The Importance of Spiritual Depth in Filmmakers

Yesterday I had the honor of attending a luncheon to introduce Inscribed, Thomas Nelson’s new line of Bible Study resources for women. As I listened to the author presentations, I realized that each book has a message to filmmakers.

First, as filmmakers it’s important that we provide movies with a spiritual takeaway. Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life by Wendy Blight is all about applying practical applications to spiritual truths. Blight stresses how important it is that we study God’s word and base our spiritual lessons on solid scriptural truths rather than our own interpretations. This is an area where I feel many contemporary filmmakers are falling short. Rather than taking the time to research and study and share Biblically sound wisdom, they’re taking the easy way out and regurgitating moral platitudes or even New Age and other nonchristian philosophies. Even worse, some filmmakers are foregoing spiritual takeaway completely. They’re creating movies with the sole intent of entertainment.If audiences are not given even a nugget of Biblical truth to apply to their lives, we’ve failed as filmmakers.

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Apolonia Davalos and BK Bomar in a scene from The Good Book.

Along those same lines, author Jennifer Jernigan encourages us to dig deeper in her book Dive Deeper: Finding Deep Faith Beyond Shallow Religion. All works of art reflect the worldview of their creators. If we are shallow Christians, our movies will be shallow, devoid of the layers and depth that characterize strong Christians and great movies. There’s nothing less satisfying than movies with flat characters and a simplistic plot.We need layers of depth so that  audiences can watch our movies multiple times and gain something each time. We need to study our Bibles in order to provide depth of character in ourselves that we can then transfer into our works.

Finally, pastor’s wife Donna Gaines reminds us of the importance of prayer in her book Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer. We filmmakers should be bathing our projects in prayer. It’s easy to spout out simple “Lord bless my movie” kind of prayers, but are we going beyond that and making an effort to truly know God and honor Him in our work?

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Cast and crew take a moment to pray before filming the homeless scenes in The Good Book.

Each of these books has a common theme of not settling for a shallow or superficial understanding of God but to delve into His word until we gain a deeper understanding of the Lord and who He’s called us to be. As filmmakers we need to commit to deepening our relationship with the Lord in order to produce deeper films that will truly impact lives and draw viewers closer to God. I encourage you to check out this new line of books and grow in your relationship with the Lord.

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