Thursday, August 16, 2012

Finding answers at the Gideon

I’ve recently been perplexed as to how to move forward on a writing related matter.

When we become confused, sometimes, we just have to head for the hills.

And that’s what I did this week as I spent some time at the Gideon Film Festival--reconnected with old friends and made some wonderful new ones while there.

I arrived just in time to view the screening of the recently released October Baby Tuesday night, which was followed by a Q and A with Director/Writer Jon Erwin and Producer Cecil Stokes.

If you haven’t seen this powerful film, be sure and have tissues when you do, because it’s the story of a college woman who discovers her birth resulted from a failed abortion. Her search for answers moved me deeply.

Also enjoyed hearing from Jason Burkey during the Q and A who stars in October Baby and has just wrapped up his role in A Matter of Time, a film of my friend Christina Denton’s script now in post production.

Christina, I’m going to be in the front row when your movie comes out.

The next day I enjoyed a class with author, Jenny L. Cote and later sat in for a film shoot of one of her creating writing workshops. Loved it all, and learned a lot.
From left to right, Carla Williams, Spiritual Mom author and writer, Jenny Cote, me and Maria Lennon

As I took time out for a meal, longtime film studies professor Dr. Diane Howard sat down beside me. I’d never met her, and enjoyed our talk immensely, but later realized that God had used her words to bring clarity to the matter over which I’d been confused.

As always, I enjoyed catching up with Erica Lane, who’s in the midst of recording a patriotic album. Listen to her touching song, "Believe in America" here. Her husband, producer Kyle Saylors has filmed a series of sports biographies under the name, The Gamebreaker, which debut on Fox Sports this fall.

One of my roommates at the Gideon, Maria Lennon, has become a master of script adaptations, and was once more an award winner at the Gideon this year. My other roomie, LeAnn Morris shot an exquisite short film entitled, Treasures, nominated for best cinematography.
Chatted with prolific author Doug Peterson and actor Vanessa Hunter. Enjoyed her inspiring film, My Name is Paul.

I was thrilled to learn my friend, Michelle Cox, and her collaborator Rene Guttridge have just received a contract from Tyndale House for a novelization of a script Michelle wrote with Torry Martin and Marsall Younger. Their script, Eighteen Summers, and mine, Brave Girl were semi-finalists for the Kairos Prize in screenwriting this year, as well Allah's Fire, a script by Gideon presenter, Rusty Whitener.

Before I left, I had the opportunity to see again the much beloved actor at our house, Muse Watson (well known for his role as Mike Franks in NCIS).

On the way home, I realized that God had used the time I spent at the Gideon to dissolve my confusion, and I knew exactly what my next step needed to be.

Many thanks to Gideon directors, Rodney and Lori Marett. Rodney’s job took him to Iraq this year during the Gideon, and though we missed him much, Lori carried on in an amazing way. All of us at the Gideon owe them both a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices and hard work on our behalf.

Yes, sometimes we just need to head for the hills. Especially if those hills boast one of the finest Christian Media Arts Conferences and Film Festivals in the country. So grateful I went.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. 
 Psalm 121:1

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