Religious based films generally are stereotyped as the “Thou shalt not…” or the choir-robe-wearing-bible-toting type of movies in the entertainment industry. While there is nothing wrong with these movies they may lack a humanistic viewpoint of Christians. Outside of reading the Bible, singing in the choir and attending church services, Christians live normal lives. Bryan Coley, director of “Crackerjack” the movie, expresses his mission to broaden the scope of faith-based films recently in an interview.
Bryan Coley’s Atlanta-based organization, Art Within, mentors screenwriters and those who have aspirations in the film industry. In conjunction with its sister company, Art Within Productions, Bryan aims to think outside of the box when approaching the way faith-based films are written and produced. The focus is not on religiosity, however the lives that have been or will be touched through the telling of everyday lives of Christian folk.
In Bryan’s latest film, “Crackerjack,” the main character was not “church literate” at all. Flying by the seat of his pants was his way until his girlfriend becomes pregnant. Those who know Bill “Crackerjack” Bailey IV know that his problems are far deeper than his carefree attitude shows. Through comedy the movie “Crackerjack” delves into subject matter (abandonment issues, reckless behavior, redemption, etc.) that could be overlooked, but the well-written script spotlights the main character’s “coming to Jesus” journey. Besides some familiar Christian music and a brief shot of a church sign, “Crackerjack” is solely based outside of the church four walls. The camaraderie and friendships forged on the softball field was just what was needed to build the backdrop to change lives.
“A little bit of comedy makes the medicine go down,” chuckled Bryan as he explained why he chose comedy to get across the film’s message. “It was really important to me to show the church outside of the church. You never see the indoors of a church, even though [the main character] runs into the church sign. That was important to me, because I felt like that’s all the cliche stuff that we see and I really wanted to show a group of guys that were crazy and diverse… I just wanted to show the kind of circus…diversity of what is a true church body and how that can be so authentic, dysfunctional, and beautiful all at the same time and have be how Crackerjack is introduce to people of faith,” explained Bryan Coley.
For those who have yet to see this comedic faith-based film, “Crackerjack” was released on DVD March 17. Purchase at your nearest movie retailer. To find more information on how to get involved with Art Within, visit their website and follow the organization on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.