(All this week, WP Films has been making each of their films free to watch for one day. Today is the final day, where they are showing their newest movie, Finger of God 2. You can watch for free at wpfilm.com/holy-sharathon/).
I dreamed up the idea for Finger of God 2 sometime in 2016. I knew the 10th anniversary of the release of my first film, Finger of God, was coming in 2018, and I wanted to create something that would dovetail with that but also further the story somehow. The original idea was to travel to most of the places we had filmed for the movie and see what had changed 10 years later, but somehow that didn't seem cinematic enough. It would have been interesting for the hard-core fans, but I wanted to make a new, big experience for people—something that carried the same DNA as the first one.
At the time I was working with my good friend, Will Hacker and was trying to teach him everything I had learned from making these films. He helped substantially on my Adventures With God television series, and I knew I wanted to help him make his first film. When I made the decision to make a completely new film with Finger of God 2, I knew Will was the guy to direct it.
My reasoning was pretty straightforward. I knew I couldn't direct this movie, because I had changed so much in the 10 years since I had made the first one. My questions about God had shifted, and my concerns and curiosity about miracles had shifted as well. To me, it would have been somewhat disingenuous for me to direct the movie, because the kinds of questions that needed to drive a film like that simply weren't in me anymore. Also, the original Finger of God was made on a shoestring budget by a guy who had never made a movie before, and it was important to me to have someone in a similar position tell the next phase of that story.
Will checked both of those boxes. He was just coming out of being a part of a mainline evangelical megachurch in Chicago, and while he fully believed in the miraculous, he still had loads of questions about it, as well as a few major concerns with the charismatic community in general. He was the perfect type of skeptic needed for this movie: one who was willing to suspend his own disbelief in an effort to find the truth, and someone who personally needed answers in a big way. I'd been mentoring him for years, he'd been a part of some of my shoots, so he had some idea of how to go about filming a movie like this, and he was hungry for his own adventures with God.
I helped him in the development of the concept and where/what he'd be shooting, then basically kicked him out the door for nine months. He shot the entire film with a crew of two, just him and his director of photography, Mike Griggs. I had next to nothing to do with the shoot itself; I was too busy finishing up my two TV series, plus I wanted him to operate completely free of pressure or my influence. This needed to be his film, not mine.
After shooting, Will spent the next couple of months putting the edit together, which is perhaps the most important part of the entire process for these films. This is where you find the story, the heartbeat of the movie, and if you mess this part up, your movie is dead on arrival. After two months, he flew from his home in Reno, Nevada, to my place in South Carolina, and we sat down to watch Finger of God 2 for the first time.
I honestly don't know who was more nervous at that screening, Will or me. The rough cut is the most crucial part of the post-production process for these films because even though they are never perfect, they should show that there is something at the heart of the film that is both entertaining and powerful. As long as we have that essence, we know we'll ultimately wind up with a great movie.
Ninety minutes later, the lights went up, and I had never been prouder of my friend. Will had crafted a film that captured some of the spirit of the original, but he had also made it uniquely his. He revisited some of the places I had filmed in the original, but he had also forged his own journey. We still had some work to make this thing really sparkle, but man, Will had definitely hit a home run. I was more excited to show the world this film than even my own movies!
And now, you get the opportunity to see this amazing movie for free. All week long, we've been making each of my movies available to be seen all around the world, and now it's time to show off our latest creation. Hopefully you've been able to see the other films in this series this week, but even if you haven't, please don't miss this opportunity to watch Finger of God 2. I pray it blesses you, challenges you and draws you closer to a loving Father who is worth everything we have to offer.
You can watch Finger of God 2 free today, April 21, at wpfilm.com/holy-sharathon/ .
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