We all say we want to change the world, but are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually doing what it takes to truly make a difference? Overrated by Eugene Cho is a very personal look at our society and where we fall short. Eugene exposes to us his own shortcomings and failures so that we might see how we, too, are guilty of falling short.
I was intrigued by the book’s concept as I spend a lot of my time saying I want to change the world, to truly make a difference. But this book changed my view of what that actually means. I was inspired by the Cho family’s sacrifices and commitment to planting a church and starting a new ministry. It made me uncomfortable, however, because I’m not sure if I have the same level of devotion. I loved the stories, though, of both his failures as well as other people’s misguided efforts. I’m afraid I’ve been guilty of some of the same mistakes in the past, but hopefully I won’t make the same mistakes again.
Overrated is focused on justice, but the principles apply just as well to filmmaking. His advice when trying to decide what we’re supposed to be doing is to pray, research, and act wisely. Rather than just rushing in and doing something because it feels like the right thing to do, we must take our time. First, we pray to make sure this is God calling us to do this and not just our selfish pride or ego. Next, we need to research so that we know what we’re doing. And if we do both of those, we won’t end up doing something that could cause more harm than good. I see so many filmmakers jumping in and making films without taking the time to do it right. It’s easy to assume that because we’re making a faith-based film, that it must be God’s will. But just because it sounds like a good idea does not mean it’s what God has planned. Or it may be the right idea, but not be the right time or approach. Then, what happens so often is that filmmakers fail to study screenwriting and filmmaking or do the proper research on the subject matter, location, wardrobe, or all the many other details of a well made movie. So we end up producing a second rate product that may have good potential and may even reach a few people. but it falls short of what could have been. When that happens, we can do as Eugene and his family did when they started their community coffee shop. They jumped in with good intentions but soon realized that they had rushed in without proper planning and as a result, the coffee shop was not thriving. So they stopped what they were doing, reevaluated, studied what it took to have a successful coffee shop, then tried again. As filmmakers we should constantly be evaluating, studying, and improving the way we approach filmmaking.
If you would like to receive your own copy of Overrated, comment below. Drawing will be next Monday, Oct. 6.
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