“Literally, all he said was, ‘Remember, it’s not your job to feed the 5,000. It’s only to provide the loaves and fish,’” Jenkins recounted. “And in that moment my life changed.”
It was then that Jenkins said he stopped placing expectations on himself to be a successful filmmaker. Sometime after that, he made a short film for his church’s Christmas celebration. That film sparked the idea that became “The Chosen.”
The show has been Jenkins’ most successful project by far. It has raised tens of millions of dollars in crowdfunding, been seen by millions of viewers, and won numerous awards
Referencing the success of “The Chosen,” Jenkins said, “That’s not really why I’m doing it.”
“It’s actually a great place to be in, because I’m not motivated by the success that it’s had, and I’m also not demotivated by the criticism that I’ve gotten,” Jenkins added.
Jenkins Shares Leadership Lessons From the Set of ‘The Chosen’
Jenkins said that when he was being trained as a director, leadership wasn’t a point of emphasis. Nevertheless, it is something he has needed to pour significant energy into learning.
“When you walk on a film set, there’s 150 people, minimum, between cast and crew, who all have different jobs, all have different personalities, and yet they’re all in service of this project that you’re in charge of,” Jenkins said. “And my job every day is to answer questions and to lead and to communicate. When I step on set every day, my job is to lead even more than it is to be ‘an artist.’”
“The two definitely have to work together,” Jenkins continued. “I still, obviously, have to be creative. But the leadership aspect of it is absolutely invaluable and essential.”
Describing the role of a director as being “the immune system for the film,” Jenkins said, “I think this applies to business as well. I think it applies to any industry…My job is to protect the film, or protect the business, from invaders, from sickness. And that [concept] has changed my life.”