Filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick developed a love for making movies when they were just kids growing up in Georgia.
“When we were growing up we didn’t have a television for a while, but our parents would take us to see Disney films,” Stephen Kendrick told CBN News. “And so we got excited about wanting to get into filmmaking one day.”
The brothers said they were doing stop and go animation and flip books with their Hardy Boy books while at home.
“We got a little stop and go animation 8 mm camera — I think Alex was in fourth grade at the time — and then a video camera in our teens when they came out in the 80s,” Stephen said. “So it’s been part of our lives since the beginning.”
The brothers were raised by Christian parents. Their dad was a preacher and their mom was a teacher.
That is why the Kendrick brothers are especially passionate about producing films with a gospel message.
Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, gave Alex and Stephen the opportunity to put their film practice to use by helping with the church’s media ministry.
Today they serve as associate pastors at the church.
“We love our church family at Sherwood,” Stephen said. “They’ve been very supportive of us from the beginning.”
Their first film called “Flywheel” tells the story of a dishonest used car salesman who comes to grips with his need for God.
It was produced on a bare-bones budget and ran in a local theater in the Kendricks’ hometown for six weeks.
The filmmakers went on to write and produce three other films, which Alex directed.
“Facing the Giants,” “Courageous,” and “Fireproof” have grossed nearly $80 million at the box office, with a combined budget of less than $4 million.
“Fireproof,” a movie about restoring marriage, starring actor Kirk Cameron, became the highest grossing independent film of 2008.
The movie’s accompanying devotional, Love Dare, has sold more than 3.5 million copies.
The success of these little-known Christian filmmakers has left Hollywood scratching its head. The Kendricks say prayer is the key to all they have been able to accomplish.
“Every one of our movies is a whole string of miracles where the Lord would step up and provide exactly what we needed,” Stephen explained. “The cast, the crew, the locations the protection, the story line, the truths to communicate so when we look up on the scene, when we look up on the screen, and we see the Body of Christ.”
They admit that it makes no difference what level of talent you develop and that ultimately true power comes from God.
“No amount of skill can manufacture the favor of God,” Alex said.
“We need the Lord’s favor to say I want to bless this film where the Lord says ‘I’m going to do things you cannot do in your own power.'”
CBN News was invited on the set of the latest Kendrick film in Charlotte, North Carolina. The movie, known only as “Kendrick Movie 5,” encourages Christians around the globe to pray.
“This time it was on the power of prayer and to remind believers that we must not only pray but sometimes do battle in prayer,” Alex explained.
The film features best-selling author, Bible teacher and daughter of Pastor Tony Evans, Priscilla Shirer.
Shirer, who makes her big screen debut in the film, told CBN News what it was like working on the set with the sibling filmmakers.
“We have just had a great time — getting the job done but just being light hearted and fun in the process and to see their patience,” she said.
She bragged that, as director, Alex demonstrated extraordinary patience.
“He’s shown us what leadership is,” she said.
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SOURCE: CBN News