Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Religion-part 1

I guess it should come as no surprise that organized religion is having an influence on the film business. I am not talking about films like Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ or Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ, but rather the impact from new modern day mega-churches and television ministries.

Over the last 10 years I have had more and more students come to class with film production experience not from their high schools but through their churches. Many churches have youth groups devoted towards filmmaking. Many of those same churches also have expensive cameras, switchers capable of creating a live TV broadcasts, and advanced editing suites.

Who would have thunk it?

I have seen my share of church-produced films and I have yet seen one that made me really take notice. What I have seen is a lot of young people having fun, going on outings and generally making a high end home movie. Not bad really, but like most home movies, of no interest to anyone who isn't part of that family.

So I don't really know what to make of this church based filmmaking. I assume it is a way to get more young people interested in the church. But what is the goal? I don't see it as a training ground for young filmmakers. Is it the modern day equivalent of an ice cream social? "Hey everyone come over to our sanctuary and let's make a movie?"

By contrast a student recently showed me the trailer for a feature film his high school made. And based on the two minute trailer it was really terrific. I could see the student filmmakers learning craft and taking something from it. It was not a home movie. Maybe this is an example of the separation of church and state.

I dunno. More on this topic later.


1 comment:

Art Good said...

Interesting perspective. I also have yet to see Christians make good, high quality, films. That is sad.