Dallas Jenkins on Faith, Film and Creating Breakthrough Stories

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Dallas Jenkins produced his first movie at the age of 25, a $2 million project called “Hometown Legend”, which was eventually picked up by Warner Brothers. His other work includes “Cliche”, “Midnight Clear”, and “Though None Go With Me”. He is currently Director of Media at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. His most recent work, “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone”, released in January 2017.

Key Questions:

What creative obstacles did you face when you started making your film?

How do you balance trying to portray reality in your films–which might include worldliness and grit–and trying to appeal to a Christian audience who may be sensitive to such elements?

What advice do you have for people who want to get into storytelling or film?

Key Quotes:

“The number one thing that many young, particularly Christian, aspiring filmmakers aren’t doing enough of is simply watching movies.”

“Right now we are in a golden era of cinematic storytelling on TV, and so there’s a lot of really great stuff out there.”

“From a pure storytelling perspective, I think more than anything else, the biggest obstacles should be faced and tackled and overcome at the script stage.”

“Every creative obstacle is an opportunity to solve a problem, and solving problems is what makes stories come alive.”

“There needs to be room—in the industry and in the Christian market place—for genuine films that tell the truth about the ugly sides of sin, even the worst sins.

“Ultimately my goal is that in five to seven years I’m able to make a movie that pushes the envelope, not just for the sake of pushing the envelope, but that can actually accurately portray some of the sin that is present in some of the lives of even Christians, and how they overcome it, because I think that’s even more powerful than a movie about a Christian that overcomes a problem in parenting, for instance.”

Mentioned in the Show:

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

Harvest Bible Chapel

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Andrew Hess
Andrew Hess is Senior Editor of ChurchLeaders.com. He teaches Bible and Psychology classes at Colorado Christian University and is a graduate of Denver Seminary. His writing has appeared on The Gospel Coalition and Leadership Journal. When not working, Andrew is usually enjoying scenic Colorado, teaching Sunday school, or buying a priceless antique at a local garage sale. Connect with Andrew on Twitter @AndrewWHess.