How Making “The Drop Box” Transformed Director Brian Ivie’s Life

Pastor Jong-rak Lee, Brian Ivie (The Drop Box Film/Focus on the Family)
Pastor Jong-rak Lee, Brian Ivie (The Drop Box Film/Focus on the Family)

“The Drop Box” is about a South Korean pastor who built a mailbox for abandoned babies in Seoul, South Korea. Brian actually learned about the story through an article on the front page of the LA Times in June of 2011.

After reading through the article titled, “South Korean Pastor Tends Unwanted Flock” several times, all I could think was, “If I don’t do something, nobody else will.” Brian emailed Pastor Lee who personally responded to his emails with a Google translated response which basically said, “I don’t know what it means to make a documentary film, but you can come stay at my house if you want.” Brian wanted to make a film to help those babies, but he also wanted to be extremely famous. He and his friends began to raise money for the film. They raised $80,000 and then flew a team of 11 high school and college students 6,000 miles—few with legitimate film experience—to South Korea to film the movie.

While making the film, Brian’s heart and motives began to change. He even became a Christian. Brian hopes the film will allow people to experience God’s adopting love as a Father because that’s what changed his life. He also hopes people will be impacted by the film’s emphasis on the value and importance of all human life.

At 22, Brian won the Jubilee Award and it’s $101,000 prize at the 8th annual San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival in 2013. In his acceptance speech, Brian admitted that movies had defined his life for 21 years. He had made them his god, and it failed him. He says, “I’m done with that story. I’m done with that idol. And I promise in the fear of God that I will steward this investment, because I would rather tell the plainest truth with $100,000 than the most sophisticated technological lie with ten million dollars or one hundred million dollars.”

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