Review: Word Pictures

I just posted a review of Brian Godawa’s “Word Pictures” over at my film blog if anyone is interested.

The book would have much more value if the thesis was framed in terms of the interplay between literal and non-literal (artistic) expression, rather than word and image. This spectrum would remove all the confusion surrounding Godawa’s categories and retain much of the valuable insights he offers in the book while avoiding some fatal pitfalls. The solution to the use of literal vs non-literal expression would then be to prioritize literal expression, rather than granting non-literal expression equal priority in the comprehension and communication of truth. However, that does not, therefore, mean that there is no value or place for non-literal expression. “For everything there is a season” (Ecc 3:1). Context is key. Gordon Clark offers a helpful explanation:

The Scriptures contain metaphors, figures of speech, and symbolism; for the Scriptures are addressed to men in all situations – situations in which their attention needs to be aroused and their memory facilitated, as well as situations in which plain information must be conveyed. But since symbolic language and metaphor depend on literal meaning, the most intelligible and understandable expressions are to be found in the literal theological statements, such as those in Romans


“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:


Prayers Are Being Answered

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.

Prayer Request

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.

I’m Making a Movie

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.

San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival Announces 2013 Jubilee Award Winners

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

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.

Useless @ Storylab


 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.

 Derrick Warfel

11150 Canby Ave., Northridge, CA 91326

The house is at Donmetz & Canby.

Lite snacks provided.
Agenda: Intros @ 7pm, Writing from a Verse Primer for Write of Passage Participants, StoryLab @ 7:30pm.
RSVPs are mandatory as space is limited to 30 people:
 Fri, Oct. 28, 7pm – 10pm
with Writer-Director Brandon Adams

A criminal pleads for mercy from his captor.

Winner Best Film, Best Actor, Kevin Sizemore,  Best Cinematography, Brandon Adams