of it gets, but what's nice is that it's created a reserve of somewhat experienced people upon which you can draw if you go there for location work.

I was delighted to find out yesterday that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader did in fact make it into production and is now in post - last I'd heard it was stopped. Anyway, the Narnia films seem to me perhaps the most beautifully executed Christian-themed films so far, with definite broad commercial appeal and success.

Batutta
12-12-2009, 12:27 PM
Anyway, the Narnia films seem to me perhaps the most beautifully executed Christian-themed films so far, with definite broad commercial appeal and success.

I always make the claim that The Exorcist is the greatest Christian themed film ever made but nobody seems to go there with me.

Ian-T
12-12-2009, 12:52 PM
LOL!...When someone told Spielberg he made a Christ story, he said don't tell that to his Jewish mother!LOL..:Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)

Sad Max
12-12-2009, 12:55 PM
Hey, Jesus had a Jewish mother. No cause for complaint, there!

Ian-T
12-12-2009, 01:00 PM
I always make the claim that The Exorcist is the greatest Christian themed film ever made but nobody seems to go there with me.I never thought about it that way....but you make a good point. I forgot how the entire story went...but its theme is Christ-centric if you think about it. Anyways...scared me silly when I first seen it.

dsto
12-12-2009, 02:41 PM
Anyone see "Knowing"? talk about symbolisim....

Blade Borge
12-12-2009, 03:00 PM
most successful thread alluding to religion without crossing the line?

diego1235467
12-12-2009, 03:12 PM
Evolution

Sad Max
12-12-2009, 05:08 PM
The one with David Duchovny?

Barry_Green
12-12-2009, 08:58 PM
most successful thread alluding to religion without crossing the line?
This thread is fine, because nobody is crossing the line, yes. And thanks to all who are participating in it for doing so appropriately.

David W. Richardson
12-13-2009, 02:11 AM
"Afterlife" was, to me, a Christian mainstream movie. The story involved a happily married couple - the wife a Christian, the husband a corporate executive (not especially religious). In a tragic car accident, the wife dies. The husband, deep in grief, begins seeing and hearing the ghost of his dead wife calling to him to join her. But his sister-in-law, who has always secretly loved him, is pulling him to stay in this life. Toss into the mix an oddball TV psychic, a somewhat unusual psychiatrist, and a street preacher who seems to appear and disappear at just the right times, leaving behind a cryptic comment. Oh, and let's not forget the She-Devil who seems to be keeping tabs on the husband. As his world falls apart, the husband slowly comes to terms with the only real truth that matters to him.

It's a story that a mainstream audience can enjoy, but which also has a subtext of Christian themes and characters.

To me, it's an attempt to bridge the gap between Hollywood movies and Christian movies. I'd like to see that happen more.

Sad Max
12-13-2009, 09:52 AM
When/by whom was Afterlife released and distributed?

David W. Richardson
12-13-2009, 02:48 PM
Oh, sorry.....Afterlife is my first digital feature. Distribution pending.

Jester2138
12-13-2009, 02:49 PM
Evolution

LOL :banned: :thumbsup:

diego1235467
12-13-2009, 04:01 PM
hahaha

Nathyn
12-14-2009, 08:07 AM
I don't know why Christians assume they can't have a mainstream career and not be Christian. It's like assuming that you can't work at a bank, hospital, barber shop or any other place and have a "mainstream" career. Most preachers I know work outside of the Church, some make a nice amount of money. The current pastor at my church has a career and hasn't cashed a check from the church in about a year, trying to help the church get out of debt.

I know a lot of movies and TV shows don't promote Christian values, but what you do outside of work with your video camera and computer is your business. No one can tell me I can't do films that promote my beliefs when I'm not on their time. That doesn't mean we should be involved with every project, we should be able to figure out when something is so conflicting we simply shouldn't be involved, but there's nothing wrong with having a mainstream career. Most times you've been blessed with that career to aid in your Godly purpose. Many times Christians don't consider that.

And does God suddenly not understand people need to pay bills and such too. The church passes a collection plate around for a reason. The electric, gas and phone companies don't normally say, "Oh you're a church, don't worry about it." They may do it a few times, but for the most part, they want their money and will shut you off, church or not. The Church I attend went without heat for almost a year in their business office, because the church is big and after several splits the congregation is small. (Maybe a hundred people in a church that held 4000, you do the math).

Frankly it's partially our fault things got so bad in the first place. There was a time when people wanted Christians on television and in the media, but we were too Holy to get in the media and influence people. I mean, that's just part of our job.

And let's remember, in less political times movies like the Excorcist (a Hollywood film with an in your face Christian theme) and various Biblcal and supernatural films had no problem. Our climate is so political now that even those films are somewhat hated. To go on IMDB and see some people think the Excorcist is "Christian film" and have negative comments because if it, is almost laughable if it wasn't so sad. Ignorance is in full bloom.

Remember the scene in "Fright Night" when the "Vincent" pulls the cross on the the vampire and he says, "You have to have faith for that to work." And the hunter gains faith at the that moment and it works. Compare that to today's "Crosses don't do diddly" (Blade) climate. If there was a "Fright Night" remake I doubt that faith line would be used. Or the "faith" wouldn't work. If you throw little things like that into films people get irritated even if it's part of the mythology. With this in mind I understand why some feel we have no business doing anything but pushing Bibles on the street, but in a culture so media based, in my opinion it's foolish for a Christian to simply ignore the mainstream. Ironically Ong Bak was mainstream and highly religious, but no one bats an eye as long it's not the Christian God that gives your martial arts warrior his power. Ironically, in America, the Christian view is considered "mainstream" as well. Go figure.

-Nate

Chamber005
12-14-2009, 08:24 AM
I don't know why Christians assume they can't have a mainstream career and not be Christian. It's like assuming that you can't work at a bank, hospital, barber shop or any other place and have a "mainstream" career. Most preachers I know work outside of the Church, some make a nice amount of money. The current pastor at my church has a career and hasn't cashed a check from the church in about a year, trying to help the church get out of debt.

I know a lot of movies and TV shows don't promote Christian values, but what you do outside of work with your video camera and computer is your business. No one can tell me I can't do films that promote my beliefs when I'm not on their time. That doesn't mean we should be involved with every project, we should be able to figure out when something is so conflicting we simply shouldn't be involved, but there's nothing wrong with having a mainstream career. Most times you've been blessed with that career to aid in your Godly purpose. Many times Christians don't consider that.

And does God suddenly not understand people need to pay bills and such too. The church passes a collection plate around for a reason. The electric, gas and phone companies don't normally say, "Oh you're a church, don't worry about it." They may do it a few times, but for the most part, they want their money and will shut you off, church or not. The Church I attend went without heat for almost a year in their business office, because the church is big and after several splits the congregation is small. (Maybe a hundred people in a church that held 4000, you do the math).

Frankly it's partially our fault things got so bad in the first place. There was a time when people wanted Christians on television and in the media, but we were too Holy to get in the media and influence people. I mean, that's just part of our job.

-Nate

I wasn't totally clear on that last part. You're saying that it's the Christian filmmaker's job to get in the media and influence people?

Hm. For me art isn't about influencing people, it's about displaying the art that we receive (either via cerbral terms or by divine inspiration). As a person you may feel that it's your duty to spread the message of Christianity, but as an artist your only focus should ever be to stay honest to whatever images you receive (or create) and do your best to deliver them unhindered, regardless of their intention or message.

If we allow our human beliefs and station to infect the art as it passes through us, we aren't then being artists, we're being spokesmen for some human born position or ultimate desire. We're just then basically being ad men for Black Forest brand Gummi Bears.

Nathyn
12-14-2009, 08:35 AM
I wasn't totally clear on that last part. You're saying that it's the Christian filmmaker's job to get in the media and influence people?

Partially, yes.


If we allow our human beliefs and station to infect the art as it passes through us, we aren't then being artists, we're being spokesmen for some human born position or ultimate desire. We're just then basically being ad men for Black Forest brand Gummi Bears.

Art is an outward expression what is inside. If you're not expressing that, then there's no reason to not work for anyone that can use your talents, what's the difference. Art prostitution is in high demand. How can one say, "If we allow our human beliefs and station to infect the art as it passes through us, we aren't then being artists," when in fact that is part of art. "Self expression" is just that. How did artist start believing art is some kind of thing created a part from oneself. It's not. Art has life because of the artist.

-Nate

Sad Max
12-14-2009, 08:40 AM
Once you have identified your role as 'getting in the media and influencing people' toward a particular faith or worldview, you are either an advertiser or a propagandist.

Ian-T
12-14-2009, 08:54 AM
Hmmm....and here I thought art is driven by the artist's inspirations ....whatever they may be. I think, more often than not, a lot of folks have a problem with “how” things are depicted which sometimes lead to the question “what is” art? Not everyone views art in the same way.

The problem, I think, with most Christian tagged films is the “cheese factor” associated with them. I’m a Christian myself but I often viewed “Christian” tagged movies as being similar to “after school specials.” I think for Christian film makers to go more “main stream” they should be a little less preachy in their story telling (they would have a lot less people turning away). As a matter of fact I can appreciate a more subtle approach because it makes you think more (sort of like a modern day visual parable).

Chamber005
12-14-2009, 09:07 AM
Partially, yes.



Art is an outward expression what is inside. If you're not expressing that, then there's no reason to not work for anyone that can use your talents, what's the difference. Art prostitution is in high demand. How can one say, "If we allow our human beliefs and station to infect the art as it passes through us, we aren't then being artists," when in fact that is part of art. "Self expression" is just that. How did artist start believing art is some kind of thing created a part from oneself. It's not. Art has life because of the artist.

-Nate

Nope, that's your opinion. Your opinion is that art is a part of yourself. Just as it's the opinion of some people that love is something that we do, not something that is.

I believe being an artist is being absent from the self. That's my opinion. I take no personal credit from anything I've ever created as it had nothing whatsoever to do with me except for my ability to stay out of its way.

I take no credit in the creation, but take full responsibility for the distribution, recreation and manufacturing of what has been created once I've allowed it to exist.

There's a whole other thread on this over in the acting section, though.

Barry_Green
12-14-2009, 09:10 AM
... and this is the point where we start to cross the line, folks...

Chamber005
12-14-2009, 09:12 AM
Once you have identified your role as 'getting in the media and influencing people' toward a particular faith or worldview, you are either an advertiser or a propagandist.

Exactly, having any personal reason for your art to exist other than it being your blessing (or curse or social dysfunction) is you injecting your own primitive human stuff into the mix. And, unfortunately, humans can only be as enlightened as their species allows. If you believe in things like love and art and spirituality I think it behooves all humans to allow the love, art and spirt to exist without interference from their own human sensibilities.

But to each his own, of course.

Chamber005
12-14-2009, 09:15 AM
... and this is the point where we start to cross the line, folks...

Certainly discussing artistic inspiration vs cerebral creations isn't forging too deep into forbidden territory. Philosophy isn't one of the dreaded "P"s, is it? ;)

Barry_Green
12-14-2009, 09:21 AM
Philosophy isn't one of the dreaded "P"s, is it? ;)
No, but advocating one's philosophy threatens to stray into the territory of one of the dreaded "P"'s, Prosletyzing. Towards one's chosen faith or anti-faith or philosophy, that's all prosletyzing. That's what we strive to avoid.

The Christian film market is a valid topic (as would be the Jewish film market, or the children's film market, or the horror film market).

When we start talking about Christian filmmaking involving advocacy, and whether it's one's responsibility to be an advocate (or marketer or propagandist or whatever terms are starting to crop up here) that's when it strays to the area where sooner or later the bullets are going to start flying and it'll need to be shut down.

ChipG
12-14-2009, 09:47 AM
Once you have identified your role as 'getting in the media and influencing people' toward a particular faith or worldview, you are either an advertiser or a propagandist.

Sad, do you remember Darryl Roberts who came here for a little?

I have been following him for a while, one of the few poeple that understand your quote very well and is using it to the max (technique liked or not).

It now invoves Ralph Lauren and CNN.

Free link for Darryl: http://americathebeautifuldoc.com/

Advertising at its best :)

Cranky
12-14-2009, 10:53 AM
Once you have identified your role as 'getting in the media and influencing people' toward a particular faith or worldview, you are either an advertiser or a propagandist.
What's wrong with that? Mass art is about controlling the population, either by direct propaganda or by entertaining people thus making them harmless to the regime. In a country where half of adults cannot read a book written at eighth grade level, and every fifth citizen is functionally illiterate (http://education-portal.com/articles/Illiteracy:_The_Downfall_of_American_Society.html) , movies, as a part of the whole visual news and entertainment industry, carry an educational and directional function. Well, some of them do, other just entertain, to keep the inane herd happy.

Sad Max
12-14-2009, 11:17 AM
*adjusts tinfoil hat*

Batutta
12-14-2009, 11:21 AM
Well, this thread was fun for as long as it lasted...