Continuing with my coverage of speakers and filmmakers that will be at GloryReelz Christian Film Festival, I’m excited to introduce filmmaker Gary Bosek whose film The Messenger’s Box is one of the festival finalists.
When did you first discover a love for film?
I started in Public Access doing a sketch comedy/variety show, We incorporated short film segments into the show, and that’s where I discovered my love for storytelling through film.
What faith-based films have you been a part of?
My own, The Messenger’s Box. As well, I played the Leader of the Roman Empire in Polycarp with Henline Productions. There have been other productions, but these are the main ones. I plan on doing more. In fact, we are in the final writing stages of our next film.
What led you to go from acting in front of the camera to working behind the scenes?
I have done it from the beginning. When I first started, I was often the director, the cinematographer, as well as talent.
What is your favorite job – acting, directing, or writing?
That is a tough question. I would say I enjoy acting and directing equally. I don’t enjoy writing as much, though I do enjoy it, just not as much as the process of directing or acting.
Tell us about The Messenger’s Box and your involvement in it.
This film was written by Janie Smith, Produced by Bob Smith and Brian Chambers. I was the director as well as chief editor. We never reached our funding goals, but decided to go forward with it in faith.
The producers and I decided from the beginning that this movie would be for God’s Glory, and in doing so we were blessed with every resource we needed despite the micro-budget. I expect as our budgets increase and God has his hand in our projects, that they will continue to get even better, but the bottom line is we put our Lord first and foremost before everything. The movie was shot over a years time due to the small budget as well as the fact a lot of our cast was high school kids and they were only available on weekends. So we shot mostly on weekends, the first three Saturdays of every month to be exact. The fact that everyone remained committed and focused on the film for well over a year, on a volunteer basis, speaks volumes to what God can do if you put him first and the dedicated people he will bless the project with.
The script was changed quite a bit from the original, as we raised the stakes and augmented the “hero’s journey” , and even added some scenes with comedic relief (I have a big background in sketch comedy) within the realistic confines of the budget, but we remained true to the central story. It was all truly an act of love from cast to crew, as we even got many extras in the area to show up and dedicate their time.
What do you hope that people will get out of the movie?
As with all movies I do , I hope to move people at a profound level-in a way that glorifies the Lord. The “box” is the central focus of the movie, but if you really watch and listen to whats happening , its not about the box at all, but rather the love of God and what HE can do under all circumstances.
What advice would you offer someone wanting to become a director?
First learn the production process. Edit, act, do audio, be a script supervisor, do it all. When you learn how to edit a film, you can then understand what you need to do to put it together. When you know what an actor goes through, you can then become better at communicating with actors. But its important to understand that directing is so much more than technical skills. Its also people skills, organizational skills, and knowing how to talk to people, bring out the best in them, and collaborate. If you don’t come in with a plan, you’re heading for disaster. At the same time, nobody likes to work for a dictator, so involving the appropriate people in the creative process at the appropriate times is important. This is key, so study set etiquette, hierarchy, and protocol so you know when it’s being broken and who to fire. (just kidding about that one) but do study it-because it’s the oil in the machine and it has to be right for the creative process to fully reach its potential. There is nothing that drags down a film production process than when there is no plan, and no hierarchy and improper etiquette. Once these things are mastered, then we can get creative, and it’s an amazing thing.
Don’t just start directing things, take the time to learn the process first. You can learn the hard way, or take the advice of people who have done it. So always be willing to listen and learn. Be teachable no matter how much you think you know or where you are at in your career. The minute you think you know it all, is the minute you should quit doing films. We are always learning. A humble , servant heart is important , not only in directing but in life in general.
Just looking forward to our next film . We are in the last phases of the writing process, and the producers have already talked to Pure Flix about our next movie. The Producers are also in talks with investors to make the film come to fruition. I am looking forward to it. It will be another faith-based film.
Photos courtesy of Photography by Debra.