illiam Shakespeare famously said through Hamlet: “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.”
At Fellowship for Performing Arts, we believe that over the years our plays have captured the consciences and moral imaginations of thousands. And with the creation of our film division, we are convinced that intelligent and imaginatively produced films from a clearly Christian worldview can capture the hearts and minds of many thousands more.
Our first film, The Most Reluctant Convert, had more people see our work on screen in one night than in our best full year of theatrical productions on tour. Not only that, but with digital streaming, it has been seen by thousands more in 137 countries!
Such is the power of film.
As a result of the reception of our first film, FPA made a commitment to filmmaking as part of our mission. We commissioned a new storyline to produce a film covering the second part of C.S. Lewis’ spiritual life following his conversion in 1931. The script is in development now.
The production schedule called for a 12-week shoot in the U.K. to begin in August. To meet that schedule, we needed the approved scripts by May 1.
There are so many variables that go into producing a good film including availability of the director, the cinematographer, the key actors, the creative team, locations and time of year. And, of course, there are the finances.
I’m happy to say that we had many of these elements in place. But, regrettably, we just weren’t satisfied with the scripts. Given that, I informed our producers, our creative team, our board and our donors that we would be postponing our shoot until 2024.
Production delays are pretty common in the film world. It takes years to line up the people, the locations and financing. But that doesn’t make it any easier when it happens to the film you are making.
The biggest challenge we had in the script was that in our previous plays and our first film, we were adapting Lewis’ own words. In the second film, we are creating scenes based on historical events and descriptions instead of personal memoirs and recollections about which he didn’t write. We also wanted to avoid breaking the fourth wall as much as we did in our first film. The initial script did not do that to our satisfaction.
Our objective is to produce films that engage and entertain while being true to the life and legacy of a man who has meant so much to so many. To do that well, we need more time.
FPA’s vision is to be a leader in the creation of thoughtful, provocative films from a Christian worldview in a way similar to what we do in theatre. And we know that all begins with a great script.
We are grateful for our Fellowship Circle of donors, who support this effort of making great films from a Christian worldview, even when it takes longer than expected. We deeply thank you for it.
The Screwtape Letters Returns to the Stage Read More
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