Friday, October 29, 2010

Christian Filmmaking Thoughts

I've written a lot about the comparison of Christian films today to Christian music of thirty years ago. When Christian contemporary music (CCM) was born in the late sixties and early seventies, you had a lot of passionate artists (and some more passionate than art skills). But what you didn't see at that infant stage was a preponderance of non-believers in the industry.

That quickly changed as people realized there wuz gold in them thar hills. It's not uncommon today to have non-believers posing as Christian in the music biz. I was in talks a few years ago to work with a "Christian" band in a movie of mine. After spending a couple of days with them and the management team, I was told the story how the manager brought them together-- how he wanted to get another band going and the "Christian" music scene would be the easiest ladder to climb. This was a band that won dove awards.

I've seen Hollywood actors (avowed non-believers) get cast in a Christian film. Then they'll play the role, speaking on Christian tv, being interviewed for Christian media, espousing a "Christian" message. And the Christian audience is eating it up.

But for the frontmen-- the people on camera, I think the culture that CCM has created will permeate here too-- to be the face (like the voice for CCM) of Christian movies, you'll probably have to walk the talk (or talk the talk as some pretenders will).

As this Christian film industry infant grows up, it will become populated by more and more "pretenders." And behind the lens, you probably won't be aware of the pretenders, just like CCM-- the business side of the music industry.

For those purest Christian filmmakers who only drink milk from a Christian cow and only crew your movie with "Christians", you're going to have to deal with some problems. But of course, I think those type of "Christian" filmmakers are fooling themselves. I bet you money, that some of those purporting to be "Christians" are in fact anything but. I'd rather have someone hot or cold than lukewarm anyway.

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