Donald James Parker – Author, Actor, Radio Host, Screenwriter, Producer

Image

You wear a lot of hats –  author, radio host, blogger, reviewer, screenwriter, and actor. How do you juggle them all?

You left out a big one. I’m also a publisher. I’m a workaholic so it’s easier than it sounds. I actually haven’t done any acting for a while but that is changing in the near future.  Actually, I didn’t have enough to do, so I’ve volunteered to serve on the Board of Directors for the Kingdomwood Film Festival in Atlanta where I’ll also serve as a judge this year.

Which do you see as your primary calling?

Called to exhort those who believe in Jesus to become disciples and to witness to those who don’t know the Savior.  Called to battle and contend with Postmodernist culture for the hearts and minds of people, especially in the areas of science, government, literature, and film.

When did you start your blog radio show?

 2009.   

Image

What led you to start interviewing Christian filmmakers?

I decided a while back that young people (and many adults) don’t like to read, so if I wanted to reach people with the messages God puts on my heart, film was the way to go. So I started getting to know filmmakers instead of authors. I felt a desire to help them promote their work at the same time giving me an opportunity to know them a little bit and perhaps start a relationship that could develop into something significant down the road.  

Who are some of the filmmakers you’ve interviewed?

Rich Christiano, Steven Zambo, Chip Rossetti, Johnny Remo, Kevin Haskin, Andre Van Heerden, David A.R. White, Michael Gier, Brian Yarbrough, Christopher Shawn Shaw, Chris Rogers, Cheryl Ariaz Wicker, Susan Shearer, and of course, Sharon Wilharm.

Who was your favorite interviewee?

I’ve had some really wonderful guests, so it’s a tough choice, but I think Nancy Stafford would be my favorite.

As an author, have you ever thought about writing a filmmaking book based on the knowledge that you’ve gathered from all your interviews? 

That idea has not even crossed my mind.

This new screenplay, is it your first?

Yes and No. I have written several screenplays, but this will be my first to be filmed. Actually this one was a collaboration effort with Chip Rossetti.

Can you give us any hints on what it’s about?

It’s about 90 minutes.  Sorry, top secret right now.

Image

I know you’ll be acting in this movie. Is this your first film role?

This will be my first feature film. I was in a couple of short films shot by my church. There were a series of skits that accompanied the 40 days of purpose program from Saddleback. My church performed those skits and I was one of the two leads. Instead of doing two of them live, we recorded them.

What type of character do you prefer to play? 

The good guy – one with witty comments/banter.

What is it like writing a novel based on a movie? How does it compare with writing a completely original novel?

If you have a screenplay, you already have the foundation built. In the screenplay I just novelized, I copied the text into Word, and then went through changing the format from screenplay to book. All the character name headings have to be removed and dialogue put into quotations. Actions, scene info, parenthetical notes etc. have to be deleted or rewritten in narrative. Then speech tags have to be added in places to identify the speakers.  When the entire script is in book format, then I go in and start adding new events, even new characters to expand the story to book length.  So having a script gives you a head start in the creative department but causes a lot of tedious cleanup work.  Now, going the other direction is the hardest of all. Converting a novel to screenplay requires shortening the length, which means that many elements of the novel have to be jettisoned, sometimes even whole subplots and characters. It is agonizing, if you are the original author of the book, to have to choose what goes and what stays. It’s like deciding which of your children are permitted to live and which ones are marched off to the executioners.

Image

What are your film related goals?

Films to me are a tool. If I could make one film that would say everything that God put on my heart to say and address every issue of morality and theology under the sun, I would make one movie and ride off into the sunset and let other people do their thing. 

2 responses to “Donald James Parker – Author, Actor, Radio Host, Screenwriter, Producer

  1. Pingback: Winners Announced for Faith Flix Favorites 2014 | faithflixfilms·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s