There are a million decisions when you make a movie. Its one of the most tedious, precision based manufacturing processes and time consuming projects in the world to create. Intellectual properties are highly complicated and the chain of title to ensure you own the property, the capturing of a story worth telling, the proper script to enhance the story, the cast to illuminate the characters and the crew to shape each second is staggering.
When you make a movie, its a team sport and requires hundreds of people working in tandem to accomplish a goal. Military operations are in the same vein but even more complicated, because you have to understand the military theater, the ever changing and sophisticated elements of the platform, the moving parts within the communication of multiple decisions, incredible leadership, warfare and more.
Often, productions are similar to many military maneuvers, which is why veterans are such incredible heads of departments, understanding missions and more. One of my favorite department heads was in a special forces group so needless to say, they one of the best run of almost two dozen groups working side by side.
When we make a movie, we want to tell a story that is very unique, use the visual language of film to impact our culture toward the positive and make it as cinematically pleasing as possible. We are not supposed to be preachers and feel preaching is best left in the pulpit. We also do not condemn people who want to preach in their movies, because it is every individual's right to create art as they see it. Our team supports films of faith by faith based leaders, but that is not what we do.
In Mark 4:11 a friend of mine pointed this scripture out to me in 2006 and the Biblical mantle upon which Christ himself taught was one of kindness, gentleness and in a spirit of thoughtful persuasion. However, it was not "beat your head over and over with harshness". Christ used parables to tell memorable stories, "To gently nudge people toward receptive insight". Why do you think it was this way? Here was His answer, "What about people who don't have ears to hear or eyes to see...Its almost like a farmer who plants a seed..." He went on to tell another story and gently use the art of persuasion to allow people to think for themselves so that hearts would be receptive.
I love this scripture and it has become a mantra for us at Veritas. When END OF THE SPEAR was made and I was blessed to be on that team of filmmakers, we never mentioned the word Jesus in the script. A few churches felt a grave mistake had been made and were accusatory of not mentioning His name in the movie. Our response was, "What about the missionaries who gave their lives and lived vicariously out the Word of God with their own martyrdom? Wasn't that enough? Lets think about this...
Jesus said, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me" and Paul also later said, "I have become all things to all men that I might save some". You see, if you adopt a philosophy of filmmaking to "gently nudge people toward receptive insight" this changes the way you make your film, tell your story and beyond. This approach allows each person to think for themselves, to explore in their own journey of faith and move toward God in their own conviction brought on by the Holy Spirit. This is why Veritas has adopted this philosophy.
Uniquely, I believe it has always been God's plan to use people to share with other people about His love. The heart of evangelism is a personal touch, not a media closing. Media is a perfect forum for seed planting, but people will always be part of God's plan.This is why digital communication is so dangerous. We can never replace the power of sitting across the table from someone like I did today on more than one occasion with our Veritas 300 prayer warriors and share of Christ's love and His ever ending grace.
This is my favorite part of having an online community of prayer warriors like Veritas 300. Anyplace, anytime, I will sit down over a meal, meet with anyone whom God is moving in their life or they want to pray and share of His miracles in our team. You never know how God can open up doors when you walk in obedience. This is real spiritual life in birthing Christianity and more important than any movie, because lives impact others lives and its the journey along the way, not just the destination.
So when we make a movie, we have to start with PRAYER! This is why the foundation of the VERITAS 300 was to find 300 people who would pray for us, pray for us to find the right stories, pray for us to find the right people and pray for us for the cast, the crew and the distribution to have the greatest impact possible. We are a filmmaking team which is committed to the power of real prayer and without it, we cannot and will not move forward. We will not be successful as a team unless people are praying and we need more people because we have a sense of urgency and time is running out. There is too much warfare already associated in the mission.
It also takes a few years to make a movie. The time frame is not fast and because of this, we have to multiply our forces to mobilize miracles for a seamless project to have an impact on culture. Stories are being found from Cambodia, from Morocco, from Rwanda, from Viet Nam, from Australia, from Iceland and from parts of the world in people groups we never knew existed, just like the Waodani, found in our film BEYOND THE GATES OF SPLENDOR and END OF THE SPEAR.
As you read this blog today would you please say a sentence prayer for us. "Lord, please bring Veritas the right stories, with the right people, the right finances, the right cast and crew, the right distribution channels so that your name will be glorified completely. In Jesus name, Amen".
The power of prayer is the "secret sauce" of filmmaking. It is my prayer you will be blessed today as you pray for us and we pray for you. Whatever God is doing in your life, realize no matter how complicated the future looks, no matter how big the mountains are you must climb, He alone has the answers to your problems. Petition Him daily, stay in His word, find a local community of Bible believing people to interact with and see what begins to happen as your prayer life and daily journey begins to change. May God richly bless you for being a part of who we are!
I love you,
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.