I just finished watching a movie that I have seen a few times before, but this time I watched it with the audio commentary on, listening to both the director and the two lead actors commenting on the movie. It was inspiring to hear the story behind the movie, to learn about the risks that were taken, and the dream of making a movie differently.
The movie is ‘Once’. It is truly unique but it involved a few risks in its making. The first was that the two lead actors, the guy and the girl, are musicians and not actors. The second was that it was shot on a relatively small budget: a mere $160,000. The third was that this movie could be best described as a modern-day musical, which, if you haven’t checked lately, is not the most popular genre of movies today.
But the result is a breathtaking movie with a real-life feel. Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová wrote all the songs for the movie and performed them as the lead actors. There are many things about this movie that could have kept it from becoming a success, but by being exceptional and unique and by sticking to his dream and vision as a moviemaker, Director John Carney has managed to come up with a movie that is both beautiful and unique.
The movie was successful, winning at Sundance and also an Academy Award. Not bad for a movie shot on a tiny budget and without “real” actors.
So, why am I writing this? ‘Once’ inspired and encouraged me with what I am starting as both a photographer and as someone who wants to see profound redemption and hope come to the nations through his life. If you haven’t looked, there are not many people who are doing what I am doing. I feel like I am wrestling with questions that few have before me. By doing two things that I love, and following my dreams rather than what others say, I believe that I will be able to do something that I both love but can also make a huge difference. This involves a lot of risk, both monetarily and emotionally. But I believe that the things that are truly exceptional and that make a difference in a world of mediocrity require both the dream and the risk.
So I am jumping off the edge and giving myself to these two things… I am glad you are following me on this journey.