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Mar 23

this is an open letter to Kayla, the 11-year-old who wrote Time to Pass, a short film i produced and directed. it is currently not available for online viewing.

dear Kayla,

it’s been over a year since we first watched the final version of Time to Pass, the short film you wrote which I produced and directed. today, I showed that film to my aunt’s fifth grade class, and I wanted to share with you their experience.

overall they liked it, and they really like the fact that someone who was only 11 years old (their age) had written the film. I think that encouraged them to pursue creative things.

but there was one little moment during my presentation today that made an impact, and I wanted to share it with you.

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Mar 21

if you love film or if you are a Christian, you’ve got to read this post by Blue Like Jazz filmmaker — musician-turned-director Steve Taylor:

The Christian Movie Establishment vs. Blue Like Jazz

“One of the most consistent criticisms I got as a recording artist came from fellow Christians saying, “Why do you do these songs criticizing the church? Why would you go airing our dirty laundry for the public to see?” And, of course, that same criticism had been leveled at Blue Like Jazz.

This perspective has always amused me, as if the public thinks we’ve got our act together perfectly, as if they don’t already see the hypocrisy in our midst. They just think we’re too dumb to see it ourselves.

Which is why the image of a guy in a confession booth finally confessing the truth started my six-year-long quest to make Blue Like Jazz.

When we tell the truth – even the uncomfortable truth – the truth sets people free.”

the whole article is totally on point.

if you haven’t seen Taylor’s first feature The Second Chance, you should check it out; i really enjoyed it. i’m really looking forward to Blue Like Jazz (and not just for the Bear on a Bicycle scene).

i hope that there are a lot of angry patrons. if the film stirs the pot, people will become disappointed and angry with their anger and disappointment in life and seek something higher.

encouraging that search should be the aim of every filmmaker who proclaims the name of Christ.

 

UPDATE:  interesting update to this story as director Steve Taylor receives an unexpected phone call from Alex Kendrick of Sherwood Pictures.


Mar 19


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Mar 15

everyone’s seen the David. it graces the covers of books, postcards, and aprons. it’s been copied at varying sizes since it was first sculpted. it’s a seminal piece of art history, and it currently stands in the center of the Accademia Galleria in Florence, Italy, preserved for every tourist to come and surreptitiously snap pictures with their cellphones while loud, angry Italian museum guards yell unintelligible curses at our smiling, faux-naïve faces.

to see it in person is really something else.

i was in Europe in the summer of 2008. in Italy, i was completely by myself in Florence for about 8 days, doing research for a screenplay i was working on at the time. i did very few touristy things, but seeing the David before i left was a must.

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Mar 12

parabolos is my motion picture production company. through it, i hope to turn vision and message into tangible work, sharing myself through process and product from story development to the final master of the film. i believe using cinema is the strongest way to deliver Truth that inspires thought and encourages reflection in people, particularly in today’s America.

etymology

parabolos (pronounced par-ah-bah-lahs) is an ancient Greek word which means, “venturesome, reckless, dangerous”. the para- (para-) prefix can mean “aside”, “alongside”, or “to the side”, and the bolo root means “i throw”.  quite literally, the word means “thrown aside”. consider our idiomatic expression “throwing caution to the wind” as a parallel construct.

it may evoke ideas of its relative, parabole (par-ah-bah-lay), where we get our English word parable; a parable is a story “thrown alongside” a truth so that people may more easily understand it.

the paraboloni

from a lesson on Model Spiritual Servants by John MacArthur:

“That word parabolo came to have some interesting usages. In the days of the early church after the New Testament era, there was an association of men and women who got together and took the name ‘The Paraboloni’ which meant ‘The Gamblers.’ They took as their hero Epaphroditus who gambled with his life. And it was their aim and their mission to visit the prisoners, to visit the sick, especially those with infectious, dangerous, communicable diseases. It was their mission to unhesitatingly, unflinchingly and boldly proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ in every environment without any hesitation. And they called themselves, ‘The Paraboloni, The Gamblers.’

It is also interesting to note that in A.D. 252 the city of Carthage had a terrible plague and the heathen were so frightened of the germs that were in the bodies of the dead that they literally bagged them somehow and hurled them out of the city, not wanting to touch them for burial. Cyprian the Christian bishop gathered the congregation of the believing church together and the church members took their bodies and in a gracious act of human kindness buried the dead bodies of the plague-stricken people. And according to the historians as well, they nursed even the sick people, coming close enough to them to touch them in that plague-infested city, risking their lives to save some in the city and God used them as a tremendous potential, as a tremendous force really to reach people for Christ because of their love.

Whether you’re talking about The Paraboloni who gambled with their lives in an infectious disease environment, or whether you’re talking about Epaphroditus their hero who gambled with his life by going at a hostile culture with all he had in the service of Jesus Christ, that kind of self- sacrificing example is marvelous.”

through parabolos, i hope to live a thrown-aside life in order to tell the Story that this generation so desperately needs to hear.


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Mar 08

my 2nd year directing class under the instruction of Janos Kovacsi was a life-changing experience. Janos gave a lot of wonderful instruction, a lot of which i have shared with my students over the years, and now hope to share here with my readers.

one of the best tools i learned from my time at NCSA was the director’s worksheet. in this post, i’ll explain the worksheet, give you an example, and links to some downloads.

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Mar 07

i began this blog with a few reasons in mind. one of the most visible purposes was to share what i had learned about using new technology as it applies to the film production process.

some who follow my blog but don’t know me well personally may be frustrated that the site went dark for about six months, only to return with cryptic stories and essays that don’t seem to have anything to do with iPad 4 rumors.

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