I’ve had some media interviews and discussions related to Old Fashioned since that last blog entry and it’s got me thinking again about something I’ve believed and harped about for quite some time:
The process is as important as the end product.
To explain what I mean, I’d like to briefly continue the thought of the last blog and take it in a slightly different direction. While I enthusiastically agreed with the idea that the smartest thing “Christian” movies can do right now is be good, I actually think—at a deeper level—the greater issue remains that filmmakers of faith should aim to be “good” in the way they make their films as well as being focused on creating “good” films, period.
As the old campfire songs goes: “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love… yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
Not by our great films.
And this isn’t meant to let sloppy filmmakers off the hook or imply that filmmakers of faith shouldn’t pursue excellence, but…
You could make the greatest, most awe-inspiring film about the life of Christ and yet do it in such a way as to make a mockery of that very same life. And the opposite could be true as well.
There is so much chatter right now about “faith-based” films and what they should be or shouldn’t be… what they should do or shouldn’t do. But almost all of these discussions are based on defining things be the final product, not the process…
How was the cast treated? The crew? Were promises honored? Was the production a blessing or a curse to the local community? Was the spirit of Christ reflected in the deals, the contracts, the negotiations?
This is complicated stuff, admittedly. Making films is a high-stakes, high-pressure affair and mistakes will be made. No one is perfect. But, the point is, to be a maker of “faith-based” films is to be committed to more than merely including elements that will “sell” to a niche.
There is a higher calling, in my opinion. A much higher calling.