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Audience of One (2009)
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Audience of One (2009)
Ten years ago, a pastor from the Voice of Pentecost Church in San Francisco received a prophetic whisper - a directive from God to make movies for the Lord. Using donations from his congregation, he slowly transformed his church into a fully functioning movie studio, and the production company Christian WYSIWYG Filmworks was born. After experimenting on several small projects, Pastor Richard Gazowsky announced he and his WYSIWYG crew were going to make a film entitled, "Gravity: The Shadow of Joseph", a $50 million biblical science fiction movie that would redefine the Hollywood epic.
AUDIENCE OF ONE is a documentary that chronicles the making of "Gravity". This verite-style film goes inside a Pentecostal church, where the charismatic Gazowsky leads his loyal cast and crew on an incredible journey that tests the limits of faith. From pre-production at their church, to shooting principal photography in Italy, to leasing an enormous studio on an island in the San Francisco Bay, AUDIENCE OF ONE keeps pace with an embattled church production looking to God in order to keep their dream alive. Full of humor and pathos, what transpires is a story of obsession, faith and delusion.
Audience of One (2009) | Preview
An Inside Outsider
HJ: You have mentioned, though, that you made friends with some of the people in the church and studio; what were those friendships like?
MJ: They were real.
HJ: You also said you walked a thin line of being and insider and an outsider.
MJ: I mean, that's the tricky part of being a documentary filmmaker is that you form this relationship with your subject, and that relationship, does it change when the camera is off and when it's on? Probably. Also something I'm always a little bit self-conscious about was, like, how much of the time, with the camera on or off, was I being insincere or superficial in order to get them to like me in order to continue to get access? And how much of the time was it just a true friendship based on real life? I think it was a bit of both at different times. There were times when I probably was not being a true friend in my own sense of my world and how I operate in that world, but I think most of the time I was just kind of being me. Yeah, I was filming them; I wanted to make sure I continued to get access and get them to like me, but that's kind of who I am. I'm a pretty likeable guy anyways. Most importantly, when I did spend time with these people, with the camera on and specifically with the camera off, and we were just talking about life, that's a very real experience and there is a real connection there.
So I don't keep in touch in the same way that I do with other friends from other parts of my life, but I still feel like I had positive relationships and experiences during that time. I think at the end of it, I was just so exhausted by making this film that to continue a relationship there was an extension of the film. I just needed a complete break, like a break-up with a girlfriend or something; you just need that clean break.
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