“It is finished”. But unlike the finished work of Christ, I’m only done with the first draft of Useless… And there’s a lot more work to do. But this lifts a big weight off my shoulders.
Thank you for your prayers over the last month. They were truly answered. I’ve been praying for The Lord to be glorified throughout this process. One of the ways he answers that is to remind me that I can’t do this work of myself, but only through Him.
This was my office for the last week:
I appreciate those of you who have been praying for my screenwriting. On May 11 I asked for help in the process. It had taken me 2 years to write about 30 pages. Since the 11th I have written another 35 pages and am on pace to finish by the end of the month, Lord willing.
Thank you for your continued prayers.
I’m having a very difficult time finishing a screenplay I’m working on. I’ve been working on it for the last two years and it is like pulling teeth every time I sit down to write. I would greatly appreciate your prayers, specifically that the Lord would grant me a completed first draft by the end of the month.
Thoughts on the VFX Crisis is the best article I have read dealing with complaints being made by those in the VFX industry. I recommend the read.
I have a new website up at http://brandonadams.com/
If you want to stay updated on the film, sign up for the feed over there. I’ll also be posting theological commentary on story telling, etc
Here’s a great lecture by Grant Horner: Meaning at the Movies: Becoming a Discerning Viewer
Despite the title, it’s not so much a guide to watching movies as it is a holistic look at culture and cultural products in light of Romans 1. Highly recommend it
The ‘Best Short Film’ Award was given to Useless, an 11-minute film based on Philemon 1:10–11. Written and directed by Brandon Adams, the film short previously won ‘Best Film’ at the 168 Project.
In winning ‘Best Short Film’ at the SAICFF, the film’s director automatically received a $250,000 opportunity to produce a feature film with Echolight Studios who sponsored this Jubilee Award category. Bobby Downes, President of Echolight, explained their vision in partnering with the SAICFF for this commendation.
“Storytellers have shaped our society in the way that we think for all of recorded history. . . . Stories are used for teaching, for entertainment, for passing on old knowledge and wisdom,” noted Downes.
“Tonight, Echolight is going to do something about encouraging storytellers. We believe that supporting this generation of Christians making movies will have a significant impact on lives in the years to come, so we are planting a seed here tonight by awarding the winner of the Jubilee Award for Short Film with $250,000 as an opportunity to make a movie with Echolight Studios and get worldwide distribution.
“The message is this: Those who are faithful in the little things will be better equipped to pursue bigger projects.”
Santorum also commended the SAICFF and the filmmakers in attendance for their important labors in the culture wars: “You are the ones who shape the culture, and Washington, D.C. is simply a reflection of that. So I just wanted to come here to encourage you and to thank you. . . . This country needs you. . . . [I] think that really great things are going to come in the darkest times and be lit . . . from this festival.”Downes then passed the baton to special guest Sen. Rick Santorum, who presented the award on Echolight’s behalf: “It is my honor to be here with Echolight. I’m excited about them and what they’re doing, trying to nurture and build, to create a real powerful portal for this industry.”
“Thank you for this tremendous honor and opportunity,” wrote Adams. “I have spent the last ten years seeking to learn how to create art that glorifies God, which has included cultivating my craft; but, more importantly, growing in the grace and knowledge of my Redeemer. My hope is to express the work that Christ has done in us and in history through the medium of film, with the prayer that Christ will be exalted over all things. And this award and prize has granted the opportunity to do so.”Boo Arnold, one of the two lead actors in Useless, received the award on behalf of Brandon Adams, who directed the film, but who was unable to attend due to the recent birth of his son who was born five weeks early. Sizemore read a statement Adams texted him when he learned he had won this award.
I would greatly appreciate your prayers for this project as there will be many, many challenges to overcome in order to create a film that truly glorifies God.
See also http://echolight.com/useless/
Also, if you noticed in the above, my son was born a few weeks ago! He surprised a little early, but his big brother, and the rest of us, are adjusting well to the latest addition to our family. God was very merciful in bringing him home safely.
My wife and I watched this film last night. It’s a very interesting story full of nuance. I definitely recommend giving it a view – and then let me know what you think!
with host Derrick Warfel
StoryLab is fascinating! Watch “168″ scenes and compare to similar big budget scenes to see what it takes to get from here to there.
Your host is indie filmmaker Derrick Warfel, a graduate of USC Film School, Princeton University & Dallas Theological Seminary.
11150 Canby Ave., Northridge, CA 91326
The house is at Donmetz & Canby.
A criminal pleads for mercy from his captor.
Winner Best Film, Best Actor, Kevin Sizemore, Best Cinematography, Brandon Adams
Just read an article at Salon.com called Why Are Christian Movies So Awful? It’s a review of the new movie Soul Surfer, which apparently is based on the true story of a young Christian surfer who lost her arm, but was gutted of any theology by the producers.
One line from the review stuck out to me:
At the risk of offending many people in many different directions, Christian cinema reminds me of gay cinema. If, that is, gay cinema were permanently stuck in 1986, with a self-ghettoizing mandate to present positive role models for youth and tell an anodyne but uplifting story that sends a message of hope.
On the face of it, this is a curious turn of events. Whatever you want to say about Christianity as a system of thought or a force in history, you’ll have to admit that it has a pretty impressive record as a source of inspiration for artists and writers. But when we use the buzzword “Christian” in contemporary American society, we’re talking about a distinctively modern cultural and demographic phenomenon that has almost no connection to the spiritual and intellectual tradition that fueled Dante and Milton and Leonardo and Bach.
Christian movies will continue to be awful so long as Christian theology continues to be awful and shallow, as it has become in contemporary American Christianity. If Christians continue to be obsessed with “culture war” and are content with “a self-ghettoizing mandate to present positive role models and tell an anodyne but uplifting story that sends a message of hope” as a means of getting a leg up in that war, rather than making art that proclaims God as He is revealed in Scripture, then we will never see great art like Bach’s on the big screen.
At least those were the thoughts kicking around in my head during the awards ceremony for 168 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_nrNDSMRos
I echo O’Hehir’s closing line:
If I really had any faith in American pluralism and in my fellow human beings, I guess I would predict that someday soon Christian filmmakers will ramp up their craft and make much better movies than “Soul Surfer.” Does the Lord really want to be glorified by way of something that looks like an especially tame episode of “Baywatch”?