How I Grew to Love Terrible Christian Movies
Since being a student of cinema at USC I have owned a few businesses, taught at a private school, and been a software trainer for a cool piece of church networking software called "The City." I've been through 34 years of life at this point and my passion for visual communication has yet to decrease. Despite all of my other experiences I still just want to make a good movie.
Recently I have found that even more then making a good film, I love to see people use their talents to glorify God. I love being able to bring new folks onto our sets and let them get a glimpse of how movies are made. helping people make the next step in their journey toward worshiping God through creative expression.
This new passion came out of a bit of spiritual growth in my own heart more then a decade ago. I had a great disdain for Christian film of any kind. I thought it was poorly made and unoriginal, some of it was and still is, but the issue I missed was that there were often reasons. The budgets were usually low and no major studio would touch the content at the time. There was more going on in my heart though then just making aesthetic judgements.
It was an issue of sin; an issue of pride and a lot of insecurity; A lack of confidence in the Lord and a false confidence in myself. I thought tearing those films down somehow made me more aware and seem like a better film maker.
I looked at those movies and instead of being encouraged that someone was able to make something I was bitter and judgmental because I felt I could do better. At the time I didn't have the skills nor the experience to do any better and when I came to realize that truth, the Lord started to grow a teachable heart that had the chance to improve.
It is easy to critique. Easy to call out mistakes and failures of someone or something else. What is really hard is to be honest in critiquing ourselves. That is really what we should be more concerned about.
I am not blind to the blemishes of Christian Films, nor the blatant disregard of the Word of God in big budget "Faith Films" that have come out more recently, but I am more interested in trying to lift others up to use their gifts rather then tear down the things that are out there. So hopefully what God has done in my life can now be a benefit to others and ultimately bring Glory to Him.
David Dietrich is a graduate of USC Film School. He is founder and owner of Deo Volente Media, and Producer and Co-Founder of Creator Films. Dietrich is producer of movies, documentaries, podcasts and sermon media used in thousands of churches around the world. Feature films include False Hopes, and The Gift of the Magi. Podcasts include Dead Preacher’s Society releasing in 2020.