First, introduce yourself and tell us about the role that you play with “The Bridge” movie.
My name is Danielle Minnes and I am the writer, producer and director of the faith-based feature film entitled “The Bridge”.
What is your filmmaking background?
I had no filmmaking experience prior to making The Bridge. But I felt led to make a movie. So I went to a film festival, where I found an experienced partner and then I started reading books, watching movies, listening to director commentaries, reading articles and advice online, and of course praying all the way, wondering why God would want to use a novice to do His great work.
Where did you get the idea for “The Bridge”?
I was thinking one day about how God can use a variety of ways to speak to us. What if God divinely placed someone in your path to change your life by revealing the future? The story then began as a short script of 14 pages. It then grew into a feature length film in 6 weeks.
Do you have a personal connection with the subject?
The two main characters are each struggling with grief, but in very different ways. Personally I was battling through my own grief after my Dad died unexpectedly in November of 2009. I could not get past it, I was crushed and I wasn’t sure I could go on. By June of 2010, I was praying and writing day and night. It seemed spiritually and emotionally therapeutic as the words and sometimes tears poured out of me.
How did you select your cast and crew?
We held traditional auditions and then prayerfully chose the best fit for each role. I personally called our selected actors and offered them their role but would not allow them to accept or decline until they had prayed about it first. I wanted God’s will for the movie.
Where did you do your filming?
We filmed at 23 different locations across South Bend, Mishawaka and Granger, Indiana.
Tell us about a typical day of filming?
This question made me laugh. Filming days are like snowflakes; no two are the same, and there is nothing typical about it. But I would say we would start the day in prayer, unload and set up equipment, discuss shots, run through blocking, coach actors, film the scheduled scenes, tear down, pack up, and then in my car, I would praise God all the way home.
What were some of the obstacles that you ran into while filming?
Well, technically some obstacles ran into us. While filming scenes in a church, a windstorm began outside. There were sirens going off and the wind was fierce. The next thing we knew the DP (Melqui Rodriguez) looked to see his car beneath an uprooted tree. Production stopped while we figured out how to get the tree off the car. People showed up with chainsaws and it all worked out fine in the end.
What is your favorite aspect of making a movie?
The process of creating something from absolutely nothing is fascinating. I really enjoy the telling of a story through film, and everything that involves. It is an honor and a blessing to tell a story in this way and to have the opportunity to work with so many different talented people.
What do you hope that people come away with after watching “The Bridge”?
I believe it is important to realize that God genuinely wants to be part of our lives, if we allow Him in. A line in the movie states: “God loves you, He is with you always and He has a great purpose for your life.” Things may not always make sense to us; things like death, but we must reach a point where we truly trust that our Creator knows best.
What is your vision for the movie?
Four people gave their lives to Christ during the making of the movie. I believe the vision is already three people more than I hoped, but in regards to sharing the movie, I would like to see it available to as many people as possible through a variety of ways. I hope it blesses the hearts of those who see it.
Do you have plans for any new film projects in the near future?
I am storyboarding and writing the next feature. I would like to be filming as soon as possible but I know I have to trust in God’s perfect timing.
To learn more about “The Bridge”, visit the website at http://www.onthebridgemovie.com/index.php/teaser.html