Thirteen days spread over two months and THE NOTHING is officially in the can. We have a long way to go before we have a finished film ready to unleash on the world, but this is definitely an accomplishment worth taking a moment to relish.
Three years ago, I moved to Nashville, and my friend Justin Baker introduced me to Josh Childs, an actor in town. I was fresh out of bible college, disillusioned with joining the ministry, and beginning to entertain thoughts of becoming a screenwriter. Josh had acted professionally for years, and Justin, already an excellent musician, had branched out into graphic design and video production.
We shared a love of film that quickly turned to talk about the kind of movies we’d like to make, if only we had the opportunity. We talked about our desire to see “faith-based” – or rather, unapologetically Christian – movies that reflected our sensibilities, our aesthetic, and captured some of the struggles we saw in our lives.
I was soon after introduced to Jeff Boyet, another accomplished Nashville actor who shared our dreams, and the seeds were planted for what eventually became Released Pictures.
After working on a few projects together, Josh came up with the idea for The Nothing and it captured our imaginations; a film where the characters were put in a situation that forced them to confront the reality of their own mortality. It captured that feeling I think we all experience on our darkest nights, when the house is still and all you hear is your own breath; that one day we all face the unknown.
On his blog, Josh described film-making as “building a pyramid upside down on a greasy piece of taut dental floss, in a windy area… only, since I’ve never done this before, it’s like doing it in the dark.” And that has been the truth. The four of us, though we have hovered around aspects of film-making in various capacities for years, had never made a feature film before. In fact, if we knew everything that goes into from the start, we may have run screaming into the night. What can I say, sometimes ignorance isn’t only bliss, but fortuitous.
But we’ve been incredibly blessed along the way on this project, especially when it comes to the amazing group of people God surrounded us with to make this film. Over 40 of Nashville’s (and the world’s) most talented actors, crew members, artists, and filmmakers came together and to make this film more than we hoped possible. And they came together largely because they believed in this project- in the script, in the idea- as much as we did.
And in reality, they are the ones that made us into filmmakers. We learned from them what it takes to make a quality motion picture.
We named our company Released Pictures based on the idea that we “released” our film from our control, from our egos, to make it what God wanted it to be. It appears, at least to me, what God did was release the film back into the hands of the community of people that came together to make it. There are dozens of beautiful fingerprints on the flick, from the amazing performances to the incredible set design by Curt Nuenke, to the lighting and camera work, all the way to the people that just showed up to provide meals or help out.
It’s a humbling experience to see something you helped create on the page grow into something that lives and breathes. And it’s all been shot, and now we’ve moved on to piecing it together. We’re also very close on releasing a teaser trailer, so all of you at home can get a little taste of what we’ve been working on for so long.
To our Cast and Crew, you have our humble and eternal thanks. Also, thank you to everyone who has voiced their support for this project over the last two years, and keep it up! The success of this flick depends on the advocacy of our “online army.” So tell your friends! And keep coming back as we’ll update you as we move through post-production.
We’re still making a movie!