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.
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.