Cinema Band: Business and Another Film

November is becoming a busy month for Cinema Band.  The main thing keeping us busy is a short 3 minute Christmas scene that we are shooting this Friday.  This morning, we also met with a business counselor for help on forming as a non-profit organization.

Christmas Scene

Following the completion of our first film, Unveiled, we decided to focus next on creating a shorter scene.  Our storytelling skills are strong, and our audiences for Unveiled responded to this, however we want to focus on polishing our technical expertise, specifically in the areas of lighting and sound.  I mentioned this to Pastor Tim of Ascension Lutheran Church (our pastoral adviser), and he suggested that if we created a 3 minute scene with specific parameters, he could then show it as part of his Christmas Eve sermon.  So that gave us the motivation and deadline to get us moving on this next project.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the theme is God becoming part of His creation, which is what the Christmas story is all about.  We had another collective brainstorming session and came up with a story idea, then Sarah and I drafted a script.  Last Saturday we held auditions, and now this coming Friday, we’ll be shooting the scene in the Kensington area of San Diego.

Business Counseling with SCORE

SCORE is an organization in downtown San Diego that offers free mentoring and workshops for entrepreneurs.  This morning, Faith, John, and I met with Arnie Bertram, a counselor with experience in forming non-profits.  Arnie also has several children who work in the entertainment industry, so he can speak from that experience as well.  Arnie’s biggest advice was that all companies are ultimately “for profit”, even the non-profits.  We need to think like a business and generate revenue, otherwise we will not be able to operate.

I totally agree with this–I want the ministry of Cinema Band to be self-supporting.  However, I am cautious about putting business before ministry: perhaps they need to be very closely tied, but ministry must always be our primary focus.  We are first a team of ministers, missionaries to our culture and the Church.  Every business decision must serve that primary aim.  That said, I need to be careful how I describe us: it is easy to refer to us as a “production company”, but even that is a means rather than the end in itself.

Arnie also told us about several non-profit workshops we can sign up for, which will guide us through the process of incorporation.  We plan to check out the first one, which begins in December.

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