What an exciting adventure it was to be the guest speaker at the 2011 Sharp Shooter Summit in Houston, Texas last weekend! I had the opportunity to develop some training material for the more technical aspects of film production, as well as provide a discussion on how to budget for filmmaking.
It was a weekend of intense training meant to encourage and inform those in church drama ministry on the methods and techniques of serving God through acting, plays, films, and more. I was excited and honored to be included in such an important event that would equip and encourage many people from the Houston area.
Rex was my contact and the event organizer. We met at last year's 2010 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival where I felt like a true beginner. Since then he contacted me several times and it all lead to this year's summit. I am thankful that God brought us together to collaborate on this training and I applaud the work that he and his associates did to make it a worthwhile endeavor. Everything was handled professionally.
Though our turnout was smaller than expected, those in attendance were pleased to attend and enjoyed the speakers, singing, food, and camaraderie. It was my pleasure to be able to speak to several of the attendees at lunch and discuss drama and film production. Because of a tight flight schedule, I was unable to attend through the end of the summit. I would have loved a chance to meet and greet more of those who were there, but perhaps I will have the opportunity to work with some of them again on film projects. God is really opening doors in that department.
While I waited for my turn at the podium, I had the privilege to hear from the their main speaker Mike Bamiloye. His talks were insightful and encouraging and gave me a fresh understanding of the importance of drama ministry in the church. It was his heart felt and moving to hear his stories and humor. Many times during his talks we all enjoyed a good laugh.
Mr. Bamiloye comes from Nigeria and is a prominent member of a number of drama and film ministries. He has also written, produced, and acted in several movies. I am glad to see that he and his associates have been busy making films to teach, encourage, and lead people to Christ.
Being at this year's summit was such a blessing. I was treated so well, receiving rides to and from the airport and being put up in the Crowne Plaza hotel on the 17th floor. The food was excellent and I enjoyed the professionalism of the hotel staff.
My Vision Restored
It was because of my trip to this summit that I have come to fully realize that my true calling is in film production. For years I will admit that I have been struggling to understand whether if this is what God wants me to do, or if I am doing it for my own selfish reasons. Now I understand that God has given me this passion for the purpose of serving others for the increase of His kingdom.
All the study I have done over the last few years has actually lead me to a place where I can serve other filmmakers by teaching them how to do what they do better. I am far from having all the answers, but I realize that I can be a blessing to those who may not yet have the foundations of quality filmmaking.
The next step for me is to work on the film I feel God has lead me to make. I have been working on it for a while in concept but now it is going to be given some more attention.
I pray that next year's summit is blessed and grows in numbers so that more people can benefit from its teachings and make a push for more dramas in their local churches and more films to reach the lost. Rex made it clear that the training will always be offered for free and I have faith that people will understand that its value is immeasurable. It was for me.
Call to Action
If you have the opportunity to learn, take it. If you are on a tight budget... and most of Christian filmmakers are... Try to find low cost conferences to get your start, or just to brush up on your technique.
I hope to start a tutorial series on film production, so perhaps you can check back for some great tips on increasing the production values of your films.