Wednesday’s noon general session at the Christian Worldview Filmmakers Guild featured an interactive dialog between audience and speakers. Brett Varvel moderated a panel of fellow veteran directors: Rich Christiano, George Escobar, Dallas Jenkins, and Ken Carpenter.
Questions ranged from the subject matter of films to marketing and release recommendations and the most important aspects of directing.
“What is the most important advice you could give someone who is trying to break into filmmaking?” asked one of the crowd.
“Make a movie!” Dallas Jenkins recommended. “Really, you have two paths at this point: get a job in the industry at the bottom, even as an intern. It will be the best education you can get. Or, you just go ahead and make a film. Start making your mistakes now when no one is really watching.”
“Build up a commitment not to quit,” Ken Carpenter added.
Brett Varvel quoted fellow speaker Nathan Ashton: “If filmmaking does not burn inside you, find something else to do.”
“Don’t be the first person to say no to yourself,” was George Escobar’s counsel.
The panelists encouraged their inquirers to stay focused on God in every aspect of filmmaking. “We have an audience of One,” Rich Christiano reiterated.
“We so easily lose sight of eternity. When you process everything you do through eternity, it all starts to fall into place. I’m not going to make films for eternity, I’m going to be worshiping Jesus,” Brett added. All the speakers also stressed the importance of improving one’s craft, taking every opportunity to learn, and, like Jesus, being a servant leader.
“Overall, it was a very informative session,” said local Jansen Bean, “and the listeners were blessed by what the directors had to say.”