A beautiful story… I wish stories like this received more publicity.Posted by admin
NOTE here that I am posting an email from Steve Taylor – not my writing below, his. Steve Taylor is the director of Blue Like Jazz, Blue Like Jazz was originally a great book written by Donald Miller. I recommend both the movie and the book.
An Unexpected Phone Call
by Steve Taylor
I got a most unexpected call Saturday night. It was from Alex Kendrick, director of a string of hit movies from Sherwood Pictures. He was warm, humble and generous on the call, and we spoke for over twenty minutes.
He explained how he and his brother/filmmaking partner Stephen had no prior knowledge that their church’s Executive Pastor (who is also an Executive Producer on their movies) had issued the edict last year that I described in a previous blog, wherein he let it be known that anybody who worked on Blue Like Jazz would not be working on future Sherwood Baptist movies. Alex told me that, while he and his brother are members of the church and have worked closely with this pastor in the past, they disagreed with his decision, and he further confirmed that none of them, including the pastor, have seen Blue Like Jazz.
I was grateful for both the call from Alex and the spirit behind it. Without putting words in his mouth, I got the sense that he was as surprised by their pastor’s edict as I was. I think it was a difficult phone call for Alex to make—he wanted to distance himself from the edict without distancing himself from the man—so I didn’t press Alex for more details beyond the fact that it happened and the Kendrick Brothers weren’t involved.
As I’ve stated before, I have great respect for what Alex and his brother have accomplished as filmmakers. Making movies is hard. They’ve had extraordinary success using very limited resources, and each time they do it they get better. We’ve had a number of their fans tell us how much they liked Blue Like Jazz, and Alex and I agreed that there are a variety of ways for Christians to approach storytelling. We’re humbled and grateful that he reached out to us in such a direct and personal way.
Near the end of our conversation, I asked Alex if he wanted me to do a follow-up blog relating our discussion, and he said he’d leave that to my discretion. So since my assumptions about them proved wrong, I want to relay the gracious spirit behind the phone call of a Christian brother who wanted to make things right.