There is a new generation of Christian production companies, who are proving a film does not have to sacrifice quality in order to have an entertaining film that does not compromise the Christian message. This is a core belief for Coram Deo Studios / Proverbs Cinema a rising star among Christian film distribution companies. They are self described as “solid Christians and biblically discerning industry professional, who not only understand the ministry potential of film, but what makes a film resonate with an audience.”
Minnesota Christian Film Examiner (MCFE) recently had the pleasure of interviewing Director Brad Silverman, Associate Producer Brandon Rice and Actor Anthony Tyler Quinn.
MCFE: How did you come up with the concept of No Greater Love?
Associate Producer Brandon Rice had the original story, ”After seeing a romantic drama film at the theater, I was driving home and thought; Why can’t there be a romantic Christian drama?” Brandon continued, “I thought for a few moments, and the core story elements of Jeff and Heather’s marriage, Ethan’s birth, Heather’s abandonment, and there ultimate reintroduction at a vacation bible study popped into my head."
Brad Silverman, Writer and Director tells the next part of the story, “Brandon came up with the initial story and presented it to me. I was intrigued by the high-concept as well as the potential for some great emotional “collisions” (which is a term I use to describe characters being forced to deal with each other in a dramatic, unsuspecting, or extremely awkward way). After much prayer, we decided that No Greater Love would be our first attempt at a feature film. So I locked myself away for a few weeks and came back with the first draft of the script."
Brandon and Brad, and the entire team at Coram Deo were hands on in many areas of the filmmaking process, and their work was recognized. Brad shared how Gods hand was in it all along; “By God’s grace the actual making of NGL was a relatively simple process. We certainly had our share of bumps in the road, but the Lord was always faithful.”
Anthony Tyler Quinn was chosen as the lead Jeff, after first being cast as another character in the film. Brad loves casting for a film, “Casting is one of my favorite parts of directing, but finding the right actors for NGL was no easy task.” He added, “ Anthony went on to deliver as good a performance as you’ll see in any film of any genre.”
MCFE: Anthony, what was it like being on the set of a Christian Film?
“Very much the same as any film set, the only difference being (and this difference makes ALL the difference) our goal was to make a film about what it is to walk the faith walk, a film that would Honor the Lord, that He would be pleased with and a film that ministers to others.” Anthony continued, “We had a running prayer meeting every morning, open to anyone who wished to attend. We had prayer before; during and after scenes we were shooting. It was really quite incredible”
MCFE: Anthony, What are your hopes for this film?
“I want this film to be: Entertaining, Ministering, Transforming. In that order and I'll tell you why.” Anthony replied. “It has to be entertaining first, because if it's not, then they basically tune out after 10 minutes and I lose my audience. but, if I can entertain you, make you laugh, or cry or touch you in some profound emotional way, then you'll be willing to go on the ride and listen to what I have to say.” He continued, “If you are listening, then I can minister to you somehow. Maybe you are going through exactly the same thing the characters in the story are going through, and you see something in them, or a resolve in the story that encourages you in your walk. If that happens, then you walk away from the film transformed even to the slightest degree. If I can do that, then I've done my job as an actor.”
MCFE: Brad, were there any obstacles filming No Greater Love?
““Our biggest challenge with No Greater Love was finding the right distributor,",” Brad replied, “In July, 2008, we were extremely fortunate to sign with Carmel Entertainment (who found the studio deals for Fireproof and Facing the Giants.) The process was long and, like anything, had its highs and lows, but we were absolutely thrilled when we finally reached a deal with Lionsgate.”
MCFE: Brad, a few more questions.
Why have you chosen to do a church release?
“We all agreed that the primary market for the film is the church. But we thought instead of making church showings an afterthought, or asking churches to rent out local theaters, why don’t we offer churches the opportunity to debut the film right on their own grounds? We figured it would create a fantastic evangelistic platform for their respective communities, as well as give local churches an opportunity to have an exciting debut movie event for their local body. The response from pastors has been incredible, and we couldn’t be happier with how God has continued to direct our steps.”
What are your hopes in creating the companion devotional book?
“We were very humbled when Thomas Nelson Publishing approached us to write a companion book. NGL executive producer Russ Rice and I, along with a writer assigned by Thomas Nelson, labored intensely to create a deep, Biblical 90 day couples devotional. Our goal is that the book will be a tremendous tool in the hands of the Lord to strengthen marriages – not because of anything we wrote, but because His Word changes lives.”
Whats next for Coram Deo?
Brandon’s answer says it best; “We have several scripts and stories in the works that touch on a wide variety of topics. As is our goal, we always start with what we believe will be a compelling story and work from there. I am thankful to the Lord for how He has blessed No Greater Love so far, and I hope we can continue to make films that challenge people and bring Him glory!”
No Greater Love DVD being released nationally by Lionsgate on January 19th.
For more information visit www.nogreaterlovethemovie.com.