We were walking around a smaller city in northern Italy, handing out literature and talking about our future plans. I had just been hit by a car (literally--a car backed into me as I was walking, so I started slapping the back window so it would stop), and we were making our way toward a cemetery. Erik, who I only knew up to this point as the brother of one of my best friends, was talking about his dream of going to LA and starting a career in the film industry. I was thinking how terrible it would be to live in LA. But he assured me it was great, having studied a semester at a film school there as part of a program through our college. I was not convinced, but as I grew to like him more, I started envisioning myself in California, and it was okay, because he was pursuing his dream.
Fast-forward ten years. My husband has worked the same video job in Nashville faithfully for ten years. In his free time (between extra video jobs, raising kids, and giving his writer wife time to search for words) he makes short films. He's always dreaming up a new story, finding a way to convey a redemptive theme through his favorite medium. And he has done so successfully, being accepted at multiple film festivals, winning awards at some. But the big dream is still there. Not a dream of LA and movie fame anymore, but of telling a compelling story in a feature-length film.
This past Monday I spent the day at QWomen with several hundred women, listening to speakers talk about calling and purpose, dreams and community. We heard husbands talk about coming alongside their wives and finding ways to help them pursue their callings. And I started thinking about Erik. He has been the biggest cheerleader for me in all my endeavors. Life was not always easy while I was writing my book, and there are days with deadlines that find me, and our lives, a mess. But never once has he been anything but supportive.
And so this is my turn to support him.
We talk about "Christian movies" and how, while often successful at the box office, they lack the reality seen in our daily lives. They too frequently portray the "victorious Christian life," rather than a life of dependence, suffering, and, from that, immense joy. And I think strides are being made in some of these things, but it is not an easy industry to break into.
Next May, my husband is hoping to film his first feature length movie. Now, those who know him well are possibly trembling. "Will I like anything made by the guy whose favorite movie is The Tree of Life?" "Will it have subtitles?" Fear not, friends. This beautiful story he has written is a relatable story, with a bit of a Southern gothic theme. It's gritty and hopeful, and I can't wait to see the result of literally years of his work on this.
But he can't do it alone.
If we're going to criticize the film industry--both mainstream and "Christian"--then we have to be willing to put our money where our mouths are. Sometimes this means voting well with our money at the box office. And sometimes it means supporting artists who are trying to make a difference.
It's not an easy thing to ask for money, but really, that is the reality. Erik isn't hoping to make a profit for himself, but he does have an investment plan for those who desire to make a difference in the film world, and hopefully see a return on that investment. Producer packets are available upon request, including a plan to gain distribution to theaters and rental sites.
But the film world is really a world of connections. So my goal today is to ask readers two questions (which are way outside the realm of the norm on this blog):
- If you have any friends or acquaintances in the film world--producers, distributors, etc.--would you be willing to put us in contact with them?
- Would you pray for this project as Erik moves forward? Honestly, I'm not a cheerleader. I'm a dream-crusher. I'm the girl who says, "This will never work." But God surprises us, and we are asking Him, if it is His will, to surprise us and glorify Himself with something big here.
If you're interested in more info about the movie and the investment opportunities, shoot Erik an email at parks(dot)erik(at)gmail.com or you can contact me in the comments or the contact form on this site.
Thanks for taking the time to read and pray about this with us! I will keep you all posted on the process.