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GETTING STARTED IN CHRISTIAN FILMS:
An Introduction for Actors, Writers, and Filmmakers
This article was written by Dave Christiano, a Christian filmmaker.

Many people write and ask questions about how they can be involved in Christian films, either as an actor, actress, writer, or filmmaker. Here is some information that hopefully will be helpful.
 
Hollywood is set up where a person could actually approach a movie studio or production company and get a full time job in the film industry. Plus, there are many independent Hollywood producers that have full time staff who work from project to project.
 
The Christian film industry is not set up like that. First of all, there are only about 5 or 6 filmmakers in the country shooting Christian films. I define a "Christian film" as a film with an intended message for Jesus Christ. Secondly, these producers work on very low budgets compared to Hollywood. The average budget on a Hollywood film is over 40 million and the average budget on a Christian film is well under 100,000. The Christian film producer wears many hats as most write, produce and direct their own projects.
 
For someone trying to work full time in Christian movies, you can't just apply for a job with a Christian film producer. This is the unforunate part because there are a number of Christians interested in this industry, they just don't know how to get started or become involved.
 
For a Christian film production, the producers usually hire actors and crew people within the region they are filming, although there are exceptions to this. The major reason is because of budget.
 
How do you get started?
 
If a person wants to act in a Christian film, they can do two things. First, they can send their headshot and/or resume to the existing Christian film producers. This is not a waste of time or effort. Producers are always looking for actors/actresses because you never know who is needed for a particular project. Also, the producers talk among each other and also help each other greatly with information. There are a number of actors who have been in more than one Christian film. A producer works with an actor, likes the work that they did or the ease they were to work with and as a result, that person is cast again in another film. Also, there are crew people who have worked on several Christian film projects. A producer finds a chemistry that works and continues with the same
people from project to project.
 
Locating the few Christian film producers is not easy. The best way is to note the production or distribution company of a Christian film and try to make contact starting there. There is not really a directory of the few producers but this website could help with information if requested.
 
Secondly, an actor or actress could try to raise the money to finance a project which they could act in. This is a very real option because then you know you will be in the film as you could make sure you have a major role or even the lead role. If you can raise the money, the film can be made because there are quality filmmakers who can do the work.

Also, if you can raise the money, you'll be one of the "producers" and this will also mean a return of income coming back for you once the film is released.
For a filmmaker wanting to produce a Christian film, again, finding your own financing is a major key. You can either save up enough money or find investors. If you don't have a story, there are many scripts floating around waiting to be produced.
 
After the film gets produced, distribution becomes the major key and that is really harder than shooting the film. The producers release their films straight to video and try to distribute them wherever they can. This is hard because in most cases you are distributing a film with unknown actors and people involved. Christian bookstores, catalog distributors, Christian television and Internet distributors are main sources of distribution outlets. Homes, churches and selected video stores are places to sell the film to. None of this is easy. Some producers have tried to get a Hollywood actor in a Christian film thinking this will help the distribution of it. What I think would help more is a "Christian personality" that people know and respect involved in a project. This would give the film some instant name recognition among the Christian circles and help with the distribution process.
 
I believe the Lord is looking for actors, actresses, writers, and filmmakers who want to put Him first and present a message that is clearly for Christ. Many have gone the other way and pulled Jesus out of their films to get a wider distirbution base. But this doesn't help the Lord and His cause.
 
If you are really interested in producing or acting in Christian films, pray and ask the Lord for clear direction. I am convinced that God wants films made that glorify and honor Him. He wants films that proclaim the gospel and His word. Ask the Lord to help guide your steps along the way. He certainly can do it. The Bible says nothing is too hard for Him (Genesis 18:14).
 
The few films that are being released these days are the finest quality productions to date for the Christian film industry. As the quality of work increases, and the distribution base widens, more and more people will likely get involved in this industry. As that happens, there will be more opportunities for filmmakers, writers, and actors who want to produce or be involved in Christian films.