AN INTERVIEW WITH GOD is a thought-provoking film that connects conflicts of faith to the miracles that can occur when we are confronted with a living hope. The film is releasing to DVD and On Demand November 6th, so we decided to speak with co-producer Harrison Powell regarding the film, future projects and various other topics.
CCM: Do you have a favorite character or theme from the film? Why?
Harrison Powell: I think the theme of putting questions on the table is timely and relevant in our culture. For many, including myself, there are questions around faith that we either feel we should already know the answers to, or there are questions that are off limits and should never be asked. However, as we see in this film, if God loves us the way He says He does, I think He invites us to ask those questions, being confident that the asking does not change His love for us.
CCM: What has surprised you most about this film, the process of making it, or its success?
Harrison Powell: This was the first time I filmed up in New York. Initially, I was worried about the complexity of a shoot, especially for the bike scenes. However, we had such a professional team and the city is actually very film friendly, and the shoot went smoothly. I was also surprised by the amount of people outside of the Christian market that enjoyed the film. That was very exciting to us.
CCM: What was your biggest challenge in making this film?
Harrison Powell: We had a limited number of days to shoot the film due to our budget, so there was a lot of planning and logistics. Fortunately, David Strathairn and Brenton Thwaites were such professionals, they were able to shoot 25-minute scenes straight!
CCM: If you had to invent a new category for the Oscars, what would you suggest?
Harrison Powell: I would create an award for the marketing of films. This is often an overlooked aspect of the industry, yet it is crucial for the success of a film.
CCM: Are you surprised by the recent increase in quantity and quality in the faith-based film arena?
Harrison Powell: I am not surprised, as the market has been asking for higher quality films for a while. Filmmakers in the space have honed their skills. The time is ripe for faith films.
CCM: Who were/are your biggest influences?
Harrison Powell: During college, I had the privilege of interning for Steve Case, the founder of AOL. I worked within the private equity division and for his foundation, where I fell in love with startup companies. The ability to take an idea and turn it into a valuable experience for people fascinated me. As a result, I worked for a venture capital investor after I graduated, which eventually led me to film. After all, each film is like a new business. You have a product, a budget, a target customer, a manufacturing process, a marketing plan, a team, etc.
CCM: How important is your faith or spirituality when choosing what projects to work on?
Harrison Powell: Our primary mission is to find films that entertain and spark conversations around faith. Our second mission is to make profitable films and give all the profits to charity, specifically those who provide or assist foster care and orphan care. Faith plays a crucial role throughout the process.
CCM: What message do you hope listeners will take away from the film, regardless of what they believe?
Harrison Powell: That it’s okay to have questions. I hope listeners will feel encouraged to ask questions about their faith and encourage those around them to ask questions as well. And I hope it is done in a way that encourages people to talk and seek to understand, not to prove a point.
CCM: Can you give us a teaser on what’s next for you and Giving Films?
Harrison Powell: I am spending my time looking for and developing comedies, as I feel that genre is a great way to explore truth in a non-threatening way. Also, there are few comedies with a faith undertone that have broken out, so I think it is a great opportunity and much needed.
CCM: What was the last book you read?
Harrison Powell: StoryBrand by Donald Miller. The best business book I have read to date.
CCM: What was the last song you listened to on your playlist or stereo?
Harrison Powell: NEEDTOBREATHE Something Beautiful
CCM: Do you have a favorite CCM artist or group?
Harrison Powell: My wife and I really enjoy NEEDTOBREATHE. Whenever they are in town, we try to go to their concerts.
CCM: What’s the best mainstream movie you’ve seen in the last 12 months and why?
Harrison Powell: I re-watched Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise. It is such an interesting premise, combining elements of Groundhog Day, Butterfly Effect, and Starship Troopers. It is a film that was unfortunately not marketed well in my opinion, so when I first saw it, I was even more surprised.