Putting their faith in film: ‘Jackson’s Run’ feature begins shooting in Southern Indiana
By Tom May
Lights. Camera. Action!
Don’t be surprised if you hear those words as you are driving around Floyd and Clark counties during the first two weeks of June.
Southern Indiana is providing the backdrop for “Jackson’s Run,” a movie written and produced by two Hoosiers — Chris Robinson and Daniel Lennox. The movie follows the coming-of-age struggles of Jackson and the turmoil it causes to those closest to him. The film weaves a thread of faith into its real-life tapestry and fits the genre carved out by such recent Christian movies “Fireproof” and “Courageous.”
Christian movies like these normally have a couple of strong weekends at the box office, but usually draw nowhere near the numbers that a major studio release would garnish. The Christian movie industry looks to perform a much deeper ministry through DVDs and supporting materials. The movie provides the basis for worship and small group experiences. Discussion guides, curriculum and devotionals accompany the release of the DVD.
Robinson said churches are already inquiring about the availability of such material and support for the “Impact Challenge” — a significant church outreach described in the movie. The real goal of the movie is to encourage people to look to God in the midst of struggle and difficult times. Faith provides the direction when the path seems hidden.
But even Christian movie producers know there are no “HOLLYWOOD” letters carved into the hillside leading up to Floyds Knobs. Why choose a setting near Jeffersonville for this story?
Robinson, a Floyd Central and Indiana University Southeast grad, explained it was a combination of his interest in his home area and the fingerprints of God.
“I am not one who sees God directing every step of my life, but the way he brought Dan (Lennox) and I together and the way he cleared the path for our partnering with Eastside Christian Church was humbling,” he said.
Filming for the movie begins at 7 p.m. today at an Uproar! concert at Eastside’s main auditorium. The concert plays a pivotal role in the development of Jackson’s faith and will be the first scene captured.
Some of the featured performers at the concert include Exit Up Band, Flyfaith and Rachel May. May, a graduate of Christian Academy of Louisville and member of Eastside Church, is excited to be a part of the concert.
“As someone just starting to break into the music business, I am grateful for the opportunity to have this kind of stage. But to be able to present music in a setting that draws people to faith is an even greater experience — it’s an honor,” she said.
The concert is free and open to the public for those who would like a fun music experience and the chance to be part of the movie. Filming will continue for the next two weeks around the area. Each day will start with a time of devotion and prayer at the church to set the tone for the day and to evoke God’s blessing and care for the venture.
Chris Robinson was emphatic about the church’s important role in the overall ministry of the movie.
“It’s important to us that we fall under the authority of a group of church leaders. A church’s support is more than just money,” he said. “We need their prayer, their fellowship, their direction, their strong message of the gospel into the community. We prayed long and hard in hopes to find the right church to work with.”
When the opportunity was presented to the church, Eastside Christian Senior Minister Dave Hastings was glad to partner with this media event.
“The movie has a message of redemption. That’s the message of the church — the message of Jesus Christ — to apply grace to the messes we get ourselves into so that the future is more hopeful,” he said.
As summer approaches and promises blockbuster performances and long lines at the box office, Hollywood strives to rake in millions in profits. And in that summer’s heat, nestled quietly in Southern Indiana, a director will shout “Lights!” hoping that not only will the light make the movie picture clear, but the path to God as well.
Tom May is the minister of discipleship at Eastside Christian Church in Jeffersonville.