Backstory


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The Sound of the Spirit is the first professionally produced and distributed full length Messianic Jewish narrative film in the world.  It is produced by Guy Camara of Kingdom Pictures and distributed by the Bridgestone Multimedia Group.

My journey that led to the finished film began in 2008.  The idea began to form in my mind of a story in which a young Messianic Jewish girl, who is about to have her bat mitzvah, loses her last remaining parent.  As I wrote down notes over several weeks, the overall story began to emerge.  I began to write a script in the early spring of that year, and I finished the first draft in 2009.  Many things changed through nine succeeding drafts, but the basic ideas were retained.  The scene between Rivka and the traditional rabbi proved to be one of the greatest challenges.  Striking the right balance between compassion and discomfort between them took several drafts, and my producer and my wife were a great help.

In my search for a production company, I turned to Guy Camara of Kingdom Pictures, someone I knew and who had previously considered an earlier screenplay of mine.  Guy is an amazing person, an excellent filmmaker who was trained in New York by the best in the industry, and a man of great faith.  He is originally from Ruanda, and has 10 beautiful children.  He asked me to direct the film, and I prayerfully agreed.

Together, Guy and I put the finishing touches on the script and began the arduous task of raising funds for the movie.  Suffice it to say that we raised the budget of $170,000.00 over the next few years, and kept within that budget.

The process of pre-production included auditioning actors.  We knew that if we didn’t have a Rivka, we didn’t have a movie.  One of our casting agents, Nancy Mott, found Anna Lasbury, one of the most talented child actresses I have ever met.  Her gifts are many.  Check her out in this youtube, which was made at the prestigious Stage Door Manor Camp just before we shot the movie:

Once we found our Rivka, everything else began to fall into line.  We found the gifted Matt Hodges, who plays Nicky.  And we discovered the equally talented Lina Willard, who plays Rhena.  Check her beautiful voice out in this youtube:

We also found wonderful adult actors to play the various important roles, and soon we were ready for principle photography.  We shot The Sound of the Spirit in Indianapolis over twenty days (four weeks, excluding weekends) during the summer of 2011.  There were too many miracles to mention.  Suffice it to say that on August 12th, all of our principle photography was finished.  After we all recovered (and one of Guy’s children did get seriously ill in France and really did need to recover, with him flying there just after we finished), post-production began in earnest.

Guy edited the film and Van Lawson and Rob Deas worked on the magnificent score, while Van worked on sound design.  Director of photography Eric Filson did the color correcting and William Reliford was responsible for special effects.

By February of 2012, the basic rough cut was finished.  My wife and I met the folks at the Bridgestone Multimedia Group, our distributor in a Nashville media convention, and the rest is history.

My intention in writing the movie was to introduce the viewer to the “real” Messianic Jewish heart and experience, not one borne of prejudice and suspicion…and to show the respect that two communities (Messianic and Reform in this case) could have for one another.  It is my sincere hope that you have enjoyed the results.