UNDERGROUND Discussion 1: The Future of Christian Film

By March 16, 2017 No Comments

Rich Christiano, Jared Geesey, Isaac Hernandez, George Escobar, & Brett Varvel

The UNDERGROUND panels are back by popular demand! Last year saw the launch of this innovative project to “put the most common hallway conversations into a room, so that more people can participate.”

This panel included renowned Christian filmmakers George Escobar, Rich Christiano, and Brett Varvel. Jared Geesey of and Isaac Hernandez of Parable, the first-ever Christian HD movie network in the world also joined the group.

Audience members were invited to participate in a Q&A related to things on the horizon in the world of Christian filmmaking. “We want to answer your questions here. ‘I have a movie, now what?’” Mr. Christiano said.

One of the first questions was “How has the market changed from when you started to now?” As one of the pioneers in Christian film, Mr. Christiano responded, “It’s discouraging to see the fall of DVD. That’s why I really encouraged everyone to come to this meeting, so we can lay it out (the future).” The world of distribution is evolving quickly.

Isaac Hernandez encouraged, “One of the things you want it to do is get it (your movie) seen by as many people as possible.” He continued, “That’s where someone like me can be helpful.” Even if streaming your movie doesn’t pay much, it can springboard into something bigger.

“A good story is what transcends big budget, and story is what matters,” said Mr. Geesey.

The discussion included such topics as: keeping your budget low while paying your crew fairly, crowdfunding vs traditional investors, having marketable material in your movie at the script level, and the importance of an excellent trailer and key art.

“If you’re going to make a movie, make it right,” Mr. Escobar advised. No matter how much marketing you do, your movie won’t go anywhere if it doesn’t have good quality content.

“Have marketing money built in to your budget!” Brett Varvel urged at another point.

Mr. Hernandez counselled the audience to remember the bigger picture: “If your primary purpose is kingdom building, ‘all these things will be added to you’. Seek God first.”