Cinema Band to Cinetheologian

Cinema Band will now be called Cinetheologian.  How did we get here?  Well, it’s been an interesting few months…

The Band Breaks Up

In December, we successfully completed the Christmas scene we were working on.  Titled Deus In Machina, this film presents an alternate version of the Christmas story: the Designer and his assistant Gabe must find a way to stop the spread of a deadly virus that has infected the System.  Click here to watch it.

We spent the winter working to better define who we are as a ministry.  Central to this was coming up with a Statement of Beliefs.  Several of us were really passionate about this, while some warned that this exercise could prove divisive.  To start out, we each individually wrote our “5 Bullet Points of the Christian Faith”, which are the 5 most important points that define Christianity.  Then we spent several weeks combining our points into a common document that everyone agreed on.  This proved to be a good way to put our beliefs in our own words, rather than simply reciting the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed.

Our work on the Statement of Beliefs seemed to be going really well, but a gradual tension was developing.  There was some fervent arguing between group members.  Eventually, one of our members decided to leave the group.  The ensuing shakeup revealed some other issues with the team.  In particular, we realized that there was a difference of opinion as to whether we were primarily a ministry or a production company.  Some people in the group were primarily interested in filmmaking, while others (including myself) were primarily focused on ministry, seeing cinema as a means rather than an end in itself.

The New Cinetheologian

Given the events of the past couple months, I decided to restructure the team.  The Core Team is now much smaller, consisting of myself (Michael) and Faith, with assistance from my wife Jessica and our pastoral advisor Tim Delkeskamp.  This new Core Team will focus on ministry, story development, and producing.  Several members of the old Cinema Band team will serve on the new Production Team, which will focus on production and post-production for our cinema projects.  These include Jason our composer, and Raphael our sound designer.

The new team structure does not really fit the “band” analogy, where a larger core team did story development, ministry, and production.  Because of this, we are renaming our group “Cinetheologian”, after the name of this blog.  I still think the band analogy could work, provided we were able to find people with the right mix of production, ministry, and story development skills.  But we seemed to be fighting against an established norm: that production crew people just focus on production.  It seems difficult to sell production people on the idea of also being story developers and ministry leaders.  So for now, we’re not going to push the band structure for its own sake–instead we’ll focus on the main thing: ministry through cinematic storytelling.

The advantage of a smaller Core Team is that we’ve been able to make decisions a lot faster over the past few weeks.  We’ve finalized our Mission Statement and Beliefs, and are beginning to brainstorm ideas for our next project.  Our goal is to create a project plan and have it ready to pitch to donors by May 31st.  We’ll keep you updated on our progress.

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