WP Films Blog

Cartoons and one very different movie

I just finished the script for a pilot episode of a new cartoon we’re creating here at Wanderlust Productions. Now some of you might be thinking, “Wait, I thought they made documentaries?” Well, yes we do, but we have lots of dreams and ideas, and we’re not planning on sitting around making documentaries for the rest of our lives! Obviously, right now that’s where our main focus is, but God is seeing fit to open things up a bit for us so that we can slowly begin venturing into the world of fiction and narrative filmmaking. Matt Bilen, Braden Heckman, and myself all long to make narrative feature films that are both filled with truth and are highly compelling stories. In fact, I’m just waiting for the financial clout to turn the best script I’ve ever written (hands down) about a fallen Matador into a big screen feature. Any really rich backers out there? 🙂

In the meantime, we are moving forward with the things God is placing before us, and we’re quite excited about it all. For this cartoon, I’m working with the head of a ministry called Anointed Fighter (Danny White) and we’re creating a cartoon that has elements of mixed martial arts/The Matrix/God’s kingdom of love tightly wound together. We’ll be going into production at the end of July, and the episode should be available on DVD late 2010/early 2011. Right now, the title of the cartoon is: Eternal Fighting Champions (or EFC for short).

UPDATE: The cartoon is now available on DVD!

On July 6, we travel to Reno, Nevada, to begin a very different kind of documentary–our third feature film. I’m making this one with secular television in mind, so we’ll see how it turns out. We’re making a movie about the life and faith of UFC legend, Ken Shamrock. After spending four years making two VERY hard core spiritual films (the last of which, Furious Love, took a lot out of me), I needed something completely different for my next film. God obliged me with this project, and told me to “just have fun” making it. And that’s exactly what I plan to do! We’ll film with Ken in Reno for a few days, then travel to Sydney, Australia to film a fight he is doing. We’ll continue to film with him throughout the summer, and will spend most of the Fall editing.

Whenever I begin a film, I always start with a totally blank canvas. It seems like I always head into territory I know nothing about, and the same is true with this project. I’m not a fan of UFC at all (I’d never even heard of Ken Shamrock before he contacted me, truth be told). But here I am, making a movie about an incredibly violent sport and an incredibly complicated man (who also happens to be a really cool dude). I’m making this movie for the UFC crowd, so don’t expect to show this one to the kids. But never fear, God has told me to start filming the follow up to Furious Love, titled: Father Of Lights, in September.

All that to say, I could sure use your prayers. Wanderlust Productions is still a VERY small company (we have four full-time people, that’s it!) and all of this stuff rests on my shoulders to create. Matt and Braden are literal godsends to me–both are way more talented and technically gifted than I am, but I’m still the main storyteller. I have learned from my first two films that if I want to produce anything of real lasting quality, I need to partner with the Holy Spirit in a very deep, very real way. And that is where I need prayer the most. My relationship with the Father is the oil that runs this entire engine, and I’ve recently been pondering the concept of a “lifestyle of pursuit”. This is my desire. I don’t want to go to Him just when I need something. I want to pursue Him as a lifestyle. In fact, I think I’ll write a chapter about that, just so I can figure out what exactly it means!

Thank you for your constant support and prayers. I love nothing more than hearing the wonderful things God does through my films. Please lift us up in prayer this summer, preferably on a regular basis, so that we can confidently and wonderfully tell great stories about the king of kings.

3 Comments

  • Michael Morejon

    Awesome stuff! Can't wait for the Ken shamrock movie, I know many people will give their lives to Christ because of it. Keep on doing what you are doing my brother. It's interesting to hear that it's only 5 of you, pretty much. Isn't it crazy how much God can do with just a few people? It's such a lie to say that one person "can't" make a difference, YES THEY CAN! The few are the ones that always made the difference throughout the bible, and the same is in this case with you Darren. God bless you, your family, and your team! I got you in prayer. Be blessed.

  • Darren

    Actually Michael, there's only 4 of us!

  • Antoine Smith

    I think the vision God has given you is awesome and so similar to mine. I love the animated idea, I am going to school for animation and I dream of creating action packed good quality animated series that glorify God. With excellence I know these things will help in the harvest like finger of God and furious love have. So I'll be praying for you brother. God bless.

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