This is a guest post by Jeremiah Daws. Jeremiah is a filmmaker originally from Atlanta, Georgia now living in Los Angeles, California. He and his brother Josh wrote and directed Dangerous Calling, a thriller set in the church world, which will be released in major retailers in February. Jeremiah and Josh also write a blog called Adventures in Filmmaking. It’s all about movies and filmmaking from a Christian perspective.
I have only had a brief interaction with Josh and Jeremiah. I secretly want to become a Daws so that I can join them on their many Disney adventures. They seem to be a great family, and I bet would be a blast to spend time with. I think it is awesome that they are following their calling and dreams at the same time. If you haven’t seen Dangerous Calling, you should. You’ll like it.
There are Christian Film-makers and there are Christians who are also filmmakers. I get frustrated when people in the Church don’t make that distinction. I get really frustrated when they elevate one over the other.
I am a Christian who is also a filmmaker.
Many Christians that I have come in contact with believe that because I am both, it means I want to make Christian films. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Christian films, for the most part, are made by Christians and for Christians. Most un-churched people don’t watch Christian films. So you see, if all of our young people who express an interest in filmmaking are told they must make Christian films, we’re missing out on a great opportunity.
Paul was a tentmaker to pay the bills, right? But did Paul make Christian tents?
I believe that God’s call is on my life to be a light in the darkness of the entertainment industry. In April of 2008, I followed God’s call and moved out to Los Angeles. Many people refer to this place as Sodom and Gomorrah. And there is a lot of evil here. But there is also a great potential here.
Los Angeles is the center of the cultural universe. If we can influence the people who make the decisions in Los Angeles, we can influence the world.
I’d like to ask the Church to change it’s mindset. Think of Los Angeles and particularly Hollywood as a mission field just like you would Haiti or Uganda. We must send out missionaries to be a light.
I recently came across this quote from a Christian actor named Zachary Levi. He’s the star of the NBC show Chuck.
“My job on my set, I believe, is to first just love people and gain that trust with people where they know that I really do love them and care about their well-being, so that when they are running into problems, they will hopefully, at some point, come to me and ask me, ‘What is your peace all about? What is your comfort all about? Where do you get your love? Where do you get your talents?’ And I can turn to them and say without blinking, ‘Jesus Christ'”.
We need more Christians in L.A. loving the people in this city and in this industry. Movies like Facing the Giants and Fireproof have a fine message. But both the films and the filmmakers do little to reach the people in this industry because the only way to reach this industry is to meet the people face to face, build a relationship, and show love.
The only way to build those kinds of relationships is to get in the trenches.
So this is a call to all of you. If you are a filmmaker, consider being a tentmaker and come out to L.A. If you are a friend or family member of a filmmaker, please stop dismissing and condemning “Hollywood” and encourage the filmmaker in your life to go out and make a difference.
Let’s change our mindset and send loving Christians into the darkness of Hollywood.
(Andy Here… I felt so bad cropping Josh out of the picture above. Then again, Jeremiah was the one who responded 🙂 Here’s the full shot. Let’s pray for these guys and their families out in Hollywood. They are missionaries for us.)