I had the pleasure of seeing a prescreening of the movie “Believe Me” by Riot Studios recently. Outside of the very small appearance Lecrae made in the trailer, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to see it, but being offered an exclusive look at the movie made me feel special enough to see it. I must say, I’ve only seen a handful of Christian Movies in my lifetime of 26 years. I saw Left Behind and another one recently, that I can’t remember the name of (and Noah doesn’t count). Anyway, being that there was a screening at a church in Phoenix, I figured it would be worth the time.
Let me start by telling you something I don’t like. I don’t like half-hearted, half-budgeted, half-artistic anything. I’ve never half-way bumped a CD in my car for weeks on end. I’ve never told my wife that I half-way loved her. God forbid I ever half-way pick out my flat top afro on the way out the door. There is something special about creation that we enjoy. God went all the way in when he took six days to create this. His excellence was on display then and it remains on display now… and I like it. The more I consider how deep his artistry is, the more I dislike half-baked craftsmanship. What makes matters worse, is when people (though potentially well intentioned) attempt to represent God through art, but lack the effort and creativity to display him excellently. This is what has kept me from being interested in viewing multiple “Christian Movies.”
Side Note: This is what keeps me in the studio re-writing verses.
Ok, now let me tell you what I love and enjoy. I love being able to confidently invite non-believers to see what we enjoy. Low key, I loved how Sway new that Andy Mineo had the best freestyles on that MTV Rapflix Cypha . I love how Tee-Bow led his locker-room humbly and won the trust of his teammates. I love how Sentrock keeps spraying themes of redemption juxtaposed on the cities’ streets. As I watched this movie I thought, this is funny, well shot, cleverly scripted, exciting for a non-action flick, and its theme of raising questions to things that Christians assume was clearly portrayed.
Once the movie was over I genuinely hoped that the good guys at Riot Films would continue in their cinematic excellence. This is the kind of renaissance that I hope would happen all over the artistic spheres. It was inspirational to see years of hard work pay-off. That’s crazy! In my curiosity, I wondered if this movie would even get expansive play in large theaters. What if what I saw made me happy thinking that the world could enjoy it, but the world would never see it? Would this creative story be made any less if only high school youth groups had exposure to it? Is this movie (though it took years to make) just a small step in the right direction on the journey of good Christian film? Can I expect to see the trailer when I’m smashing on some over-priced butter popcorn in the theater at the new Denzel movie in a few weeks?
As artists, our primary job is to make art. As an independent artist it also becomes my job to expose the art to an audience that might feel it. I’m reminded of a new article that boasted in the human discovery of another deep-sea creature that has never been seen before. That’s crazy! All this time God created something dope that we never even knew about. He worked on it, knew about it, thought it was good, but we had no idea that it even existed. What if there is someone whom, if given the opportunity, would love my music but they will never hear it or see my clever advertising. What if folks who have been exploited by the church, could use this movie to heal, but will never see the movie. Thankfully, God’s got this. He is creative, good, and cares about his own exposure so much that he has the whole earth full of his ultimately undeniable, shiny-type-of, know-it-when-you-see-it, Glory. I hope the best for Believe Me, and its reach into public theaters.