I never wanted to be a “Christian writer”, In the sense that I didn’t want to write specifically for the Christian market and have a book or film that was specifically aimed at a Christian audience. There are a few reasons for this. Of course, one huge reason is the poor production I saw when I was growing up, another was that I didn’t want to have to limit what I could show or write about, but the main reason in recent years was that I did not want to limit my audience. I didn’t want to write something that anyone could say wasn’t for them because it was for Christians. This is not what is intended by Christian production. In fact it’s the opposite! But simply by putting the ‘Christian’ label on a movie limits the people who are willing to try it out.
I have written on this blog before about this topic, but at that stage I was adamant in my perspective that writing Christian material was limiting. Recently, I have had a few ideas that have wavered the line of ‘Christian’ writing. As I kept to my previous stance and looked at the story lines and how I want to write them, I found myself limiting or adapting small, yet vital, points in the ideal plot or dialogue. I realised that these stories deserved the title of ‘Christian’ productions, in order to give them the freedom to fully express their messages. One in particular needs this title in order to reach the audience it really is intended for.
Christian production has a horrible stigma for low budgets, poor acting and derisive story. But this is not the case now, nor has it always been. There are great Christian producers, agents, writers, actors and directors that work hard to overcome this presumption, and do their jobs well. A
Hollywood budget is extremely hard to come by and it takes exhausting dedication to overcome a limited budget, so I can understand why some Christian movies have not had as polished a look as others. In the end, for a writer, and then producers and all other artists involved, the process becomes about whether they want to tell the story at all, or hold out for the dream budget and perhaps never get to tell it.
For myself, when I have a story that I believe might help some people, I would rather tell it, than let money come between me and my audience. Even terrible acting and production cannot hide a great story. An audience will be forgiving of these things if the story is powerful and valuable. We shouldn't limit ourselves from discovering something great, just because of a label we have unfair assumptions about. So I won't limit my stories in the Christian or secular directions for fear of what others may think of me. It's my story I want them to see, and those labels may be the only way to get the story to the right person.
Here is an interesting blog and website of one experienced Christian writer, producer, actor and film maker who has shown me the hard work and dedication it takes for even the minimal budget and to still create outstanding work (he keeps working and doesn’t give up): CJ Powers Online