Cinetheologian News

Upcoming Screenings in April

Posted in Cinetheologian News on April 11th, 2014 by msteffen – Comments Off

Resistance_Small-360

We have two screenings of “God of Commerce” scheduled this month. Here is the official blurb:

The Bible is full of warnings against idol worship. Nowadays, we think we’ve gotten past that.  We don’t bow down to statues, so that means we don’t worship idols anymore…right?

Join us for a film screening and discussion, led by Michael Steffen.  We’ll watch a film produced by Michael called “God of Commerce”, and then talk about the questions that it raises, including: Do we still worship idols today?  What false gods rule our culture?  How can we escape them?  Michael will also talk about his media ministry, Cinetheologian, and how we can support it.

Dates and Locations:

April 13th at 9:30 & 11:00am – Ascension Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks, CA
(In the Library)

April 27th at 9:30am – Calvary Lutheran Church in Solana Beach, CA
(In the Community Room)

“God of Commerce” Shoot

Posted in Cinetheologian News on August 12th, 2013 by msteffen – 1 Comment

This summer, Cinetheologian is working on a new film called “God of Commerce”. It is the first in a series of 1-minute commercial-style films about the various false gods that we worship.

The character of Commerce, played by Cris O'Bryon.  It is staged to look like a "Message from the CEO".“God of Commerce” has a unique structure, as compared to our previous films.  Much of the film consists of various video clips in the style of a television commercial, with a voice-over by a man who calls himself Commerce.  At some point, members of the “Resistance” interrupt the transmission in order to alert viewers that Commerce is deceiving them.

On Saturday July 20th, we shot the part of Commerce.  I directed. Raphael Melgar was our audio engineer.  Kevin Schumacher, a former co-worker of mine, was our cinematographer and lighting designer.  And Jessica served as Production Coordinator.  We took special care to make the footage look very polished.  After all, Commerce has all the powers of the commercial video production industry at his disposal.

Our lighting setup with a Kino Flo light and blacked-out window.In order to achieve this look, Kevin recommended that we use a Kino Flo light.  I was initially skeptical: Kino Flo lights use fluorescent tubes, which made me think of the horrible-looking fluorescent lighting found in office buildings and grocery stores.  But Kevin quickly convinced me that these lights were of quite a different caliber.

We wanted to be able to precisely control the light on our actor, Cris O’Bryon.  So we blacked out the window nearest Cris, and used daylight-balanced tubes in the Kino Flo light to simulate daylight.

Toward the end of the film, it is clear that there is something sinister about the Commerce character.  So we wanted to change the lighting to reflect that.  Kevin came up with the idea that we could place a softbox light below Commerce.  The softbox is tungsten (indoor) balanced, which means that the light is much warmer than daylight, which tends to have a bluish tint.

The Commerce character, with softbox lighting from belowWhen we first see Commerce, the daylight-balanced Kino Flo is at full brightness, with the tungsten-balanced softbox very low.  Both lights were on dimmers.  At the critical moment when things turn sinister, Kevin dimmed down the Kino Flo while Jessica dimmed up the softbox.  The result is that we get to see the transformation of Commerce from benevolent to malevolent.

In addition to their roles above, special thanks to Kevin for the equipment and expertise he brought to the shoot; to Raphael for getting us our location; and to Jessica for taking care of food and makeup, and for her assistance with the lights.  Thanks also to Tonya Lehman, who helped us run auditions, and to St. Andrews Lutheran Church and Pastor Andy Taylor for providing an audition location.

Cinetheologian’s Summer Projects

Posted in Cinetheologian News on July 1st, 2013 by msteffen – Comments Off

This summer, Cinetheologian is working on two different projects: a short film called “God of Commerce”, and a re-edit of an earlier film, Daily Bread.  Here are the details.

“God of Commerce”

“God of Commerce” is a short film about how modern society worships commerce, rather than the one true God.  It is the first in a series of 1-minute commercial-style films about the various false gods that we worship.  Each film will focus on  a different false god—these might include science, knowledge, sex, nationalism, physical attractiveness, etc.  The overall message is that these things are not bad in themselves, but we often substitute them for God in trying to fulfill our deepest longings.

We held a casting session for the film this past Saturday at St. Andrews Lutheran Church near La Mesa.  We had a great turnout, and will make a decision on casting later this week.  We are tentatively planning to shoot later this month, so the next step is finding locations and a crew.

Ultimately, we plan to use this film series as part of a ministry campaign designed to raise awareness about our reliance on idols, and to encourage people to seek the one true God.  Christians and churches are the primary audience, though we hope that some non-believers will be intrigued by this campaign as well.

Daily Bread Re-Edit

Back in 2008, I produced a short Christian film called Daily Bread.  This was prior to the days of Cinetheologian, so it was produced under the name Steffen Studios.  Daily Bread tells the story of a college student name Luke, who begins receiving daily loaves of bread from God.  Inside each loaf is a message, telling Luke what to do each day.

Daily Bread premiered in January 2008 at Ascension Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks, CA.  With a runtime of 15 minutes, it was shown in place of the sermon.  Two months later, we showed it in a similar fashion at Bethel Lutheran Church in Encino.  We hosted two additional screenings at Christian young adult groups in Bel Air and Aliso Viejo, but since then Daily Bread has effectively been “in the can”.

I had intended to seek distribution for Daily Bread, but hesitated because I thought the pacing was uneven and the audio was unprofessional.  Then I got distracted with getting married, and the whole project was sidelined.  A few weeks ago on a whim, I popped in the DVD and watched Daily Bread again.  Yes, the pacing and audio could be better, but I also realized how many good things there were about the film.  As a video editor I have five more years of experience since 2008, and with Cinetheologian I now have a sound designer who’s pretty good at fixing audio issues.  So I decided that with relatively minimal effort, we could make Daily Bread distribution worthy.  And that’s what we’re doing.

The San Diego Film Consortium

Posted in Cinetheologian News on May 6th, 2013 by msteffen – Comments Off

This past Friday, Faith, Jessica, and I attended the San Diego Film Consortium event at the Four Points Sheraton in Kearny Mesa (San Diego).  Here are some highlights and impressions from the event:

It is Refreshing to Be Around Fellow Filmmakers

A real sense of energy is created when filmmakers or other artists get together.  It is so easy to get discouraged when you aren’t connected to that world.  Filmmaking starts to seem impossible when the people in your day-to-day life are doing “real” jobs, such as working in healthcare, education, or child development.  But then you go to an event like the SD Film Consortium and get connected to just how many people in San Diego are making films, and doing it successfully (success, at least in terms of getting their films made and shown–making a living is a separate issue).

Being Christian Filmmakers Kind of Makes Us Stand Out

Faith pointed out that when we told people we’re Christian, people either reacted with interest or as if it was a swear word.  There wasn’t much in-between.  It is both exciting and scary to be so (relatively) unique.

There Are a Lot of Actors, But Emotionally-Authentic Performances are Still Rare

Acting is hard.  I know because I tried it in high school and college.  It takes thoroughly understanding the character you’re playing and then fully becoming that character.  The best actors can authentically portray the emotions felt by that character.  One of the events at the Consortium was a showcase of actor demo reels.  Though there were a few good actors, most of the performances I saw failed at emotional authenticity.  I was not watching that character.  Instead, I was clearly watching someone act.  At one point, I even laughed out loud at what I later realized was meant to be a dramatic performance.  I wasn’t purposely trying to insult the actor’s performance (perhaps I should have tried harder to hold that laugh in) but it was just a natural reaction to a performance that came off as false–comical, rather than dramatic.  To be fair, the director also shares responsibility for an actor’s performance (take Natalie Portman in Garden State vs. Star Wars).  But it may still take a rather rigorous audition process to find good actors.

Resources We Learned About:

  • Digital Gym – A resource for San Diego filmmakers and media artists that provides workshops, equipment rentals, and a place to hang out and connect.
  • So Say We All – An organization for writers in San Diego.  Though film writing is not their specific focus, it may be a venue for meeting writers to collaborate with.

Cinema Band to Cinetheologian

Posted in Cinetheologian News on March 26th, 2013 by msteffen – Comments Off

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.

Cinema Band: Business and Another Film

Posted in Cinetheologian News on November 13th, 2012 by msteffen – Comments Off

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.

Cinema Band: Suggestions for Our Statement of Beliefs

Posted in Cinetheologian News on September 25th, 2012 by msteffen – Comments Off

One thing that several of the Cinema Band candidates have said is that we should have an overall statement of beliefs.  Yes, we may disagree on some things, but what common beliefs does the group share?  The following is not our official list, as we are still working on our business plan, however here are some core beliefs that I would suggest:

  • God is real.  He is more than a vague spiritual force, but is someone you can trust and turn to.  He wants to be involved in every aspect of your life.  In fact, your life will be better if God is at the center.
  • As Christians, we need to allow for the possibility that everything described in the Bible actually happened.  Perhaps some of it is metaphor or poetry, however failing to allow that the miraculous things in the Bible could have happened is to deny the power and capabilities of God.
  • There is a such thing as absolute truth.  Many voices in our culture deny this, saying that “I have my truth, and you have your truth,” or that “it is impossible to know the absolute truth on something, so therefore there is no truth.”  As members of Cinema Band, we are truth seekers who encourage others to seek truth.  We freely share our views on what that truth is, while admitting that we do not have the monopoly on truth–just because we believe in truth, and believe in consistently seeking it, this doesn’t mean that we will ever completely have the whole truth figured out.  But we can get closer to it–seek and ye shall find.
  • Truth without love is no more useful than “a resounding gong or a clanging bell” (1 Corinthians 13).  We must walk the fine line of upholding truth, while speaking it in love, not in condemnation of others.  (Incidentally, I think some of the ultra-liberal churches are focused on love without truth, while some of the ultra-conservative churches are focused on truth without love–we need both).
  • We believe in salvation, both when we die and in the here-and-now.  Heaven is where God is fully present, whereas Hell is where God is absent.  We all struggle with the sin, hell, death, that is within each of us, and we struggle with it every day.  All of the junk we deal with, the feelings of inadequacy, the constant striving to be “good enough”…this is a result of the brokenness in the world, the separation between God and humanity.  God can begin to save us from all that right now if we only turn to him–and turn to him constantly, because the moment we step away from God that junk will be waiting for us.
  • We cannot save ourselves, no matter how hard we try.  Only God can save us.
  • We believe that God saves us through his Word.  There is much theology behind this, and we are still trying to understand it all, but it seems that the Word is God’s active force in the world, the life-force, the force of creation.  God’s Word has spoken to us through the scriptures, through the prophets, and ultimately through becoming flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  It is through Jesus’ ministry that we Christians believe in and know God.  As Christians, we believe that one must have faith in Jesus in order to have eternal life.  However, the definition of “faith in Jesus” and “eternal life”, as well as the specific mechanism of salvation–these may be misunderstood and are worth exploring through our film ministry.
  • Not all religions are the same, nor is every religion an “equally-valid path to God.”  This is true, because there are some stark theological differences between the different faiths (i.e., “Jesus is either God or he isn’t”, “God is either personal or he isn’t”).  That said, as truth seekers, we will not immediately insist that our religion is superior, but will seek out the truth that is present in other faiths.

Again, these are suggestions and have not been officially adopted as the theology of Cinema Band.

Cinema Band Audition Project, Part 2: Production

Posted in Cinetheologian News on August 31st, 2012 by msteffen – Comments Off

After the Writing Session, I took Sunday as a Sabbath and then Monday morning got to work on the screenplay.  I started out at Lestat’s on Park, a coffee house in the University Heights area of San Diego.  By lunchtime, I had a first act banged out.  Then after lunch, I went over to the Living Room, another independent coffee house, this one in Point Loma.  By the end of the day, I had a rough draft written, which I sent out for comments.  At least half of the team responded with comments, and then I spent Wednesday writing the second draft (finished it Thursday morning at 5am).

The next two days were spent with production planning, and then on Saturday we gathered at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Encinitas to shoot it.

July 14, 2012: Filming a Short Christian Film

The call time was 7:30am.  We unlocked the church, and then set-up breakfast on a conference table: bagels, cream cheese, fruit, orange juice, and Trader Joe’s coffee.  It took us about an hour before we were recording video.  We started with Scene 2, which is a “crowd scene” (i.e. involves a group of extras).  The scene showed Pastor Carlton preaching a sermon on Sunday morning.  We didn’t have a lot of extras, it was basically just the cast of 5 and crew of 9.  But we set-up the camera and placed people in the pews just right so that the shot gave the impression that there were a decent number of people attending.

John was our primary cinematographer and camera operator, though Sarah shot as much as a third of the film.  Canon SLR cameras were used.  Sarah and I both directed, each of us taking different scenes.  Jason was our audio technician, which included operating the boom and supervising the recording of sound.  We recorded most of the production sound using a separate digital PCM recorder.  This meant that we would later need to synchronize the audio with the video.  Jason and Justin came up with a system of calling out the file number on the PCM recorder before we said “Action” for each shot.  This worked pretty well, though in the future, I would like to have a white-board slate that visually lists the sound number.  I’d also like to use the slate to create a “clap” which will help with synchronization.

Filming went a bit slower than we planned (the shooting schedule was designed to allow us to shoot the entire film in one 12 hour day).  This meant that we didn’t get through all the shots on the 14th, however we ended up shooting until about 11:30pm.  I think with better planning and more experience, we can get faster at filming scenes, though it was probably also overly-optimistic to think we could shoot a 13-page script in one day.

All in all, it was a very positive experience.  Everyone was in good spirits, and there was a great sense of teamwork and excitement.

Cinema Band Audition Project, Part 1: Writing

Posted in Cinetheologian News on July 26th, 2012 by msteffen – 1 Comment

Michael, Jason, Sarah, Justin, Ana, Johnny, John, and Faith.

Over the past 3 weekends, we held the Cinema Band Audition Project, where the Candidates I recruited got together and team-wrote a short Christian film the first weekend, then shot it the following two weekends.  In this entry, we’ll look at the collaborative story development session that took place on Saturday, July 7th.  In subsequent entries, we’ll look at scriptwriting, pre-production, the two weekends of filming, and the aftermath.

July 7, 2012: Team Writing a Christian Short Film

One of the core elements of the Cinema Band production model is that our film stories are written in collaborative brainstorming sessions.  I had experienced previous success with this method of story development in at least two instances: a short film in grad school at USC, and several stage plays with a drama camp at California Lutheran University.  Two years ago, I was looking to produce some Christian films, but was frustrated that the writing process took so long.  I wanted to rapidly write and produce films, rather than slave over a single idea for a year or more.  So I became convinced that a collaborative writing team was the solution.

So at 2:30pm on July 7th, the Cinema Band audition candidates met at a home in the Clairemont area of San Diego.  Those present included Ana, an actress with film crewing experience; John, a regional sales manager whose hobby is photography; Jason, an engineer by day and composer by night; Faith, an experienced entrepreneur who also loves drawing; Justin, a retired Marine with a passion for video editing; Johnny, an actor with lots of visual ideas; and Sarah, a photographer and assistant director with a dream of bringing Christ to Hollywood.

We spent the first hour or so talking about production logistics, and then I led a brief introduction to the 3-Act Structure for film storytelling.  Included in this was a worksheet with the basic elements that we needed to define in order to have a complete and coherent story (I did not want to assume that everyone present already knew about film story structure).  As it turned out, filling out this story worksheet provided an effective end goal for the brainstorm session.

Next, I gave the prompt: The main character finds lenses that show the true nature of reality as God sees it.  And from there, we launched into an all-out brainstorm.  Some wild ideas were thrown out there, but overall it was interesting how quickly the basic outline of a story emerged.  There’s a pastor.  His name is Carlton.  He obtains special glasses.  At this point, there was more debate: How does Carlton obtain the glasses.  Various ideas were put out there, including a mysterious homeless man and an old trunk.  Eventually, we decided on something that really fit well with the rest of the story, though I won’t give it away in this entry.

As the brainstorm leader, I found that I had to restrain myself from arguing against some ideas too early in the process.  Though ideally “no idea is a bad idea” during the early stages of brainstorming, it can still be difficult at times to remember this.  But on the positive, if I did begin to strike down an idea, I quickly corrected myself.  This was a learning process, even for me.

Having the basic outline of the story, we then broke for dinner.  John and Johnny had to leave, due to work obligations.  Ana stayed at the house, while the remaining five of us went to dinner at Panera.  Going to dinner together was a really good experience.  It gave us an opportunity to relax and get to know each other a little better outside of a work setting.  When we came back to the house after dinner, there was a noticeable increase in camaraderie between us.  There was more joking and laughing, and an all-around lighter air.  I think this increased level of comfort had a real positive effect on our creativity.

Fed and happy, we returned to work on the story.  At this point, we decided to start filling out the 3-Act Structure worksheet.  We had our main characters and setting—this was easier than it might otherwise have been.  Unlike most film projects, we had our actors and location chosen before we wrote the story (I arranged it this way, due to the tight timeframe between writing and production).  So we wrote our story around these constraints.  The lead male actor was cast as Pastor Carlton.  The younger woman was cast as his daughter.  And Ana was cast as the church busybody.  And since we had only one location lined up (Bethlehem Lutheran Church), Carlton’s church became the setting for the entire film.

We already had a good idea of some of the major events of the story, but finding a main dramatic tension proved to be more challenging.  The main tension is the key thing that the main character is trying to accomplish during the bulk of the film.  There must be some question in the audience’s mind whether the main character can accomplish this; otherwise there is no drama.  So the main tension is stated in the form of a question with a “yes” or “no” answer.

This was probably the scariest moment for me during the whole writing process.  If we couldn’t come up with a main tension, the story was sunk.  Things had gone so smoothly, and yet we were getting stuck on this most central element of the 3-Act Structure.  I was worried that our writing session would fall apart if we could not get past this.  At a certain point, we took a break and I went to use the bathroom.  During this I said a prayer, expressing to God my concerns about the stall in the brainstorm.  Soon after, the thought came to me: Carlton is trying to save his church!  So I came back and proposed that the main tension should be: Will Carlton save his church?  From there, the rest of the story fell into place over the course of an hour.

We wrapped up around 9:30pm.  Armed with a completed story worksheet and multiple pages of notes, it was now my task to write a production-ready script by Wednesday, the 11th (in 3 days, not counting Sunday).

Next: Part 2, Production

Cinema Band: Writing Audition This Weekend

Posted in Cinetheologian News on July 6th, 2012 by msteffen – 1 Comment

This past week, we’ve been gearing up for part 1 of the Audition Project: the Writing Audition.  A team of nine will gather in the Clairemont area of San Diego this Saturday, where we will brainstorm and develop a storyline based on prompt I will give.  I will then take our story notes and draft a script, which we will shoot the following weekend in Encinitas.

God’s Faithfulness in Providing Locations

I’ve definitely been stressing about getting all the pieces for this project lined up, but God has been faithful and has provided what we’ve needed in just the right timing.  One of these needs was a location for filming on the 14th.  San Diego has very favorable rules in terms of providing locations for filming.  The city will grant free permits for most public areas.  The catch is that production companies must carry production insurance, which is not free.  We are willing to purchase production insurance once we’re up and running as a full company, but we wanted to avoid this expense for the Audition Project.  So this limited our options to private locations.  Faith had called a number of churches, but got mostly lukewarm responses.  I had the thought to call Pastor Laura at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, the church that my wife and I have attended since moving to the area.  I was afraid to call, fearing a lukewarm or even negative response.  But no.  Pastor Laura was thrilled at the idea of our filming at Bethlehem.  Thanks be to God for that!  “Thrilled” is the kind of response we want–those are the kind of people we want to work with.

We’d also had trouble finding a location that could accommodate 10 people for the Writing Audition.  Several churches were willing in theory, but were concerned about how it might conflict with Vacation Bible School (most churches in the area seem to be in the middle of it right now).  Then just Monday night, one of our audition candidates offered her home for us to use.  So things are falling into place, and God is definitely involved in the process.

New Audition Candidates

Though we haven’t been focused much on recruiting, we did gain two new audition candidates over the past week.  Ana is one of our actors for the July 14th film.  Based on her background and interests, we’d invited her to audition to be a core member of Cinema Band.  Ana initially declined, saying that she wanted to focus on acting.  But last week, Ana emailed to say that she’d been thinking more about it, and that she’d like to give the Writing Audition a try.

I also got a phone call from Jim, who had initially responded to one of our ads several weeks ago, but then hadn’t responded to my email.  Jim has previous experience in writing, directing, camera, and editing, and has done several 48 Hour Film Projects.

Advice from the Co-Founder of 36 Parables

Lastly, I had the opportunity to speak with Stewart Redwine, co-producer and cinematographer for 36 Parables, a series of short films based on the parables of Jesus.  One of the best pieces of advice that Stewart had was to keep our budget small, because the more money we spend, the more it becomes about money.  The danger is that you can find yourself serving Money, rather than God.  When you serve Money, your focus shifts from the message to whether or not you’ve sold enough units to refund your budget.  Good advice, because it’s an easy temptation to fall into–even in the service of God.

So here are our current recruiting numbers:

Audition Candidates: 10
Prospects: 3