This past week, I learned how little I know about the movie making business. I have followed Donald Miller and read his books, but I had not heard the story behind getting Blue Like Jazz made as a movie. Wow! It is a pretty incredible story.
Obviously, we all know that Hollywood has the market cornered on movies, how they are made, and which ones get made. However, movies like Blue Like Jazz and the story behind it are changing some of that.
Somehow, I stumbled upon a chance to sign up for a prescreening of the movie before it is released. It will come out officially on April 13th. Since I had never attended a prescreening, I learned quite a few things.
1. The time they tell you to be there is not when the movie will start. There are usually pre-activities. Lesson learned? Don’t get your popcorn and drink immediately. Wait until later!
2. You never know who will be there. I had no idea that Donald Miller, Steve Taylor (the Director) and Marshall Allman (the lead actor) would be there. They took time to meet everyone and get pictures. That was pretty cool!
3. There was time for Q&A after the movie. They really wanted to hear our questions and get feedback. They also asked us to fill out a survey on the film.
4. Opening weekend is everything. It’s what makes or breaks a film. Especially when there is not a huge advertising budget to continue supporting the film. To Hollywood, this film is a “barcode”. If there is not interest and a great turnout on opening weekend, it will not continue to be shown.
5. This is not your typical Christian film. It’s edgy, and real, and deals with concepts that many of us can relate to. I think this film has a broader appeal and can make a big impact. Steve Taylor says it best:
I made it clear to all our potential investors and/or heads of media companies, the vast majority of whom were fellow Christians, that this was not going to be a family movie. The reason was simple: How do you tell the story of a college kid who flees his Southern Baptist upbringing in suburban Houston to attend the ‘most godless campus in America’ without showing what that environment is like? And how can that environment be portrayed realistically in the context of a ‘family’ movie? Doesn’t have to be rated R, but it’s probably going to be PG-13, right?
I would HIGHLY recommend this movie. I will be showing my support on April 13th when it opens. Here’s a sneak peek: