Screenplay continued… I mentioned last time that I co--wrote a screenplay coming out soon.
So, how did we get our screenplay into production? I’ll have to speak in terms of our local drama group on this one.
Our group’s experience is that we didn’t intend to do a film – our troupe was all about stage plays. Oh, like every dreamer we imagined how cool it would be to do a film, but never thought it would happen. That’s where a couple of things kicked in we hadn’t planned on.
This play is a spiritual journey of a man who discovers what life is really about. As it turns out, that’s a hot idea right now.
People don’t use the word "providence" much any more. But here’s one time when it looks like God was working in the background. This is how things unfolded: My co-writer had a long-time friend at a movie production company in
"Are any of your plays original?" he asked.
"Send us something to read."
We sent it, they read it, and liked it. They proposed that we rewrite the stage play for film. That we could do (or at least attempt.) But there was one big catch. Independent films have to raise their own money to make a film – for example Napoleon Dynamite, My Big Fat Green Wedding, and Facing the Giants.
We took the idea to our theater troupe board and said – if we can raise the $150,000 by March 30 then we’ll give it a try – otherwise it’s a no-go. (This was in late January.) The board’s conclusion was that if God brought this opportunity our way then He’d be the one to see that it got done. Everyone on the board kicked in some money to get the ball rolling.
We began telling friends about the opportunity. (Yes, we also did the legal paperwork – which was donated to us.) As far as I know, we never specifically asked anyone for money – we simply told people about the proposed project. Those that were interested asked us if they could invest.
We didn’t raise the $150,000 in the allotted time. We raised more than $170,000.
If I had a 100 page book I could tell you many other stories of “providential” happenings related to this movie. It sort of took our breath away. For example – we worked hard in finding locations to shoot the film – and every one was donated. However, on the day before shooting was to begin the building owner where we’re planned many of the most important shots backed out.
Big, big disaster was in the air.
The crew had arrived from LA. Everything was in place to start the next morning. Whether we shot film or not, the money to pay the crew was coming out of our meager funds. If we missed this first day, chances were that the entire project would be doomed. We had to start filming by in the morning. Yikes!
Late in the evening, only a few nerve-wracking hours before the shooting was to begin, a new location was offered to us – free of charge. Here’s the kicker -- it turned out to be far superior that what we had originally planned. Far superior! I’ve never seen anything like it. These and other heart-attack miracles could only be a sign that God wanted this project to get done.
So there you have a little glimpse into the story of this movie project. We wrote a script, put our heart and soul into it (as a stage play) and through steps that we could never have planned ourselves, God took us on a journey we could never have imagined.
By the way, the website for the movie is www.theclosuremovie.com.
I think many creative people understand this -- God is the great Creator and Producer. When we open our minds to this greatest creative power in the universe, He takes us on a journey of imagination, creation, and production that is beyond our comprehension.
Although I’d never put myself in their league, I marvel at creative geniuses such as Bach. He claimed many times that all his works were “for the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit.” When he finished each manuscript he wrote on it, Soli Deo Gloria – to the Glory of God. I think all writers would benefit from that kind of determination, commitment and faith …I pray that I'll have it on my future projects.