“The 168 Film Project: A Crazy Act of Faith”
By Dianne E. Butts –
I’m going to be doing something just a little bit crazy this month. I’m a member of a team that’s going to make a movie. In a month? you ask. Well, actually, in a week. Oh all right—you should probably know it will be a short movie. Eleven minutes max. But still, acting and filming a whole movie, editing, adding music, etc., all in a week? That seems a bit crazy, doesn’t it?
What’s the movie about? Don’t know yet. How could I not know? Well, because it’s a timed contest. We can’t start making the film until 11:00 am on the production week. And the way they keep us from starting early is by assigning each team its topic. That will happen February 6th.
What kind of a topic will it be? It will come in the form of a Bible verse.
Yep. That’s right. Our film team, one of about 80 teams, will be assigned a verse from Scripture, and it will be our task to write, film, and produce a story that “illuminates the Word of God through short film.” Through this competition, the 168 Film Project “provides a training ground for filmmakers.” They are giving pros and newcomers alike opportunities to learn about and get involved in film production. Teams are made up of people with diverse backgrounds, training, and experience in the entertainment industry. It is also an incredible networking opportunity which can open doors for future work in entertainment. The 168 says, “We encourage fair treatment of subjects, with emphasis on story and subtlety. But, more importantly, filmmakers are advised to honestly portray the tale that God inspires.”
“The tale that God inspires.” That’s the faith-walk part. Can God really help us make a movie in a week?!
There’s something strange going on in Hollywood. There has been an influx of Christians looking to make a difference. Not only do they want to make a difference in the content that comes out of Hollywood in film and television, these Christians want their presence to make a permanent impact. Every job they get, every set they work on, every person in Hollywood they encounter, will give them an opportunity to be a witness for Christ. These Christians plan to transform Hollywood from the inside out by reaching professionals in Hollywood for Christ.
Have you seen something you don’t like come out of Hollywood lately? What did you do about it? Turn off the TV? Stay away from the movie theatre?
And when you think of me and this crazy thing I’m attempting this month, I’d appreciate a prayer, too. The 168 competition’s theme for this year’s contest is “Second Chances.” Our verse will be assigned February 6. We’ll have ten days to write a story script that illuminates that verse. Then we’ll be filming starting February 17th and must turn in our film on the 24th.
All films will premier at the 168 Film Festival April 1 – 2 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California. If you can’t make that but would still like to see some of these short films that illuminate God’s Word, “Best Of…” DVDs from past years are available on their website. You will be inspired by what these up and coming filmmakers have done with one Scripture verse and 168 hours.
Dianne is the author of the new book, Deliver Me: Hope, Help, and Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy (Connections Press, 2011), and an aspiring screenwriter. Her script, A Cowboy’s Faith, was a finalist in the 168 Project’s “Write of Passage” 2010 contest. When she’s not writing, she enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband, Hal, and gardening with her cat, P.C. in Colorado. www.DeliverMeBook.com www.DianneEButts.com