Recently I heard someone say, "I don't go to any movies where I don't feel somewhat inspired or hopeful at the end". What a beautiful perspective to share, a desire to use entertainment as a tool providing inspiration and hope. This is really special to me because so many films today do not aspire toward this end. In fact, the opposite is so often the case where the filmmakers desire to be on the edge, graphic and even grotesque.
We forgot about people in how they live, the struggles they have, the obstacles which they overcome and the joy they need in their lives. Sure entertainment can be dark and you have to juxtapose light with darkness, but this is NOT what presses my button. I really like finding films which inspire people. McFarland, Little Boy and Selma as of recent films, but Moneyball, Twelve Years A Slave, Home Run, God's Not Dead and even Heaven Is For Real.
People in the industry who aspire to make films reaching people's hearts make me smile.
So many people ask, "How can I get into film?" I believe in education. I have served on several college boards and being on the film advisory board of Lipscomb University is an honor. A group of us had a dream to begin a new college for the Master's Level Students in Nashville and Vice President Mark McFerrin and Dean Mike Fernandez recruited me to be a part of this wonderful group.
Once you are in the educational realm, you must study your craft, hone your skills within the specific areas of the artistic realms and push yourself toward excellence. You can bloom where you are planted. Being in Hollywood is a plus, but there are many burgeoning entertainment hubs which are being birthed all over the world. In England, India, Japan, France and beyond. The world has become quite a bit smaller.
Then I am very high on private lessons for acting, directing, understanding theater, exploring story, researching great films, writing, etc. Truly, there are so many different jobs in the film industry you can be a plumber, an electrician, a painter, a computer specialist and even medicine. Its an amazing industry and worth taking the time to fully explore all of the aspects of an ever changing segment of culture.
One thing I have learned about film is that "timing" is everything. There are times when we push, times when we pull and then times when we learn to "let go and let God" do it all. The Lord has such perfect plans for all of us and we have to stop and listen to His voice too. This means in the film industry we must plan, be diligent, operate with full integrity, work hard and then....wait.
When the doors do open for you in film, they are not just barely cracked open, but they can open wide because you know it is not about you, it's all about HIM! God has the perfect timing if you are willing to allow Him to be at the center of your decision making and the focal point as you understand the voice whispering in your ears. If you are working your plan and keeping an ear to His voice, you have to have both in your life.
In the Bible it says in Psalms, "God will whisper into your ears". Isn't that amazing? Have you ever thought of the real power of God's voice? The Bible is a book which gives us promises and when God promises you something, there is a real power in a promise. To listen, you have to be quiet for sure. I'm not very good at being quiet either.
Ever since I was young, I felt God's call on my life to be in motion pictures. It didn't happen fast, but it sometimes can take a long time to arrive at a destination or a dream. I have dear friends like Casey Bond who was in Money Ball and was the relief pitcher whose "faith" was an inspiration to the film. Casey had been with the Giants organization in professional baseball and almost immediately went from pro sports into film. This was a case of real movement with God. So from going slow to fast, is all found in the economy of God.
What I have learned is when His call is on your life, don't settle for anything less than what you believe to be "God's voice" and connect with spiritual friends who you trust completely for their insight, along with reading your scriptures. There are so many ways you can lose focus, get distracted and move from your ultimate goal, but if you laser in on your gifts, educate yourself to be equipped and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in your lives, you will find winning combinations.
This week, I am praying God shows off in your life. I am praying you will learn to hear His voice even more. I pray the movie which has been placed in your heart, becomes even bigger than you ever dreamed.
I love you,
PS Thank you for praying for all of the prayer requests we talk about on our Facebook Page on the VERITAS MISSION FILMS GROUP. We continue to have weekly requests. Prayers are counting and we will continue to pray for all your requests. Thank you for praying for ours too.
Kevin McAfee is a filmmaker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God and using the visual language of film. His blog shares the hopes of impacting culture, because his heart is in media missions and the church.