The Reluctant Release: When They Don’t Want to Sign the Release Form

Release forms. No one likes them. But you need them. You need releases for people, places and for materials. A lot has been written about this subject, so I won’t go into it here.

What do you do when someone doesn’t want to sign one? I recently had this happen with a couple locations for my documentary project. Here’s how I tried to work through the problems.

Be Patient.

My first reaction was not patient, or helpful. Didn’t these people know I needed this? What was their problem? I’m nerdy enough that I almost always get a small shot of adrenaline when I get a form returned, or an email about a form. Weird, right? So, inevitably when I’m first reading it, I’m not calm and cool.

And of course the real issue is: what is their problem? Why would they say no? In my case the locations didn’t say no, outright. Both offered ways to get permission, but neither were acceptable. As I reviewed both, it became clear that one location simply didn’t completely understand what was being asked of them. The other was, as I would find out, going to be rigid and over reaching in their requests. Let’s look at the first location.

Try to get to the core issue. Get the facts. Why don’t they want to sign the release?

Be Clear.

I realized that the initial request had not been very clear. It had been handled through a 3rd party, so I was able to get into contact with the location myself and start to work through the issues.

I explained what the project was. I showed them what gear I would be bringing (a single mirrorless camera, not a full crew). I talked about risk, the fact that I would be attending the event anyway. We talked about the fact that the event was the subject of the film, not the location. The camera I would bring is the same as I would bring if I were a parent. There was no additional risk to the location.

Be Persuasive.

Once I convinced them that my presence would not be a major risk, I began to ease their other concerns.

It became clear that the location was concerned about being shown in a negative light. I’m not sure if they had a bad experience before, but I worked to put their mind at ease. I told them about the film, and why it was important. I sold them on what I was doing, on the purpose of the project. I reassured them that the location was just background for the film.

At one point the location said they didn’t have the power to give me permission to shoot because they were just the venue. I explained that while I had permission from the event and the people involved, because it was private property, I needed permission to shoot there. They asked to get written permission from the event organizers, which I provided.

Be Flexible. (Where you can.)

The location asked me to change a few things in the location release. None of them were important. I felt they were overkill, but I could easily put them into the document if it made them feel better.

I specifically limited the number of people in my crew to one. I specifically mentioned I would not hold them liable for physical injury to myself. (This was in addition to existing language already related to liability). They asked to only be shown in a positive light, but I agreed to not show the location in a negative light. I could do that because the location isn’t the focus on the film. I would be surprised if anyone could even identify it by the footage. The location is a neutral part of the film, just a venue.

It’s not always possible to meet every demand or request. Don’t give up more than you should. Don’t agree to things that might compromise your film, your finances, or put you in a legal bind.

Be Persistent.

After I made the changes, the location representative said he would sign the release. And then went silent for 2 weeks. The shoot date was rapidly approaching. I had an email saying they agreed to the release, but no signed release and no plan to obtain one.

I waited a few days and sent a email with a countersigned copy of the release. All they had to do was print and sign it. I suggested I could just get it from the office when I arrived. Whatever I could do to make it easy for them. About a week out from the event I sent another email, asking if they had seen the previous one and including the release again.

2 days before the event I called them. I left a voicemail. I thanked them for agreeing to sign the release, and suggested I could just swing by the office and pick up a signed copy since I would be there already.

1 day before the event I got an email saying the document would be waiting for me at the office. I had started a month and a half before the shoot date trying to get permission. It had taken almost 6 weeks to get this done. But I needed this location.

Be Creative.

While I was in limbo about permission, I started working on Plan B. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

If the worst happened, I could go to the public street and shoot an establishing shot of the location. I could do interviews off site. I could fill in with B Roll from other locations. The only thing needed from that location that I couldn’t get without permission would be some recording from the award ceremony. My plan was to audio record it and then seek permission after the fact to use it. If I was not able to get permission, I would use voiceover to describe the events.

That would not be ideal, but it would be better than nothing.

If you cannot get permission, what can you get? Can you get a different person, different location, use a different audio element? What else can you do to communicate the same thing? We already know you’re creative or you wouldn’t be making a film. So be creative and work it out.

Which brings me to the other location.

This one I did contact directly. But they sent back my release and had altered about 80% of it. Most of the changes were things I was already doing, so it didn’t matter. But 2 parts were not OK. We went back and forth a bit, and it became clear that at least of of the points would not be something we could agree on. They would not bend and neither would I.

So now what?

Same scenario as before. Be creative. I was only looking for a few shots of awards, and to interview a few people who were going to attend. So I began to find other options.

My film isn’t about a particular event at a location. There are multiple events throughout the year. My film is the story of these kids going through the season. So, not being able to shoot at one location was not the end of the film, or necessarily a big deal. I would have liked to shoot there, to use footage I captured there. It would have made things easier. But I went to work on doing what I could while I was in town.

I contacted several other locations near the tournament, looking for a space to shoot interviews. There were some folks I was hoping to talk with who were available at this location, so I needed a place. In the end it was a contact made through someone I knew that opened the doors. Building relationships is important. I would be able to shoot my interviews in a location near the tournament, but out of the elements and in a relatively quiet space.

I also shot interviews with students before and after the tournament. This won’t be the only tournament that wasn’t represented in the film. I only attended 5 others this year. The difference is that I was at this one and could have shot video. Even though this wasn’t ideal, it also wasn’t a deal breaker. I made the most of the situation and pressed on.

Every project will have set backs. Every creative work will have hurdles, roadblocks, detours. The difference between finishing a production and giving up is how you handle the issues as they come up.

Advertisements

How to Shoot a Short Film in 3 Hours

BRKN logoOn Saturday we shot my short film “BRKN”. It took right about 3 hours to shoot, not counting set up and tear down. I had thought it could have taken as long as 6 hours, hoped it would take about 4.

Just a couple of weeks ago I was planning to shoot a large project, over 2 days with a bigger cast and crew, with practical effects that would require equipment. I had gear and props, but I lacked people. Plus the abnormally heavy rains here in East TX would have made these outdoor shoots more difficult.

So, I pulled back. Quickly developed a new, simpler idea. on that I could shoot with less people, in a controlled environment. Even though it was a short script, I was surprised how well the shoot went. Not every shoot goes smoothly.

How did we shoot in 3 hours? I’m still learning how to be a good filmmaker. But these are some things that helped me for this shoot.

Pre Production

I didn’t have a lot of time. I needed a script that I could shoot with 2 actors and a one man crew. I use the Celtx online studio to help with all aspects of preproduction. I write, then do the break down, shot list, schedule and it automatically generates reports for each day of shooting.

Every minute you spend in preproduction saves many more in production and post. In this case, because I was shooting at my own home, I could really focus in on the shots. I still didn’t do storyboards, but I did walk every angle.

I have been on shoots without preproduction. The ones where you show up and there’s no gear. Where you desperately need lights or something, but you have nothing. The ones where the schedule is way too ambitious. Do yourself a favor. Do the work in preproduction.

Controlled Environment

I could walk the angles because I controlled the environment. I didn’t just scout the location, I was able to set up lights the day before and do tests. I didn’t have a big crew. In fact, the entire crew was me. I had to be in a controlled space. Because I had that access and control, this shoot didn’t have any surprises.

That’s not always possible. And that’s OK. You need to shoot where you need to shoot. But be aware of the location and make your plans. Knowing the location can keep unpleasant surprises from throwing off your schedule.

Good Actors

The two actors in “BRKN”, Anna Walker and Derek Henning, are really great. They didn’t just agree to do the movie for no money, they learned their lines and even got together and rehearsed before showing up on set. They had read the script, thought about it, and prepared for the shoot. Having the right people in your cast can make or break your shoot.

I wish I could say I have always had actors as good as these on set. I’ve had actors show up who obviously hadn’t looked at the script more than once. There are people who aren’t serious about it, or are just too busy. I’ve only had a couple of actors bail on a shoot completely, but that required major rewrites of a script at the last minute.

When you have actors who are not as good as they might be, you can adapt and overcome. You can feed the lines to them. you can adapt and overcome. But it takes time.

I am so grateful for Anna and Derek’s work on this project. Their professionalism was a big part of a this shoot’s success.

We were able to capture everything we needed fairly smoothly. There is no way to keep every problem from every set. Things will go wrong. Be flexible and solution focused. Get your project shot.

Now I need to get into Post production on “BRKN”. That will take longer than 3 hours.

Pitch-a-Thon-a-go-go! (Seriously, you should go)

filmsummitlogosqrWhat would you do to have the chance to pitch your project to representatives from major studios, to producers and distributors? People who can help make it a reality?

Last year the new NRB Film Committee pulled together a pitch-a-thon with many of the major religious distributors. Participants had 5 minutes in front of up to 3 reps to pitch their project. The representatives gave honest feedback to every person who pitched. My project was well received, and if I had a finished film, I am reasonably sure those contacts would have paid off.

Even though I am serving on the NRB Film Committee this year, I hadn’t heard much about this year’s pitch event. When the registration opened up I was surprised to see some major additions to the panel. Representatives from 20th Century Fox and Paramount as well as some well known producers are going to be there. Later conversations with the guys setting things up hinted at a few more players that might attend.

So, the big reason to pitch at one of these things is to get practice at your pitch and hear feedback from actual professionals in the field.

Of course the dream is that one of the people hearing your pitch comes back around to find out more, and hopefully move forward. And this year many of the participants don’t require a finished project. They can take a script.

And if you’re going to do this, then you might as well swing for the fences. I asked to pitch to major studios and a producer. I’m pitching an idea that is bigger than my capability. I wouldn’t be able raise the production capital by myself, but the story will appeal to a broad audience. It’s something a larger studio could easily take on.

So I’m going to be pitching this project.

What’s you project? What are you pitching? You should sign up right now.

http://nrb.org/events/convention/pitchathon/

To participate you must register for the day or for the whole NRB Convention. If you register for the day you get a bunch of great sessions learning from people working in Hollywood.

Creating a Hyperlapse Loop

Hyperlapse:

Hyperlapse (also walklapsespacelapsestop-motion time-lapsemotion timelapsemoving timelapse) is an exposure technique in time-lapse photography, in which the position of the camera is being changed between each exposure in order to create a tracking shot in timelapse sequences. In opposite to a simple motion timelapse – dolly shots, which are realized with short camera sliders; in hyperlapse photography, the camera is being moved through very long distances.

A hyperlapse is a fun project, and a cool way to highlight a building, landmark, or area is to do one around it. All you need is a map, a still camera, photo editing software and a video editing program that can assemble an image sequence.

First, find your location on the map. Then plot out points you can take photos from in a circle around the building. I used Google Maps, threw a screen grab into Photoshop and drew a circle around it. Then I printed that image and drew dots around the circle where I wanted to shoot pictures.

There are some handy tips and videos for how to best do this online. This video mentioned that it works best to take a picture then shift a short distance and take a second picture so the sequence shows the foreground moving. It helps the video feel smoother.

When taking the pictures, chose one portion of the building/object to line up with something in the camera viewfinder. I put the top of the steeple at the top of the guides inside the Canon 7D viewfinder, and in the center of the focus boxes. It’s Ok if it’s not exactly perfect. But it should be close. Make sure that you have plenty of space between your building and the edge of your frame, this will help with cropping the photos down to a 16×9 image later.

Once you have your pictures, load them into your photo editor. I used Adobe Photoshop, but other editors may be able to do similar edits. In Photoshop create a new document and paste in one of the images on a new layer. Straighten, if necessary. Position the building or object exactly in the center. Then draw some guides around the building. These will help you to center up each new image.

Paste more of your shots in new layers and (using the guides) straighten, scale and position them to match the base layer. As always, save early and often. When you are done you have a document with about 40 or so layers, all scaled and positioned with the building in the center. This is the base of your video.

Using the canvas size tool in Photoshop, change the horizontal and vertical dimensions to something that is a multiple of the resolution you want your final video to be. I chose 3840×2160, double 1080 HD resolution.

Go through each image and fix anything that looks out of place, and make sure the image is still centered in the guides. I had some blank spots from some of the image rotation I had done to straighten things out. So I used the Clone tool to draw in more ground or sky. Don’t worry about making it look perfect. These pictures will be zooming by at 1/24th of a second. But keep that building or object centered and straight.

Now, go through each picture and add motion blur to everything except the focal point. The amount you add is up to you. I wanted to make sure viewers could tell what the foreground images were, but didn’t want them sharp at all.

The final image editing step is to export each layer of the image in order with a numerical file name. Then open your video editor. I used Adobe Aftereffects, which recognized I had an image sequence and created the video automatically. Make any adjustments and export your hyperlapse loop.

I’d love to see your hyperlapse.

4 Reasons You Should Make a “Discipleship” Movie

fcpxOnce in a while religious filmmakers can find themselves drawn into a discussion about Evangelical films versus what I call “Discipleship” films, which are films targeted at people who already have a relationship with Jesus. I have already written about this, and I fall firmly into the “do what God has called you to do” camp. If you feel strongly that films should be evangelical, go produce them.

But, if you are wondering about making a Discipleship film, let me give you 4 reasons to produce that film:

1. Your Primary Audience is Christians. Let’s be honest, unless you have Christian Bale as Moses and a biblical-epic-scale budget and effects, most of the people who see your film are going to already be Christians. “God’s Not Dead” did OK at the box office, but as an evangelical film I think it struck home with people questioning their existing faith more than any atheist who got suckered into watching it by their religious friends. The majority of people attending a religious movie screening will already be believers. Why not focus on growing those folks?

2. People in the church desperately need discipleship. While there are exceptions, generally half of the people who go to a given church are not involved in a small group Bible study. They get all of their teaching from the weekend service. Any pastor will tell you that’s not enough. Far too many people in the pew have much too little knowledge of what the Bible actually teaches, and what it truly means to live their lives according to those teachings.

Teaching truth through story was one of Jesus’ favorite methods. Do you think it is easier for someone to tell you the 3rd point of last week’s sermon or the plot of the last movie they saw? We can attract a Christian audience and teach them something that they can hang onto in the process.

3. The two kinds don’t have to be exclusive. A Discipleship film can have an evangelical element, just as a movie with a strong evangelical message can teach biblical truth to the viewer. Take for instance a movie set in biblical times. A movie on the life of Christ is obviously both a discipleship tool and a depiction of the Gospel message.

4. Movies may not be the best evangelism tool. OK, now I’ve made someone mad. I’m not saying the Holy Spirit can’t use a movie to lead someone into relationship with Christ. He has, he can, he will. What I am saying is that the percentage of faithful that asked Jesus into their hearts because of a movie versus because of a friend talking to them is pretty skewed. Personal evangelism is going to win out every time over mass evangelistic efforts. (I’m talking about Western Culture here.) One reason is that on screen conversions scenes feel really fake. And weird. It’s super hard to capture a scene like this in a way that feels natural. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, but a Discipleship picture will probably reach its goal much more effectively than an Evangelical one.

If you are set on using film primarily as an evangelical tool, do it. At some point I will probably write an Evangelical script. Right now most of my work seems to fall into the Discipleship camp. I’m passionate about helping believers develop a biblical worldview. If you are trying to decide what kind of film to make, give the Discipleship movie a shot.

Shoot Update

We’re just a few scenes shy of being done with principle photography for our major Christmas project. In the first post about this project I showed bit of the farm building we were using. I wanted to share a few more shots. You can see some of the sets we built.

This was one of my favorite sets, Joseph’s workshop. When lit correctly, it really works.
IMG_4464

And exterior street set.
IMG_4466

One of or actors prepares for his scene.
IMG_4451

Even disciples like foosball.
IMG_4528

Working on lighting for a scene.
IMG_4449

Hard to believe it in this image, but this collection of PVC pipe, wire and paper becomes a great looking cave.
IMG_4493

Shooting by candlelight.
IMG_4494

This was the final set we built in the “barn”. Always amazed how plywood flats covered in painted foam can look so good as a slightly out of focus background.
IMG_4569

I don’t want to give too much away in the photos, but this one was too good to pass up.
IMG_4522

We’ve wrapped up the shoot out at this location, and the rest will be outdoors.

To see the finished product, don’t miss the Sounds of the Season 2014 at Mobberly Baptist Church.

Shooting, Shooting, Shooting!

IMG_4381One of the things that I really like about my new job is that this church is very ambitious when it comes to shooting video. Yes, we shoot the normal interview, ministry highlight kinds of projects, but we also stretch and shoot more complicated films. I say films because that’s exactly what the are. Before I got here they had shot several series of “sermon bumpers” that were dramatic, narrative. One was a crucifixion focused series, the other used comedy to break the ice on a financial series.

IMG_4416

This past week we kicked off a major project for Christmas. We spent the weekend on a ranch in West Texas, and then came back to Longview, built sets in a barn and started shooting. The schedule is very ambitious. 35 scenes, on multiple locations. To give you an idea of the scope of the project. My feature length script has 57 scenes with fewer locations.

Most of the preproduction was done before I got here, so I am just jumping in where I can.

The very first scene we shot was at night, in a field. We created the “moon” by putting 3 lights in a truck bed and powering them off a generator.

IMG_4401

We had plenty of light for the Blackmagic 4K camera we were shooting with.

IMG_4402

IMG_4398We were using the DJ Ronin gimbal with Easyrig backpack. With all the remote control gear, and camera and batteries and screens, it’s pretty heavy. The Easyrig helps take some of that weight off the arms. We use a Teradek device to stream video to people who are controlling the gimbal pan and tilt, and even a remote focus puller. So it takes 3 people to fully operate the gimbal. It didn’t always work perfectly, but we got what we needed. (For those interested, that’s a ’46 Plymouth in the background.)

IMG_4407 We also used more common gear, like sliders and tripods. The challenge for these shoots was getting all of the people and gear out into the field. Literally, the field. Some places were only accessible via ATV. For one shoot I was holding the gimbal on a stand in the back of a “Mule” ATV, and we were going out to the location. I got so covered in dust. Luckily, one of the team had remembered to cover the camera before we starTed driving. My sunglasses had a thick layer of dust on them when we finally stopped. West Texas dirt.

IMG_4409

Overall, we got some spectacular shots out on the ranch. I’m eager to see them in the finished product.

IMG_4427Once we got back into town, we didn’t slow down. Sunday afternoon we hauled 24 4’x8′ flats out to an air conditioned barn in nearby Gladewater, TX. Then we got to building a set in our makeshift studio. Of course, this barn isn’t really a barn. It’s like a small camp. Bathrooms, kitchenette, it has all the comforts of a home. Plus enough space to build and light the sets for many of our scenes. (See panoramic image below.)

IMG_4429

I’d never been a part of building a set like this. Most of my experience has been on location, so this was educational. Foam, heat guns, hot knives, putty, filler, paint, and texture. I still have remnants on my fingers. But we cranked out the last of the set construction and taped the first couple of scenes, with more to follow the next few nights. Then we tear this down and build a new set in the same space. Finally, we will do a few more shots outside, on location again, to round out the project.

It’s going to be very nice when we are done.

mary set

Let’s Make Some Short Films

clapperI am wanting to make a few short films.

I’m still hoping to work on the 12-page, sci fi-thriller I wrote called “The Experience” sometime this year. But that will require a trip to MO.

I’m thinking more along the lines of 1-3 scenes, 1-2 characters in local places. Things that can be done in an afternoon or evening. Things like this: “Carjacked.” Just a couple minutes. Maybe funny, maybe serious. Maybe spiritual, maybe not.

I have a scene i could shoot in a small chapel. Something I worked up as a corollary to the “Flawed” script I’ve got percolating on the the back burner. Would primarily but one person, monologue. With intercut clips. Lots of movement. It would be an interesting scene to hoot, allowing for some experimentation in style and interesting as a part of the other scripts universe, so to speak.

And I’m casting about for more ideas, more scripts. I posted about this on Facebook the other day and got a few people who responded asking to be a part of it. Of course, I went right into a very busy work week. I’m hoping things shake out schedule wise after the 4th of July. Maybe the end of July.

Meanwhile. If you are in Central Florida, and just want to be a part of a short film or two… no money, just fun and getting better at making movies… let me know. We need actors and crew. I’ve got some gear. Need ideas and scripts. (simple scripts we can shoot in a day)

Let’s make some movies.

 

Flawed Cast List

slateFlawed Plot:

Mega-church pastor Tom Ellis had everything. Faith, a great family, and one of the fastest growing churches in the country. Two years after a sudden tragedy takes it all away, he finds himself as the pastor of a small, struggling church in Central Florida, but underneath the surface of the ministry, lurks something sinister. Can Tom bring the truth to light and lead the church through scandal, while raising his pre-teen daughter?

We are not holding auditions yet, but if you are interested in being notified when we do, send an email to scott@scottlinkmedia.com.

Flawed Cast:

Tom Ellis- Adult male lead, mid 40s, pastor of Narrow Road Baptist Church

Makayla Ellis- Youth female lead, daughter of Tom.

Amy- Adult female lead, 30s, TV News reporter.

Deacon Ezekiel Miller-Adult male lead, late 40s-early 50s.

Zed Miller- Adult male supporting, younger brother of Deacon

Claudia Miller- Adult female supporting, wife of Zed, church admin staff

Katie Miller- Youth female supporting, daughter of Zed and Claudia

Charlie- Adult male supporting, church worship leader

Mrs. McGillicutty- Adult female supporting, senior adult, leader of women’s prayer committee

Heather Ellis- Adult female supporting, wife of Tom Miller

William- Adult male, church member

Missy- Adult female. church member

Charlotte- Young adult female, mid 20s, church member.

And a few featured extra roles.

Flawed is in pre production now, with hopes to shoot and release the movie in late 2014. 

In the future we will be casting and fundraising and … everything else that goes into making a movie like this. We have some interesting ideas for distribution as well. Become a fan on Facebook. Sign up for our email newsletter to make sure you always get the late test updates and information.

Parables of the Talents and Bad Christian Film

I recently was trolling, ah, lurking? No, perusing an online group for religious filmmakers. One member very passionately made the argument that we (believers) shouldn’t make Christian films until we have all the resources in place to do as good a job as our secular counterparts.

On the one hand I can totally see his perspective. The last thing we need is more bad Christian movies. We’ve got enough of those.

In his argument we should wait until we have the resources, the technique, the ability to create something that isn’t sacrificing quality.

I agree with quite a lot of that. But I didn’t do what he suggested. I made a series for stupid cheap money, and even wrote an ebook encouraging others to follow suit. Obviously I’m not on the wait-until- you-have-everything bandwagon.

Am I wrong? Should I have waited until the show could have been done for $50,000 an episode? Or maybe $25,000? What is the magic number, anyway?

It shouldn’t be bad Christian vs good secular, it should be bad vs good.

Is it fair to compare low budget Christian films to blockbuster hits and Oscar winning secular films? Are bad Christian themes movies really any worse than bad secular films?

There’s plenty of bad non Christian film made. Lots of them. Tons of low quality short films and even a feature length products that friends and family watch, but almost no one else. In our case, Christian audiences are more accepting of lower quality because of the message. That may say more about Christian audiences than Christian filmmakers.

But bad films are bad films. Period. Our problem is that we, as believers, excuse the flaws, and allow bad religious fare to become widely known. Bad secular films just fail.

Regarding the original argument, I agree that any filmmaker should do their homework. If you have not bothered to learn basic script structure stop read this right now and go buy Save the Cat by Snyder and Story by Mckee. Immediately.

Don’t rush into production because you don’t want to take the time to learn how to be good. There are too many resources out there to learn how to be a better filmmaker.

But there are not as many resources of a more tangible sort. To make a film or show you need gear and people and places. I believe that if God has placed a burning desire to tell a story in your heart, he has also put the resources to accomplish that vision around you.

But most of the time that does not mean you can pull off a movie with a $2 Million budget. Most of the time you won’t have big name actors in your film. Does that mean you should wait, and not work on your dream?

I keep thinking about the parable of the talents in Matt 25:14ff. If the talents symbolize the resources and abilities God has given us, this parable seems at odds with not moving forward because you don’t want to disappoint God.

Imagine, the master returns and asks what I did with the talents he has given, and I say that I knew he was a hard master so I didn’t take the small amount he gave me and create something more, instead I waited. I hid it away and wished I had been given more. Will his reaction be different than the parable?

What if instead I took what small amount if resources I was given and used them to the very best of my ability (which he also gave me). And while we may not have seen five talents in return, we did see one come back.

If you are interested in religious films then you have surely heard of a church called Sherwood Baptist in Albany, GA. Have you ever watched their first film, Flywheel? This is a prime example of small amount being used to great effect, and God returning more and more throughout the cycle. Are any of their film Oscar worthy? No, but they get better each time, and people watch them.

At the 2014 NRB convention I heard one of the producers, David Nixon, say that their film Fireproof has been credited with helping to save 1 Million marriages. (They know this from messages they have gotten from people who were affected by the message of the film). What if they had waited to do Flywheel?

I’m reminded of this phrase, repeated twice in that passage: “You have been faithful over little, I will set you over much.”

So when I think about the argument that we should wait until we can make something amazingly good, I want to agree. But mainly because I am afraid. I am fearful about doing something so big. If only I could be content to wait. That would be easy. I’d be working a job that paid decent, and quietly pining for the moment what all the pieces fall together and I can make my magnificent movie. Dreams are safe if you never do anything about them.

What if God has given me a story to tell. And I wrote the best script I can, and then get the best gear and best cast and crew, and we make it. And it’s not 100%, more like 80%. But people see it.

Or what if God gives me a story to tell and I spend years waiting until I’m ready to deliver 100%.

Which one has more impact? Which one will allow me to gain experience and knowledge so the next project can be better?