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Challenge from an Artist to Christian Filmmakers, part 2

Challenge 2: Tell a good story.
What story are we serving?  Is the story worth our service?

It's easy when the adrenaline courses through our veins to pursue whatever story comes into our lives.  However, these stories take a while to tell, and involve a lot of energy.  It's not a bad idea to ask whether or not this story is worth all that effort.

Telling a good story means that it is well told.  Does it open in an engaging way?  Does the story lead us into a believable world with meaningful characters?  Does it follow correct plot structure for movies?  Does it move us by the emotion bottled up inside?  If it does, it's probably well told.  I had the wonderful privilege of working with John Moore on a remake of an earlier film.  He created Heartstrings, which was fairly popular, but he knew that he could tell it better.  And so he's created Ace Wonder: Message from a Dead Man as a total retake on the concept.  It carries its message with power and eloquence.

Telling a good story also means that we remember where reality is.  Stories aren't real, but they remind us of what is real.  Even the most bizarre story, if it is a good one, it reminds us of something that is not bizarre.  Men from mars are still men, deep down inside.  They are generally intelligent beings who live by some universal moral code.  The stories we tell are not reality, but deep down inside, do they reflect reality?  

Telling a good story lastly means that we tell God's story.  We humans often act completely oblivious to the good work that God is doing in this world.  Do the stories we tell reflect God's work, or are they, too, oblivious?  The fool says in his heart there is no God.  A foolish Christian lives like it.  And foolish Christian filmmakers do not acknowledge God or His work in their stories.  As Michael Dornbirer once encouraged me, "Write something that'll turn your audiences' eyes heavenward!!"  The market is already filled with films which do not acknowledge God.  By discussing the ignored spiritual reality, we tell a worthwhile story.

And if we tell our stories well, our audience may be the better for the listening.

Digging deeper: James 3:2, Romans 14:19, I Corinthians 10:31

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