It seems that many Christian filmmakers feel, because God called them to make a movie, that it will be successful. More often than not, this premise is wrong.
It’s true that God has called many people, including us, to make films. It’s also true that film can have a positive spiritual effect on the culture.
But it is incorrect to believe that God’s calling = quality film making.
Unfortunately, too many of the Christian films are closer to first time student film projects than well crafted works of art. (Through my history I have been guilty of this as well).
As we have learned through our own process and faith journey, God calls us to do something because, by doing it, we grow closer to God. It’s not so that we can be full time filmmakers. It’s not so that we can be financially successful. It is so, by our obedience, we get closer to heaven.
And Christians should not be obligated to support bad filmmaking, no matter the intent or the calling. They should consume Christian entertainment with the same scrutiny as they do all of their other purchases.
Granted, there have been Christian films that have been financial windfalls. However, under any sort of critical scrutiny, most of these films cannot stand the test of time. Once the cultural movement to show Hollywood that Christians should not be ignored has subsided and the films have to stand on their own merit, they look pretty poor, with stiff acting, obvious storytelling and cliche endings.
This observation is why we have slowed our efforts at Sonlight Pictures. Not because our passion or calling has diminished, but because we want all of our projects to withstand the “five year test.”
So, we are taking our time to develop the stories, gather the resources required and lure the best talent we can to make the highest quality project possible.
God’s calling just puts us on the path, it does not = quality filmmaking. Skill, talent, money and resources do that.
So, until we can acquire what we need to produce high quality entertainment, we’ll continue to take our time and work under God’s timeline, instead of our own.
And continue to answer God’s call, where ever that may lead.