Interviews

Interview: Larry Amon (Christian Walk Alive)

February 12th, 2016

We recently took some time to talk to Larry Amon, president of the Christian media ministry, Christian Walk Alive. It was great getting to meet him and he had some insightful things to say on media and the Christian film industry. Read the full interview below:

Q) First off, can you tell us what is Christian Walk Alive?

A) Christian Walk Alive is a 501c3 non profit Christian media ministry.

Q)What inspired you to start this ministry?

A) I started CWA with several good Christian friends from my college years. I was someone who consumed a lot of media especially movies, watching as many as two or three new movies a week sometimes. However, I really thought there was a lack of entertainment that had lasting value and that could be enjoyed without having to endure foul language gratuitous violence or trashy situations and themes. I wanted to create the kind of media that I thought was missing. I wanted to create media that was enjoyable to watch and that had better messages than what was widely available. As a Christian I also wanted to make media that shared what I thought was the most important message of all.

Q) What films have you created so far?

A) We created a radio drama called A Work In Progress for nearly ten years before we made our first film, Homecoming. It was a feature film that we're proud of, but it was our first attempt at a film and we worked on it with a very small budget.

Q) Do you have any in the works?

A) We're just finishing up our second film, called Masquerade. It's a short film that will also be a DVD Bible study. We'll premiere it in April of this year. The film is about what it means to have integrity and to be the same person to everyone you know and not put on masks for different situations. We're about to start a crowdfunding campaign for our next feature film. This film is going to be a thriller about spiritual warfare.

Q) What has been your favorite thing about working in this ministry?

A) I love writing and telling stories but the best part is all the people I get to work with. Whether it's old friends or new ones, it's always a combination of hard work and a lot of fun to work on a film. Also, one of the coolest things for me is watching a story we've worked on, come to life right in front of my eyes.

Q) What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to make Christian films?

A) Put in the work. It takes a lot of effort and also a lot of knowledge. Learn as much as you can by studying films as well as the filmmaking process at every level. There's no substitute for hands on experience. In the end you also really need to tell a story that you would enjoy watching yourself.

We really appreciate Larry taking the time to talk with us and hopefully his words will be an encouragement to future filmmakers out there! You can find out more about Christian Walk Alive on their website www.christianwalkalive.org. They will also be launching a kickstarter project for their next film which you can find out more about at kickstartthebattle.com!

Interview with Reuben Evans

October 29th, 2014

It's been a while since we've done an interview. So, we've decided to fix that today with our brand new phone interview with the creator of the documentary, Reunion, Reuben Evans! Enjoy and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!



Click here to download Mp3.


We present a special episode of the podcast! Instead of looking at a movie today, we spend some time talking to Reuben Evans, the man behind the documentary Reunion to get his thoughts on the film and film making in general. Be sure to join us today as we conduct our very first phone interview!

Reunion movie Facebook page -- www.facebook.com/thisisourreunionfilm

Subscribe to podcast in iTunes

Interview: Josh Taylor

August 27th, 2013

Blimey Cow Logo

In a culture today where anyone with a video camera and a Youtube account can create a video (no matter how profane or vile), it's refreshing to stumble across a Youtube channel that contains good, clean humor, uplifting messages, and hilarious routines. Such is the case with Blimey Cow, a Youtube channel created by Josh and Jordan Taylor that has just that. With their weekly series, Messy Mondays, Blimey Cow teaches many different useful lessons that everyone can learn from. We had the amazing opportunity to talk to one of the creators of Blimey Cow, Josh Taylor, who graciously took the time to answer a few questions for us:

Q:First of all, can you tell us a little bit about Blimey Cow?

A:Sure, Blimey Cow is a YouTube channel that my younger brother, Jordan, and I started eight years ago. We created content on and off for several years, but in 2011 we decided to get serious about it. We started a show called "Messy Mondays," and have released a new episode every Monday since August of that year. The show is our main source of traffic to our channel. It focuses on a different topic every week. It's sort of like a "Video Blog Meets Theater." That's the best way I can think to describe the show.

Q:What has been your favorite thing about making Blimey Cow?

A:I really enjoy writing. It's really fun having the ultimate creative outlet to relay thoughts and ideas we have throughout the week. It's just a cool platform, I guess. We try and be wise with it.

Q:And on the other side, what has been the biggest challenge in making Blimey Cow?

A:Coming up with content that people consistently enjoy. Like I said earlier, we have released at least one video (sometimes two or three) every week for the last two years now. That feels kind of impossible, but somehow it's all worked out.

Q:What have you learned through making Blimey Cow?

A:I have learned to have a lot more respect for creators, and to give them the benefit of the doubt, even if I don't quite understand what they present on first glance. I have learned to have more confidence in myself. I have learned that if you set your mind to something, you can do it.

Q:What all goes into producing an episode of Messy Mondays and how long does it usually take?

A:It varies greatly, depending on the material. Writing takes all week- developing concepts, coming up with jokes, etc. Shooting can be as short as two or three hours, and others can drag on for four or five. Editing normally takes anywhere from six to ten hours.

Q:What new projects are you working on now for Blimey Cow?

A:I would love to try some new things in 2014. Maybe expand upon ideas we have tried in the past (long before we started "Messy Mondays"), and maybe just try some new stuff altogether.

Q:What do you hope to accomplish through your videos?

A:Comedy is one of the best forms of community. Nothing can bring people together like laughter. I want our videos to make people laugh. Then while they're laughing, I hope we make them think as well. You best way to get someone thinking is to get them laughing at how absurd we really are as people.

Q:Just for fun, what is your favorite episode of Messy Mondays?

A:Oh man, that's hard to say. I really like the more recent ones we have done just because I finally feel like everything is gelling just right. I like the recent video we did about caring for the poor, and I enjoy one we did last year called "I Pledge Blind Allegiance" just because I worked so hard to get it just right.

Q:And finally, what advice would you have for young people aspiring to start their own Youtube Channel?

A:Whatever you do, make sure you are having fun, and make sure you are doing it consistently. Don't worry about anything else.

We want to thank Mr. Taylor again for being so willing to take the time to talk to us about Blimey Cow and creating a Youtube Channel. You can find out more about Blimey Cow on their website at www.blimeycow.com or on their Youtube Channel. We hope you enjoyed this interview, and we should have some more interviews coming in the following months!

Interview: Pat Roy

July 5th, 2013

Jonathan Park - Interview with the creator, Pat Roy

Several years ago for my birthday, I received "Jonathan Park -- The Adventure Begins", a creation-adventure audio series produced by Vision Forum. Not really knowing exactly what to expect, I popped it in and started listening to it. About 6 months later, I owned every single album and was an avid Jonathan Park fan. Then, just about a month ago, at the homeschool conference, i got to meet the creator of this audio drama, Pat Roy, a very helpful and encouraging man. Mr. Roy was kind enough to do an interview for CFC and share some of the insights he has learned through making Jonathan Park. Please read on to hear what he has to say:

Q: First of all, can you tell us a little bit about the Jonathan Park audio drama?

A: Jonathan Park is produced by the Vision Forum. It is designed to present the scientific evidence that’s in harmony with God’s Word. Each half-hour adventure is packed with action, and follows the lives of the Creation Response Team, a group of family and friends who love to find the evidence for creation. You can learn more about it at www.JonathanPark.com

Q: What originally inspired you to go into Christian media?

A: When I was 16 years old, I got my first job at a Christian radio station. Right away I learned the power of Christian media. Think about it, if you walked up to a stranger and confronted them about their sin, and then told them they needed to repent and follow the Lord, they may put up an instant wall. Yet, with Christian media, you can go into thousands and thousands of homes simultaneously, and tell the truth without offense.

At last year’s San Antonio Independent Christian Film Academy, Stephen Kendrick recounted the story of writing the script for the movie Courageous sometimes while sitting by a pool with his laptop. He said only a short time later, he sat in a theater, and watched the very lines he wrote. Then he thought about the millions who had seen it. Then he asked the academy crowd something like, “How many Churches would I have to preach in to reach that many people?” He couldn’t preach to that many if he talked at a different Church every weekend for the rest of his life! Understand, he wasn’t downplaying the importance of Church. But I agree with him when he talks about the power of Christian media! It is the ability to reach lots of people with an eternal message!

Q:How did Jonathan Park get started?

A:My wife, Sandy, and I were both working for the Institute for Creation Research. Even though I was the radio producer there, I would occasionally go out to speak at Churches on behalf of ICR. After the presentations, my wife and I would be at the book table, and parents would often ask for materials for their children. We realized that, at the time (about 15 years ago), there weren’t many materials available to teach children about creation, and they were the ones getting hit the hardest by evolutionary thinking!

So my wife and I started praying and brainstorming about what we could do. And since we both had a background in radio, we decided to try a radio drama. ICR was kind enough to take it on as an official broadcast. And then a few years later, Vision Forum gave the project new life!

Q:What has been your favorite thing about making Jonathan Park?

A:My Favorite? I love it all! I love working with my wife as my writing partner. I love working with my family. I love that the JP team has become some of my best friends! I love recording days. I love production. I’m grateful for the chance to work with Vision Forum. But most of all, I love hearing all the stories about what the Lord has done in the hearts of so many people!

Q:And on the other side, what has been the biggest challenge in making Jonathan Park?

A:It takes a LOT of time to produce an album of Jonathan Park – more than a year of my time goes into each one (and then think about all the hours from the rest of the team). My biggest challenge is, as a husband and a father, to balance my time.

Q:What have you learned through making the Jonathan Park series?

A:Wow! That could fill a book! Of course I’ve learned a lot about writing and production, and have so much more to learn. Also, I’ve spent years of my life researching all the material on Jonathan Park – the evidence that’s in harmony with God’s Word is never-ending. I should mention that we have scientists that review every script, and I learn a lot from them. Also, my supervisor, Michael Gobart, reviews every script for biblical content – and often suggests ways to communicate spiritual truths, so I learn then, as well.

I guess I’ve also learned that it’s okay to dream big for the Lord, and if He says “no”, we thank Him for His direction. But if He says, “yes”, that He is a God of adventure, and will do things beyond our wildest imagination! I’ve also learned that God works how and when He wants. Thirteen years ago, my wife and I had no idea that our silly idea would still be going to this very day!

Q:Can you talk some about the album you are working on now?

A:This is the first album that was written entirely (except parts of the teaching) by another family. Duane and Andrew Riffenburgh wrote half the episodes in Jonathan Park and the Voyage Beyond. This father/son team did such a great job that we invited them to write this entire album. It is called, The Whispering Sphinx. And the Riffenburghs have packed more action and humor into this album than ever before. It’s an exciting adventure that will take you on a journey through Egypt. Think passageways under pyramids, motorcycle chases, cobras, mummies, boat rides on the Nile, and so much more!

Q:When is it expected to come out?

A:I believe Vision Forum plans to release it sometime in August.

Q:Just for fun, what is your favorite episode of Jonathan Park?

A:I think my favorite episode will always be Hidden Cave because it was the first big writing project with my wife. My favorite album to write was The Journey Never Taken because I enjoyed researching all the history behind evolutionary thinking. But my favorite to listen to is The Voyage Beyond. I love the high-tech submarine and the spaceship. That was also my favorite to sound-design. We have a whole team that does production (anywhere from 2 – 10 people depending on how fast we are working). I told them to make the Manta Submarine sound like a starship. And when it came to the spaceflight, it was so much fun trying to create a space launch that sounded similar to something you’d hear at NASA.

Q:And finally, what advice would you have for young people aspiring to go into Christian media?

A:Four things, I guess:

- Go for it! Dream big, but follow the Lord! If He says “no”, thank Him for it. If He says “yes”, give it your all! And at all times, hold your project with a loose grip. I’ve notice the Lord will often test us to see if we are more about following Him, or about our project! As a matter of fact, He will often kill a dream, and then rebuild it His way.

- Don’t worry if you don’t know how! When the JP Team first started, we had absolutely NO idea of how to do what we dreamed of doing. But we prayed everyday as a team, and learned as much as we could – and much of that was through trial and error. So go for it, and if you do something wrong, you’ll figure out a better way! It’s better to try and fail, so you can correct, than to never do anything at all. And remember, there is incredible power in learning from others.

- If you’re going to make a production, make it something that counts with a strong eternal message! We’ve got enough entertainment out there. We need young people who are willing to be used by the Lord to change lives!

- Remember that whatever happens, work for the Lord’s glory, not your own! At the end of your life, if you built your own kingdom, it will have no value. But using your talents for His glory… ahhhh, there’s nothing better than that!

A special thanks to Mr. Roy for taking the time to answer these questions for us. To find out more about Jonathan Park, go to www.jonathanpark.com to find out more. Also, who would you like us to interview next? Please let us know who you want us to interview next at noah@christianfilmcentral.com.

Interview: Danny Carrales

June 13, 2013


A modern retelling of Pilgrim's Progress directed by Danny Carrales

Today, we present to you our very first interview on CFC! A few weeks ago, I got to meet Danny Carrales, a Christian filmmaker with DRC Films, LLC. He's an incredibly encouraging man and it was a blessing to get to meet him. He was kind enough to be willing to do an interview for the blog, and he has some very interesting things to say.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about how you went into the film industry and about DRC Films?

A: I felt lead by God to make evangelistic movies that could be shown around the world during my senior year in high school.

In order to develop my craft, I went to the University of Texas in Austin for my undergraduate
degree in film. The UT film school is one of the top in the nation. There I shot my first evangelistic
movies, even though never received distribution, I learned a lot and was able to use them to share
Jesus with my classmates and professors and anyone else that came to watch our movies during
student movie night. While attending UT, I was involved in Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, which helped me grow in my faith, while attending a secular university.

In order to develop my film making skills even further, I attended Regent University (a Christian
film school) in Virginia Beach, VA for my M.A. in Communications. It was at Regent that I met like minded film students and professors and I really enjoyed my time honing my skills there.

While at Regent, I was able to find a lot of free lance work at the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), which was just another wonderful opportunity to learn from working professionals. There I was given directing jobs, which lead to more directing jobs.

Eventually, I worked for ministries such as Blue Fish TV and companies like New Day Pictures. Living like a college student, I managed to save enough money to direct and produce my first movie, Final Exit, which led to saving money to produce The Gathering (which was a modest hit).

Taking income from Final and Gathering, I directed and produced Escape From Hell, which became a hit movie in the Christian community.

All my movies have been a financial faith walk. Our new movie, Out of the Darkness is no exception. Out of the Darkness is very, very ambitious.

Q:What has been your favorite thing about making Christian films?

A: Making a movie that God can use for His glory is the best thing about making Christian movies. I have personally seen over a thousand people go forward to surrender their lives to Jesus after showings of our movies at churches and festivals. We know that there have been thousands upon thousands of people around the world that have surrendered their lives to Jesus after viewing our movies.

Q:Why did you decide to make films that were overtly Christian?

A: I feel that is what God has called me to do -- to present the Gospel without any mystery. I want to present the Truth (His Word) and allow God to use it.

Q:Can you talk some about the movie you are working on now?

A:It's a supernatural thriller about how everything we say and do will one day be brought to life. God is going to hold us accountable one day and I'm praying that people who watch the movie will want to walk closer to Jesus.

Q:When is it expected to come out?

A:It's June 11th and I thought we would be finished months ago. There are over 1500 effects and it's taking a lot longer than we anticipated. Prayerfully, we'll complete the movie in September of 2013.

Q:What is your favorite movie and why?

A:I like a lot of movies -- from action movies to comedies.

Q:What is the biggest challenge in making a Christian film?

A:The biggest challenge in producing a Christian film is making a story that God can use for His glory.
Another challenge is working with very limited budgets, however, that helps you get on your knees before God -- the only One that can help you get through the journey.

Q:What advice would you have for young people aspiring to be a Christian filmmaker?

A:Seek God in all that you do, develop your craft as a story teller and don't be afraid of taking on a challenge that only God can see you through.

A special thanks again to Mr. Carrales for taking the time to answer these questions for us. To find out more about Danny Carrales or DRC Films, go to www.reelchristian.com Also, who would you like us to interview next? Email us or let us know in the comments! We should have a few more interviews coming up very soon. Stay tuned!

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