Pilgrim’s Progress Director Speaks on Hollywood and Christian Films
Why did you make this movie?
It was something I had a burning desire to do for a long time. I’d like to think it was something that God put in our heart to do and that there is a relevant need for it today. It’s an interesting and entertaining story, yet one that speaks to the heart of every Christian who feels the tug of God in his or her heart for something more.
How did you choose The Pilgrim’s Progress out of all the Christian stories you could have told?
The desire to do it had not gone away from the first time I laid eyes on the book. It’s a wonder to me that know one else had brought it to an audience in recent years. Every page of the book has depth and it translated well to the screen. I believe the DVD will do even more as people will be able to watch it slowly and ponder the message that’s embedded throughout.
How has the reaction to the film been so far?
Amazing. So many people were not able to watch it due to lack of tickets but those that did have been writing wonderful reactions and reviews about it. We have been very pleased. I only wish more people would have had an opportunity to watch it on the big screen.
Do you think Americans are hungry for Christian content and media?
Without a doubt-but I think they are hungry for depth and reality in the way Christian life is portrayed. The thing that stands out with this story is that the main character does not come to knowledge of God and then finds instant glory. The main character experiences God through both his trials and tests as well as the times of refreshment and encouragement. It’s genuinely the story of a Christian’s journey – like all of us – the main characters not only has points of great joy but also times of heavy distress yet all throughout God and His helpers aid him.
What are your future plans regarding future movies/media?
Personally I’d like to make the two sequels and that’s what I am praying for. This film was really the result of prayer and then God opening doors. He is the one I go to first. We are ready and able to move forward but God has to show the right time.
What are your thoughts on Hollywood in general?
This is too general of a question for me to answer correctly. If you mean the media that we are all exposed to- well in some ways we are fed what we ask for. Sadly a lot of people’s appetites have become accustomed to media that ultimately doesn’t really edify them. So Hollywood produces the type of soul-food people will pay for. I don’t necessarily think we are always getting things crammed down our throats. I think we need to accept that, in some instances, we are going after media that truly isn’t good for us. As a believer I have to do my best, first of all, to care for my own soul and then, by God’s grace, allow Him to use me to create imagery or media that will truly be a blessing to others. Art and beauty were created by God-as a Christian producer part of my job is to become a channel for that.
How did you get involved in this project?
Steve Cleary and I have worked on many projects in the past. During a conversation one evening, he asked me what film I had a burning desire to work on and I said “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and that was the start.
What do you hope this film will help accomplish?
I hope it inspires believers around the world and encourages them to know that God journeys with us all throughout life- that we are not exempt from the troubles and difficulties of the world and of life in general-but as Christians it means that God can walk through these difficulties with us. I think there has been a notion that once you receive Christ as Savior that everything will be just wonderful- it is – but not because we are spared hard times. The beauty of the Christian life is God’s presence. So I hope this helps people know that when tough times come it doesn’t mean judgment – it can mean discipline – but never as a human would discipline. God’s ways are full of powerful love.
When and how can people who missed it in theaters watch The Pilgrim’s Progress?
I believe the team is preparing to show it in a lot of churches and independent theaters. They should visit the website and ask to be placed on a mailing list.
Anything else you want to add?
Read the book. It’s not an easy read. It’s a book that you have to read a bit of, and then walk away to think about it – but it’s worthwhile. And please, pray that we can produce the next two. God bless!
Watch the preview: