Filmmaking, like any aspect of our life, should never take over the first priority of our relationship with Christ. With building a business, working with clients, and learning a craft, how do we keep this as first and foremost and let the filmmaking flow out of our faith instead of hindering it?
STUDENT: Looking at the spiritual aspects of filmmaking, what is one thing you wish you would have known starting out as a filmmaker that you know now?
JC: There’s two things that I would mention here. One thing I would say, from a spiritual aspect: You’re going to find that a lot of people recommend things to you to watch that are “really great and worth your time and have amazing things and cool stories” and all this. I would just say, be really careful in that. Don’t ever be lax in this area. Do your due diligence – go read the reviews. PluggedIn is a great place to look at reviews for films.
You don’t have to trust anybody’s recommendations – even my recommendations or Andrew’s recommendations. If anybody tells you there is a good film, go think about it yourself and if that is something you need to be putting the time into or not. I’ve made too many mistakes just taking somebody’s word for it, and going and watching a movie, and regretting it afterwards. Usually because of really bad content, which I feel is defiling content. So, don’t just trust people’s word about a film.
The other thing is when you are working on projects, it’s easy to neglect your relationship with the Lord. Don’t neglect those things. Again, this is an area I’ve made mistakes in and I’ve gone months working on projects and not put a lot of time and effort because “I’m working on a Christian film.” But you still need to be in the Bible, you still need to be in community with other people that are likeminded. If they have Bible studies on film sets, be there. Be in a church, have some sort of community – people you can get together with and challenge and encourage and strengthen one another in spiritual things specifically, from the Bible.
If you ignore those things, it will crop up later. You’ll find yourself easily frustrated, you won’t be walking in the Spirit, you won’t be in the light on things. It can cause problems with relationships.
So, those would be the two things – be careful of people’s recommendations and think through them carefully. And then don’t neglect your time with the Lord.
ANDREW: One thing I have to work on in my personal life is not letting film overrun your family. Running your own business is so time-consuming – because it takes so much time and work. And its so easy to let that take the priority over everything else. So keeping God first, and family second, and business third is kind of important.