168 Film Project
Written By: Douglas James Vail
Last week I announced that FaithWorks Pictures will be participating in the fifteenth annual 168 Film Project. This Film Project is essentially a movie maker challenge for writers, actors and filmmakers to hone their craft while exploring scripture. The worldwide competition is arranged in such a way that the filmmakers must integrate their assigned piece of scripture into a short film they must write, shoot and edit in just 168 hours (7 days).
We will be competing in the speed film competition, which means we will be expected to craft a 12-page script and deliver a ten minute short film within the timeline assigned. If we are one of the 7 films chosen, we will be invited to a table of judges where we will have the opportunity to pitch our idea for a feature film.
This will be FaithWorks Pictures first participation/involvement with any film festival.
Following the 168 hour timed event, all selected short films will be screened at a red carpet event held at a prestigious downtown movie theater in Burbank CA. The chosen winners of the short film competition will be announced at the event. If FaithWorks Pictures wins the competition and the judges choose our feature film, we will be awarded $250,000 towards the making of our feature film.
Pretty exciting, right?
If that wasn't exciting enough, I want to tell you a true story about God working in my life. Sometimes I am just so amazed at the abundance of God's blessing in my life and I pray that I never loose sight of that. Ok, brace yourself, what I am about to tell you really happened.
The National Association of Broadcasters announced today preliminary registered attendance of 103,443 for the 2017 NAB Show, the world’s largest annual convention encompassing the convergence of media, entertainment and technology. The exhibition featured 1,806 companies spanning 1,091,792 net square feet of exhibit space.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend the 2017 NAB conference in Las Vegas Nevada. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters and is the world's largest convention encompassing The M.E.T. Effect, the convergence of media, entertainment and technology. The conference is huge with over 100,000 attendees walking the show floor. This year marked my third time attending the show since 2011. The conference serves as a playground of gadgets, lens, cameras, drones, and tech-toys designed to streamline workflow for creative filmmakers like myself. I am always amazed by the innovations and I always come away from this conference with a flood of new ideas. I just absolutely love the NAB conference!
Anyway, I was walking down the halls of this packed conference (try to imagine over 100,000 people barreling through the walkways of the Las Vegas Convention Center) reviewing the latest offerings from vendors around the world. I believe it was the third hour of the first day when a specific cinema camera setup caught my eye.
It was one of the most beautiful film rigs I had ever seen. I was accompanied by my dear friend Joe Verdi and I made this comment in his ear, "Joe, how awesome would it be to shoot our XL film with a piece of gear like that?". Needless to say, we were drooling over a brand new RED EPIC CINEMA RIG fully outfitted with an amazing prime lens which was collectively over $250,000 in retail value.
After I finished drooling, I took a knee and began reviewing closely all the intricacy's of the rig. It was then a man spoke to us, "Are you guys a Christian company?" We looked up and saw a smiling face wearing a black shirt that said SAS Studios on the front pocket.
"We're a Christian company." He added. He pointed to our exhibit badge which stated FaithWorks Pictures.
This time his said, "I noticed your company name has the word faith in it and I am wondering if you are a Christian company."
I answered him with an enthusiastic Yea!
I went on to tell him we were just admiring his cinema rig. He introduces himself, " Hi, I am Shawn Andrew Sequeira (initials S.A.S.)". We take a second look at the company logo and realize we are talking to the owner of the booth and likely the owner of this RED EPIC CINEMA RIG.
We introduce ourselves as FaithWorks Pictures and I give him my card. We share our background in film and we discover that we both know Pastor Greg Laurie (I volunteer shoot for Greg's church) and Pastor Matthew Barnett (founder of the DreamCenter in Los Angeles) . He then begins asking us about our film projects. We exchanged information and I briefly share with him our eight month journey towards the making of "XL | The Temptation of Christ".
Shawn shares that his company owns several studios / sound stages across the country including fully operational facilities in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Los Angeles. He mentions that his Los Angeles operation is new and hasn't actually launched, yet. Shawn extends and invitation to his Los Angeles office and offers to review our film. He seems very curious about the film and mentions that if he likes the executive summary he may agree to offer us free gear for the purposes of making the movie. That's right, he actually says that!
I was shocked! I mean, stone cold shocked! He goes on to say that he is willing help anyone who's intention it is to Glorify Jesus and proclaim the Gospel. Inspired by this divine encounter, I initiate a prayer circle with SAS studios right there and so we joined hands in the halls of NAB and thanked God for all the goodness in our lives. I left the conference that day on cloud nine. What were the odds? Over 100,000 people. God is so good!
Fast forward to last week, I finally arrive at the door of the SAS Studios Los Angeles. I come to learn that SAS owns an entire block of studios...he refers to this as his baby studio.
The images shown above are images of SAS Studios Los Angeles which will be launching June 10, 2017.
Stephanie and I (Stephanie is my amazing and loving girlfriend by the way) walk the campus of Shawn's newly acquired studios as he shows us all the sound stages, buildings, offices, and plans for the launch of his downtown operation. Shawn not only escorts us around, he introduces us to his staff, and he offers us complimentary drinks like a prefect gentlemen.
After the tour we sit down at his table and I discuss with him my goals for the 168 film project. He and I loosely cover the details of my upcoming shoot and through our discussion, Shawn offers me that same RED EPIC CINEMA RIG that I was drooling over @ NAB. I am completely overwhelmed.
I look at Stephanie in the eye with goosebumps covering my arms, fighting back tears of deep and sincere gratitude. Shawn's staff jumps in and writes up an order for the camera, lens, sticks, lights, and much much more. Shawn tells his team, "Take care of Doug, he's making a Jesus movie." SAS Studios set me up with so much gear it now requires a large box truck to haul it.
Friends, GOD is real and GOD is so good!
Shawn is a devoted Christian. He cares very deeply about our Lord and he was able to get behind the cause of FaithWorks Pictures. His generosity is beyond words and I am just so deeply moved by his faith.
I am hopeful that I will have the opportunity to work with Shawn after the 168 film project but for right now, can I tell you? We are officially hooked up by SAS Studios. Praise God! I am also grateful to announce that I will be supporting SAS Studios by helping them with their marketing preparations leading up to their June 10th launch.
FaithWorks Pictures is truly humbled by this opportunity to work alongside SAS Studios and I feel its poignant to mention that its truly encouraging, in this city of angels, to meet a company/owner with such strong Christian values to love and serve the Lord.
Douglas James Vail
Founder of FaithWorks Pictures