One of the things I learned about storytelling from the Bible is that sometimes a person is important, sometimes a situation is important. Some bible stories start off with “Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found in Israel.” (1 Samuel 9:2) This tells us Saul is key to the story. Then there are bible stories like “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak,” (Matthew 9:20) This points us to the situation, and doesn’t bother us with names.
In telling the story of Family Tree, sometimes the character was important, sometimes the situation was important. There were days when the actors and crew looked at me like I had lost my mind. I would say, “Don’t worry about the line, just do this!” and I would give them some piece of action to complete. Sometimes these jokers came with their own actions. There was a lot of laughing. Some of the characters you are going to remember, some of the situations are going to make you laugh for decades. There are many standout moments in the picture, but I know an amazing ensemble was formed. You will see it.
I enjoyed this story. I enjoyed watching the actors bring it to life. But I loved watching what God did with the story that went beyond my original vision for it. Every person who participated brought something that was significant. It was cool watching them become a family. As we were wrapping up, some hated to leave. They loved watching each other work. Only God’s presence can bond people like that. It was a privilege to lead them.
I confess that I prayed over every actor and all of the crew before we ever turned the cameras on. I spent the last 30 to 40 days on my knees praying for His intervention. Upon getting up from that position, I learned to accept and receive what He delivered, regardless of if it looked like what I imagined. I trust Him. He knows what He’s doing.
We finished principal photography in June. We will spend July working on graphics. It will head to the editors at the beginning of August. I know that He who began a good work in us will see it through to the finish. I can’t wait to share it with you.
Peace and Hair Grease.