"The Second Chance" – a film by Steve Taylor


Taylor is “framing” the Church. And that’s a good thing. Posted by Hello

After Steve Taylor gave the first-ever public screening of his movie The Second Chance to a small audience at the Biola Media Conference last weekend, he took questions, praise, and criticism from the crowd. I was there, and I’m so glad I was.

It was a rough cut, with a “Soundtrack by The iPod” (clever) that served as temp tracking, and it still needs some editing finesse, color correction, and some tough final decisions on certain transitions. As usual, Taylor was humble and funny and forthcoming about the artistic process. He revealed that he and his wife have put their house up for 1/3 of the costs of the film. (What a transitional time for them… they’ve also just adopted a daughter!)

I wish I could go into detail, but I need to be fair–the film isn’t finished, and Taylor asked the press not to review it. So a review will have to wait until the final product is released.

But I will say that if you’re worried about having Michael W. Smith in the lead role (and I was … Could he act?), you can relax. He’s well-suited to the role he’s been given. Even better, Jeff Obafemi Carr shines in his role as an inner-city church minister.


“The Second Chance” stars Michael W. Smith and jeff obafemi carr. Posted by Hello

Infuze Magazine has an interview with Taylor that’s worth reading. And I’ll be posting my own interview with him when the film comes around. What a thrill it was for me to have an hour to sip iced mochas and talk about movies one-on-one with a guy who was one of my heroes in high school… and still is. (He even insisted on buying the coffees, against my protests. I told him that this only ensured we’d have to meet again to even the score.)

The most interesting aspect of the film’s release will be this: How will Christians respond to it? You and I both know how well the church handles criticism. But one of the highest functions of art is to hold up a mirror and let us see our own reflection. If that reflection is dismaying, so be it. Taylor’s been holding up mirrors to Christian culture since I Want to Be a Clone, and he’s still serving us in that way, although he’s traded in his satirical switchblade for a fuller, bolder, and ultimately more compassionate approach.

Stay tuned…

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Christian

    Man, do I feel dumb. Sorry ’bout that. Thanks for clarifying.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Christian,
    Thanks, but this piece was written by J. Robert Parks. I’ll pass along the praise to him.

  • Christian

    Jeffrey: Sorry it’s taken me so long to comment on this post, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the way you brought these three films together. I’ve seen only one of them, but you’ve given me solid context for the other two. Very nicely done!

  • jasdye

    j. roberts parks is in chicago?

    winged migration, i’m venturing, would have been much better on (and exclusively on) the big screen.

    by watching it on my computer at home (late nights, at that), although i marveled, it was not quite what it should have been, for one. the other killing point is that i have an insatiable desire to learn (as i’m sure most of us do) “how do they do that?”

    in all honestly, ignorance is bliss. but, every doc has that ‘wrangling’ factor. the movie that the producers are drawing out of the characters necessitates that. ‘American Movie,’ ‘Hoop Dreams,’ ‘Stevie,’ ‘Spellbound,’ and, yes, even ‘Farenheit 9/11′ were created works not without some small degree of ‘wrangling.’

  • Sara Z.

    Yeah, I know what you mean. Still, I like to think the birds were doing what they would have naturally done, and the wrangling made it possible for me to see it.
    Then again, I very well may be deluded.

  • Julie

    Sara writes:
    but still think WINGED MIGRATION is a more glorious and moving docu on a similar subject.

    I liked Winged Migration until I saw the behind-the-scenes stuff on the DVD, which then made it all seem like nothing more than elaborate goose-wrangling. Granted, there are some nice shots, but knowing how staged it all was took a lot of the magic out of it for me.

  • Sara Z.

    I can’t wait to see GRIZZLY MAN. Sounds like it’s got everything I love in a documentary. I liked PENGUINS all right, but still think WINGED MIGRATION is a more glorious and moving docu on a similar subject.

  • Anonymous

    jeff, my name is kip. i am in florida. i am so glad to have found this sight,and learn of the latest on steve taylor. i too have been a HUGE fan since day one.back in 1983(i want to be a clone tour)
    i was blessed to be a restraunt guide(after steves concert both his band and rez band wanted to go out to eat and i hopped on thier tour bus and led them to the nearest i hop( IT WAS THE BEST I COULD AT 2AM)ANYWAY since that time i have alway;s been a fan .
    can you tell me if steve said anything about future. IS HE GOING TO STAY IN FILM? OR WILL HE TOUR AGAIN? please e mail me at scootersassy@yahoo .com and thank you for your time KIP

  • Alex

    Jeff–thanks for that!!!


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