I have a very vivid memory from my days in film school. I went to Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia (and I highly recommend it for any Christian filmmakers out there. It won’t guarantee you a job in the industry that, say, USC or UCLA might, but it will certainly provide you with 2-3 years of great teaching and the tools you’ll need to make it). One day we had one of those "special guests" that Universities love so much, and he happened to be a guy who had directed some TV shows as well as a movie with Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. So to us students, he was basically the man. He wasn’t Spielberg, but he told us a story about having a MEETING with Spielberg, which pretty much made him the coolest person any of us had ever met.
But I remember him coming out onstage to give his talk, and thinking, "I’m gonna be that guy someday." I didn’t want to be a director per se, I just wanted to be that guy walking out onstage and having all those eyeballs wishing they were me. This was the stupidity with which I operated in my 20s. It was also, I am convinced, the reason I failed at every creative endeavor I ever tried. God had plans for me, but I had to get over myself before He could do what He wanted within me.
Being an artist who is a Christian is a weird thing. On the one hand, you want to partner with the living God and position yourself to be a conduit through which His spirit can work. On the other hand, you have to actually know what the heck you’re doing. That tightrope may not sound like much, but trust me, it’s mighty thin, and very high up in the air. All artists have egos bigger than the average bear, but artists working within the kingdom of God realize that they have to keep their egos in check before the Father will entrust us with His best for us.
Making Furious Love has been the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Oh, filming it was wonderful, and editing it was much easier than I thought it would be, but spiritually it almost killed me. Maybe it’s the warfare surrounding a movie about warfare and the religious spirit, maybe it’s the fact that I naively walked into the devil’s living room and turned my camera on. I don’t know. But I do know that to make a feature film, you need to have a kind of obsession about your story that borders on maniacal. To make a movie like this, about people who have seen Satan, who are raped for a living, who realize that they will never know a day where they are not doing drugs, etc… you have to be a little stupid too.
Maybe this is what they mean when they tell you to be a fool for Christ…