If Mel Gibson’s movie about the death of Jesus could rock Hollywood, breaking down doors for the gospel and new generations of Christian filmmakers, imagine what a motion picture about Christ’s resurrection could do.
That’s why the makers of “The Resurrection,” the unofficially dubbed “sequel” to Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” are building a grassroots movement – and looking for you – to help create a film that proclaims not only the love of Christ, but also His triumph over the grave.
“The real power of Christianity is the risen Jesus,” explains the executive producer of “The Resurrection,” Hollywood veteran David Wood. “Even though we all know that Christ went to the cross for our sins, it’s really the power of Him resurrecting, which is the power of who we as Christians truly are. This second story is about this. It’s a story about love and hope. This is a much more positive story.”
To make the $65 million movie project a reality – and to see its impact spread globally – however, the team behind “The Resurrection” is taking a revolutionary approach to making the film.
“Normally when you make a movie,” Wood told WND, “you raise money from your investors, get a script, hire everybody, shoot your movie and then you market it for five to six months before it’s released.”
But the team behind “The Resurrection” is flipping that process on its head, starting with the marketing before a single actor or cameraman or even script is on board.
“God directed us to begin marketing the film now, doing interviews, getting people excited, so that He could start drawing people to the project,” Wood said. “The whole idea was to invite the church around the world to come help us, come pray, come engage, where people could be involved in process.”
The Resurrection Project, therefore, is taking a unique, participatory approach to filming “The Resurrection.” The team is already talking to church and parachurch organizations, investors, Christians in Hollywood, and is now reaching out to the church at large to become what they call “spiritual producers” in the film.
The film’s website explains a spiritual producer is “an individual who has pledged to pray for the Resurrection Project, donated and spread the word (i.e. via Facebook, Twitter, email, word of mouth).”
But more than just looking for prayer partners and investors, the Resurrection Project is inviting the spiritual producers to get involved in the process, including contests for submitting script ideas, helping to select the director and cast, appointing screenwriters and more. They’re even planning an opportunity to win a trip for two to the movie set … in Israel.
A brief message of invitation from Wood can be seen below:
“I envisioned a film that could unite the church globally,” Wood told WND. “Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion of the Christ’ did that to a degree, but I felt there’s a second part of the story that needed to be told.”
Wood, therefore, set out to make his film differently. He explained to WND that in his 30 years in moviemaking – 20 years “working for wrong side,” as he explained, “and 10 working for God” – he’s seen far too often the “dark and controlling system of Hollywood,” and subjecting a story this important to that system was not going to happen.
“We feel like we need to steward this thing, to follow God instead of the typical Hollywood path,” Wood said. “I’ve never been on a project like this before, because God really wants to be in control of this thing. Day to day, He’s bringing people, relationships, technology, things we couldn’t have organized ourselves.”
For example, Wood related, “If you saw the movie ‘Avatar,’ one of key guys that helped make that and oversaw the 3D effects was Craig Tanner. He and his wife, Gina, heard about the Resurrection Project, called, and asked if we had thought about doing the film in 3D. We got together, had a meeting, and now we realize God wants this film in 3D, and we have one of best guys on planet to help oversee the 3D production.”
The effort to reach out and get the worldwide church involved won’t end when the movie is “in the can,” either. Wood explained that in addition to a few premieres in select theaters, when the film’s ready to go, it will be released in a global online launch.
“We will stream it live to churches, homes, schools, hand-held devices, such as smart phones, tablets, computers and laptops around the globe,” the film’s website boasts. “By using this streaming technology, this will be a major feature film release on a worldwide scale that has never been done before.”
“From cell phones showing it in China to churches in Australia to theaters in London, I think God could use this film as catalyst to bring the church together at a level never seen before, not just around a movie but in a unity of church relationships,” Wood told WND.
“If you look at Facebook, they used college campuses to drive people to their site,” Wood explained. “By doing the marketing of the film first and creating the wider Resurrection Project, we’re already driving people to a web platform, providing a place where the church can anticipate and talk about the film, where they have a safe environment to share and pray together. We believe in couple years, we could have 500 million people or more engaged in this web platform, even before the movie comes out.
“Then from that platform,” Wood said, “we could take that and promote another movie or book or news or any number of things. Some of the technology is already there, and we’re building the site in the background – its streaming capability, for example – and we’re partnering with those who have done this before, so we’re not inventing the technology ourselves. By the time of the movie release, this will all be up and running.”
It’s an ambitious project – to get diverse voices from the church around the world involved in a major motion picture, to launch it outside the typical Hollywood gatekeepers, to stream the film internationally, to launch a Christian film “Facebook” – but Wood explained he’s on a mission.
“I will not stop until this movie gets made,” Wood told WND. “I believe the world needs to hear about the resurrection. There have been lots of stories of Jesus on the cross, but not after, and that’s the most important part of the story!
“We will not stop – two years, five years, ten – whatever it takes,” he continued. “We’re already meeting with major people. Everybody wants to see this movie get made. It’s not a challenge of raising money, but of allowing God to get the right people involved to make it a reality.”