WP Films Blog

Filming my own lessons

I’m sitting in my hotel room here in Taiwan, and we’re nearly done with this latest stretch of filming for Father of Lights. Every trip we take to film these movies is fairly unique, and this one has been no different. I always have a sense of what I’d like to film at the bare minimum, and in a sense, whatever we capture beyond that is pretty much gravy (and usually is the stuff that winds up making the finished film!). It’s that “gravy”, though, that I’m always worried about. It’s the great unknown for every film shoot, and these days, the great unknown is ultimately more scary then it has ever been for me.

For one, there is the pressure of expectation. No matter how much people tell me otherwise, I know there is a certain expectation that the next film must be better and more powerful than the last. It’s partly the reason I feel the need to end the story at Father of Lights. I only want what is genuine and real, and when you’re constantly trying to outdo yourself, then the theology you wind up pushing is one of greater and greater experiences. I don’t want to do that. I’ve seen too many ministries in silent competition of one another–if someone experiences this at their meetings, then someone else needs to experience something even greater. I don’t know if these “greater things” are legit or not, but I do know that mentality is a dangerous place to live.

The other pressure (a lesser one, but still something to give me pause) is the financial considerations I now have to make for each trip. Gone are the days when I just hopped on a plane by myself with a camera. Now I’ve got a crew, and a full-on production company to manage. To the world, these movies have microscopic budgets, but to us, they are enormous investments–and since the movies take so long to complete, there is that ever present weight of spending without any return.

So when I get on a plane now, it is with fear and trembling that the Lord MUST move while my cameras are rolling. Add to that the insane desire I have to allow the Lord to direct these things, and suddenly I find myself traveling to places I know very little about to film…what? Most of the time I don’t know.

Why am I writing all this? I suppose I’m introspective at the moment because I’m coming out of a week of being surrounded by incredible people with incredible wisdom, love, and Godly persistence. There is a holiness that has been tangible in every person we’ve filmed this past week. At the orphanage in China, with Randy Clark, Bill Johnson, Heidi Baker, and Philip Mantofa in Taiwan. I’ve said all along the movies I make are very personal, and Father of Lights is no different. This trilogy is my journey into the great unknown of God’s goodness and love. If I am not getting impacted, then no one will, because it’s my interpretation of what I’m experiencing that ultimately becomes the story you will see onscreen.

I guess I always have a sense, then, of what the impact will be for most people–what they will FEEL when they watch these movies, and I get that sense while I’m making them. It is my feelings that will ooze from the screen–simply by the very nature of the medium I’m choosing to tell these stories through.

With Finger of God, there was a sense of initial skepticism, which eventually led to a humbling discovery that God really does love me. In Furious Love, it was the initial shock of the war, followed by the deep understanding that love truly does conquer all darkness. For Father of Lights, at least initially, there is a real sense of the importance of holiness and love and how it can change the world. But for this journey, it’s not about head knowledge anymore. You’re going to feel what love feels like.

And what you feel will leave you speechless. I know this, because I’m writing now in an attempt to give words to what I feel. But I can’t do it justice, because the love of God made manifest in us is breathtaking to behold.

I can’t wait to show it to you.

5 Comments

  • Denise Baum

    I'm so looking forward to seeing Father of Lights. I appreciate your blog and sharing your journey with all of us. You've got a front row seat to what God is doing. Praying for you and the crew is a delight. Although I'm so on the "outer outskirts" of everything you are doing, it just seems to me that there is always more of God to reveal and going after more of Him is a theology that seems right.

  • Linda Cowell

    I have the Finger of God and the deluxe version Furious Love. I am eagerly waiting to see Father of Lights. I understand what you are saying about the bigger and better idea. I think that is a very real consideration. Competition is not the goal. But God is the bigger and better than we have any full understanding of and I don't think He can be out done. I also know that as I follow those who are showing me that God is bigger than my understanding of Him, I am then challenged to know Him better myself. I am not satisfied with my past understanding as more is revealed to me. I want to push forward just as a child stops crawling when he is able to walk and run. Your documentaries instill in me a desire to understand and know God more intimately than before. You have also matured in your walk with the Lord too throughout this process. Stopping or continuing the films after this project is a decision that you need to have from the Lord. As far as trusting the Lord as never before for the finances to continue.... well, maybe that is part of the stretching of your trust that the Lord is doing in you and will continue no matter what is before you. God bless you whatever the Lord prompts you to do. You have been an encouragement to me and I have shared your videos with others that unfortunately could not purchase their own copies but were very encouraged by what they saw, my sister and brother-in-law among them..... Diana and David Bailey, Imperatris, MA, Brasil with the Krikati Indains. They were the missionaries in Brasil that you were going to see during the Furious Love taping but did not have your passport in time. Checkout my facebook page (Linda Cowell), and view the photos of the Krikati Indians that David and Diana Bailey work with. I was there for the first time last Nov.2010 for only 5 days, split between a wedding in Imperatirz and the Indian village. God is still doing marvelous things there. Keep up the good work, Linda Cowell

  • Abner

    This is the first time I've read your blog, and I want to say that the way you write is as powerful as the way you direct. Both your narration and cinematography in your movies are like the way you write, it feels like you want to capture your feelings of awe at the power of the Lord. Darren, I look forward to viewing your latest movie. I know God will continue to use your faith and even inquisitiveness, and your following of him, to get amazing things done. God bless you for hitching your wagon to him, and holding on tight!

  • Abner

    Oh Darren, on another note, you should check out this guy, Daniel. I just met him personally yesterday here in Bangkok and he gave a talk about how he hears from beyond. It was very fascinating, but most of all, powerful, as he really does have the Lord's spirit. Here's his website, if you want to check him out - www.celebrities-speak-from-beyond.com - God bless you!

  • Janne V.

    Dear Darren, Greetings from Finland! I am already beginning to feel The Father of Lights. The trailer is awesome. Jesus is the way to..? To the Father. It really sounds a very fitting conclusion to the trilogy and I just can't wait to see what you have seen. Thank you so much for the first two movies. What an incredible focus they have given to my life. Miracles happen, whenever I love others like Jesus. When I move in love and compassion, Jesus in me will do the works of His Father. So simple, ahhhhh, so good! The Father is awesome, and I bet you are having intense and fantastic time making this movie. May the favor of God rest on you and your crew. With love, Mr. Janne Väisänen, Oulu, Finland

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