Yesterday, we caught a glimpse into the vision behind Come What May and the incredible ways God worked to bring together the right people at the right time. Today, Mr. Escobar joins us again to share more about why and how other homeschool students can become a part of the important Christian film industry.
Pajama School: Why do you think it’s important for homeschoolers to be involved in the film industry?
Escobar: The Lord has already blessed the homeschooling movement immensely by allowing it to succeed way beyond what government schools could accomplish in educating our children. In effect homeschoolers have turned the public school monopoly upside down. Who but homeschoolers are better qualified to now turn the Hollywood monopoly right side up?
But it’s not really a battle against Hollywood we are fighting. It’s much bigger than Hollywood. We’re fighting against a humanist secular worldview that denies God, His truth, His sovereignty. It permeates everything now. It’s a Cosmic Battle. On our own, there is no way we can win this fight. All we can do is stand firm. To take a stand and let God fight the battle.
Pajama School: What qualities and skills should homeschool students focus on developing if they are interested in pursuing filmmaking?
Escobar: Every student who contacts us say they are “passionate” about filmmaking. That’s nice. But frankly that’s not good enough. That’s a given. What we look for is teachability, humility, and a servant attitude. We look for students who are serving their local church in a media ministry, for example, or are volunteering to do media work for charitable organizations.
Filmmakers are rebellious by nature. They think they have something important to say. They want that god-like power of creating something for the world to witness up on the big screen. The world nurtures that attitude by heralding the filmmaker as an artistic icon or genius. Christian filmmakers are not immune to this adulation. I see it all the time when a young filmmaker who’s never made a movie before will put “A Film by
” at the beginning of their 5-minute movie. Even the great filmmakers of the past never had the audacity to do that.
Christian filmmakers need to be the opposite of their secular counterpart. We need to be as good in our filmmaking skills and craftsmanship, but our heart must be one of servanthood not rebellion. We should not seek fame for ourselves but glory for Christ alone. Soli Deo Gloria!
Pajama School: If a homeschool student is seriously interested in getting into the film industry, what steps should they take to make that a reality?
Escobar: Get a real education in literature (so you know all the great stories), in English (so you can write or recognize good stories), in history (so you know the historical context for the great stories), in art history (so you can see the visual manifestations of classic literature done by the great masters). But only go to a Christian college that will teach these subjects from a Biblical worldview. Patrick Henry College (PHC) is a great school for filmmakers because they focus on the classics, storytelling skills, and leadership training. Then you need to take basic courses in accounting, marketing, and business finance. To be clear, PHC does not have a film school program. Their mandate is to shape culture and train leaders. That’s why PHC has the perfect environment for filmmakers. Look at your film training from God’s perspective, not the world’s point-of-view.
Another significant consideration is that film school training does not provide sufficient value for what you pay for, which could be $10,000 to $30,000 per year. All you do at film school is practice making short films or student films, which have no market value except for film festival recognition. You can get the same production training as you would get in film school by working on several feature films as a volunteer or intern. Save your film school money over a 4 year period and apply it to making your first full length feature film. By the way, no one cares whether you went to film school or not, employers will want to see your reel. That’s the proof of your competence.
This is some great advice from a homeschool Dad who has more than 20 years of experience in film, television, and interactive media. Tomorrow we’ll be wrapping up our interview with Mr. Escobar by looking at some future plans that are in the works.
Remember to enter the special giveaway for a chance to win your own free copy of the movie Come What May.