A Prayer of Shameless Audacity
A couple of years ago, I had just completed the movie Faith, Hope & Love and I knew it was a really good movie, but I also knew that we were not a financial backed studio that could spend millions of dollars advertising and promoting the movie.
So, when it came time to pray, I always found myself avoiding asking God to help me get the movie out into the public’s eye.
Because I didn’t want to ask God for something I knew was impossible.
I didn’t see any way that our little, independent film could be seen by millions of people.
Then, I read Luke 11:5-8:
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[a] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
That was one of those moments where you are reading the bible and think to yourself, “Wait a second. Has this verse always been in the bible? It feels like God wrote this just for me.”
So, the next night we were screening the movie in Baltimore, and I got up after the audience had watched the movie and loved it. I said that I had prayed about the release of the movie and something great was going to happen with it.
Now, I had absolutely no idea how that was going to happen, but I couldn’t get those words – shameless audacity – out of my mind.
That following weekend, the movie opened in Baltimore and did horribly. Hardly anyone came to the theater!
What was I to make of this?
I just kept praying. Then, a few weeks later, I was on my way to a screening in Boston, when my phone rang. I pulled my car over. A man I was working with told me that Netflix had seen the movie and liked it and wanted to license it for two years.
Netflix has nearly 200 million subscribers.
We signed the deal with Netflix, and they asked me when I would like them to begin offering the movie to their subscribers. Every filmmaker I know would have told them to start showing it immediately.
But, for some reason, I told them to wait six months until Valentine’s Day. They were surprised, but thought it was a good idea.
Valentine’s Day rolled around, and they began showing Faith, Hope & Love. Days later, something happened that changed everything.
Governments around the world announced they would be shutting down their countries and within days everyone was inside, and, in many cases… watching Netflix.
Suddenly, countless people were watching our movie and that’s the way it would be for the next two years. I don’t remember a day when our movie wasn’t in the top 5 Faith-based movies on Netflix for two years, before it left Netflix, a few months ago.
It’s amazing what God does, when you give Him control.
My new Faith-based movie, A Marriage Made in Heaven (staring myself, Tom Arnold, Vivica Fox, Paul Rodriguez, Connie Sellecca, and Elisabeth Rohm), will be coming out in August. One of the ideas I came up with recently was having a “Virtual Premier” so that anyone, from around the world, can “walk the Red Carpet from their Living Room Carpet” and then watch the Premier screening of the movie with us.
What do you think of that idea?
It feels like another prayer with “shameless audacity” to me. I have no idea if I can make something like that happen, but something tells me this is the direction God wants me to go.
And, so, I go…
I’ll keep you posted on how it all unfolds.
Keep the faith…