By: Richard Gazowsky
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One of the fascinating things about God is His method of taking you on a uniquely adventurous journey. He always gives you a destination, but very rarely does He explain how to get there. It’s an awesome way for an adventure to begin! In 1995, the Lord started me on an adventurous journey to start a movie company. Seven years later I discovered that not only was going the wrong way, but the company I was attempting to build would end up becoming a total embarrassment!
The thing that shocked me, was that God cared enough for me to tell me what I was doing wrong. And, oh boy, did I learn a lot in the process! It truly was a training pathway. After that incident, God sent me on a second journey (and lasted eight years), which ended last year. It was a search to discover what true excellence was, or you could say, finding the gold that was tried in the fire.
Here I am, after 17 years, starting the adventure again. The goal is still the same, to launch a movie company. But wow! The journey, the results, and the destination have completely and radically changed. I now understand what God means by true quality. I’m also seeing the kind of time it takes to develop that degree of quality. It makes everything change! I feel what is happening today is similar to what transpired during the period of the Renaissance in Italy in the 1500’s.
There were two inventions that caught the attention of the artisans of that age. The first had to do with the discovery of a revolutionary new type of paint. Novel oils were created, from the pigments of flowers, which would keep their brilliance for over a thousand years. Before this time, oil paints would lose their luster in the daylight in less than 40 years, so there was less motivation to paint masterpieces that would last for generations. The new paints radically changed everything.
The second invention was the understanding of perspective of drawing through the addition of mathematics and geometric angles. Artists learned how pictures diverged to the horizontal line. This gave them the ability to draw people and buildings that looked natural and real, with the accuracy of real life. It was this second invention that gave such a stark realism to their artwork. It was unfortunate for those previous men, of exceptional wisdom and talent, who spent years perfecting a painting ~ knowing that it would last not much longer than their lifetimes.
But now, five hundred years later, the breathtaking transcendence of such great works, as the Sistine Chapel and The Last Supper, look as vibrant as the day they were originally created. Generations upon generations have gazed admiringly at those masterpieces and relish their unmatched beauty. Yet it’s a paradox that the skills of the past masters have disappeared, even though artisans today have the accumulated ability to perform even better. The reason is, very few masters are willing to spend four years to paint one ceiling. But during the Renaissance there was a country full of such dedicated craftsmen.
I believe that we are seeing the same type of transformation occurring today, only it’s regarding the art of movie-making ~ which is very similar to art of painting except it’s in the form of film. In the past the quality of a movie was able to last maybe forty years on celluloid film. But the invention of digital technology has given filmmakers the ability to make permanent record of the color and richness of a moving picture ~ far beyond the detail that celluloid could ever capture.
A second revolutionary invention is the ability to reproduce living practical sets, where only through high resolution does the perspective appear genuine (notice that I said practical sets, not digital sets). Don’t let the digital sets fool you. Cheap reproductions also appeared in Renaissance paintings, but they all wound up in the garbage, just like old video games do today.
The thing that will make this new kind of movie-making different will be the unique quality of the sets, cameras, acting, and sound. This gold line will infuse a movie with such quality that its life-impacting story will last for a myriad of generations. I believe the movies that will be made in the next forty years will literally redefine the generations to come. Story properties will become golden assets and will characterize the highly prized capital of future billionaires.
Never have there been financial opportunities set before businesses as there are today. And, like the Italian Renaissance, it’s a chance for godly people to tell the greatest stories that have ever been told. I think it’s time we get busy!
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Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called The Voice of Pentecost, and is also president of Christian WYSIWYG Filmworks. He has directed the films, “Guardians” and “The Roman Trilogy.”