You may recall awhile back I included in one of the posts I wrote for Miranda (she allows me to contribute every now and then, she’s just that awesome) I committed myself to making a movie. Since then, there have been days of excitement, pangs of terror, and many the head banging while mumbling, “How could I have been so arrogantly stupid to do that?” However, with the steady hand of my wife on my back and her encouraging boot on my butt, I have been immersing myself in filmmaking books, online DIY filmmaking tutorials and trying to figure out how to actually do this and not end up with something little better than a video fit only for posting on YouTube in the “Epic Fail” section.
We are still committed to making this film, in fact we have schedule ourselves to shoot the last week in March. I have a production crew, actors and equipment. All I need now is…to know what I’m doing! However, the reason I share all this with you is to put forth something I’ve been thinking while wading through this experience. A film is really just story telling at 24 frames per second (how fast the typical Hollywood camera shoots). Life sure happens a lot faster than that though, doesn’t it?
One of the “rules” of filmmaking I see in every book has to do with editing. Every author on the subject says the same thing; however long you think your film needs to be, cut it by two thirds. So, in essence, once I have recorded this film project I’m so foolishly rushing into, I need to eliminate 75% of what I have to get to the golden 25% of the story’s essentials…it sounds like insanity and I know I’m going to have a very hard time following that advice. However, these people who have been making professional films for decades are unwavering in their counsel to cut, cut, cut and when you think your done cut some more. Eliminate everything, no matter how cute, funny, daring or awesome it is that doesn’t focus and drive the audience to the spotlight of the story. Suddenly, it hit me: that’s exceptionally good advice…for life.
I started looking over my shoulder in my past and evaluating how much of my life has been taken up by things that really didn’t help keep me focused on the main theme of my life–mainly Jesus and God’s plan. Oh, there have been lots of things fast and furious, close encounters, notes in bottles and beautiful minds, but I am amazed and a bit saddened by how many things I have allowed to take my focus off the goal of the story–my story of living the life God had planned for me even before I was born (see Psalms 139:16). I dare to say I could cut out about 75% of my story that doesn’t really help support the storyline I want to tell with my life.
So here is my question; Up to this moment in time, what story does your life tell? What things would you like to edit out and leave on the cutting room floor? Perhaps more importantly, from this moment on what story do you want it to tell? God, the greatest producer of all time, can masterfully edit your past, frame and focus your present, and already has a shot list for your future. All we need to do is get ourselves out the director’s chair and wait for Him to call, “Action!”