‘He Gets the Credit’: Kendrick Brothers Talk God’s Guidance in Moviemaking Career
By Movieguide® Contributor
Alex and Stephen Kendrick recently discussed their journey as filmmakers and how they continue to surprise Hollywood with their success with singer Chynna Phillips Baldwin.
From their first movie FLYWHEEL— made on a $20,000 budget and initially just created for their community in Albany, Georgia—they have continued to exceed expectations.
“There was nothing impressive about that movie. We didn’t know how to use the cameras. The camera gets out of focus. We just told people wear what you wear in your closet for wardrobe. Bring your own sack lunch,” Stephen told Baldwin on her podcast CALIFORNIA PREACHIN: HONESTLY SPEAKIN.
Despite their ragtag beginnings, FLYWHEEL sold over one million DVDs, opening the door to make their next two movies FACING THE GIANTS and FIREPROOF, earning $10.2 million and $33.5 million in sales, respectively.
Even with their success, they are aware of their critics and the pressure to conform to “Hollywood’s model of being subtle,” as Stephen puts it, to reach a wider audience.
“They say you’re preaching to the choir, and we’re like, that’s who needs the preaching right now is the choir, and it’s working,” he said.
The LIFEMARK producers recalled how they stayed true to their vision when they pitched their idea for their movie WAR ROOM to their distributor Sony.
“They say ‘Okay, tell us about your next movie idea,’” Alex recalled. “‘Well, it’s about an elderly African American woman who prays in a closet and teaches another woman to do the same.’ And they’re like, ‘What?’”
Sony eventually, though “reluctantly,” gave the green light for WAR ROOM and ended up making $74 million globally.
However, success did not come overnight for the brothers who both majored in communication and went to seminary.
“[W]e had to die to the movie dream because at the time God did not open any doors in our early 20s to go into filmmaking. Thank God for that because we weren’t ready for it anyway,” Alex reflected.
“God is in the business of resurrecting dead things. The thing is when he makes our dream die, and then He resurrects it, who gets the credit? He does. So it’s not our talent. He gets the credit,” he added.
The Kendrick Brothers recently announced a new movie in the works, as previously reported by Movieguide®:
The Kendrick Brothers, known for award-winning faith-based movies like WAR ROOM and OVERCOMER, recently announced their latest project, set to hit theaters in August 2024.
The directing duo teamed with Sony’s AFFIRM Films for the new movie, which has yet to release a title or plot details.
“When we got the call, the Kendrick Brothers were ready to share their next story idea, we knew it would be a powerful one — and they delivered. We’re honored to partner with them again on another film that will entertain, challenge and lift up families in a time when so many people need encouragement and renewed hope,” Rich Peluso, executive vice president and Head of AFFIRM Films, told The Christian Post of the project.
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