Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Interested in Christian film, but hate the idea of Charlton Heston in sandals and a bathrobe?  Well, you're obviously differently minded then me, who could always do with a little more sword and sandal epic action. 

But if you think that Christian films should have less Charlton Heston and more Henry Thomas spouting nonsensical Bible verses, then maybe you prefer current Christian fare like The Last Sin Eater(reviewed here).   If so and you want to try to get into  independant Christian filmmaking, then maybe you should check out the 2007 Christian Filmmakers Academy.  From October 22-24 in beautiful San Antonio Texas, you can learn from "industry professionals" about how to make Christian films.  The biggest name, and the only reason I'm really bothering to report this, is that Stephen Kendrick is going to be giving a presentation and perhaps even teaching a workshop.  Kendrick is the writer and producer of Facing the Giants (review), and one of the two identical voices on the DVD commentary track(the other is his brother, the director and star).

I'm usually skeptical of these "film academies," since they charge you for things you can either learn for free(screenplay formatting) or they'll try to push the Hollywood production model on independant filmmakers(do you really need to have union-style schedules and work allocations when your budget is $100?).  In this case, the fact that they are teaching "independant" filmmakers a class on 35mm film cameras tells me that it's more Hollywood than anything.  Still, this academy is in conjunction with a Christian film festival it might be interesting to see the current state of independant Christian film.  

Although, I'd consider almost all the movies we review here on the podcast to be examples of independant Christian film.  Except for The Nativity Story (review), which is just a cash-in Christian film.

Oh, and one more thing.  The organizer of the Christian Film Academy is quoted in The Christian Post as saying "In the late 1920s, the Hays Code committed Hollywood filmmakers to the responsibility of producing films that would be 'directly responsible for spiritual or moral progress, for higher types of social life, and for much correct moral thinking,'...'In departing from this responsibility, the modern cinema industry has departed from both culturally uplifting and intellectually stimulating content."  I'm not sure that returning the the Hays Code is good for the future of good Christian cinema.  The Second Chance (review) certainly wouldn't have meet those ridiculous standards.

(from The Christian Post(who insist on using a picture from The Last Sin Eater to represent contemporary Christian film, hence the reference)

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