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Works in progress

"Works in progress" Continued...

Issue: "Broken beyond repair?," Sept. 25, 2010

Works in Progress attempts to present its themes of integrity and responding to the prodding of the Holy Spirit with subtlety and humor, says Steve.

And rather than avoiding exposure to and critique from the secular film community, where cinematic expectations are high and the critics less likely to be forgiving of a novice's work, Steve is eager for the challenge of going head-to-head with Hollywood standards. Comparing his film only to other Christian movies is "the cinematic equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel," he says, and being judged according to secular expectations forces him to hone his moviemaking skills and produce higher-quality art.

Hard as it might be to compete in a biased environment like Hollywood, what he doesn't want to produce is "the kind of movie where patrons walk away disappointed, saying, 'Well, at least there was a good message,'" he says. For the Pruitts, this means emphasizing excellence in their artistic efforts and being honest with themselves when things aren't up to standard. And that means long days, long nights, and lots of retaping. The effort is worth it. "Most of the key players on our team would rather lose on a large, level playing field than win on a small, tilted one," Steve says.

The Pruitts and their Never2Late crew are working on their second project, a film called Terminal, a dark PG-13 drama about a district attorney dying from a brain tumor and a street-savvy woman with a terrible secret. Drawn from events in the Pruitts' own lives, the film has been emotional to write, the story coming to Steve while he was driving around the terminal at the Kansas City International Airport, he says. But with some experience, work on Terminal is smoother than Works in Progress. The Pruitts hope that these and other films-movies made by Christians rather than Christian movies-will break away from Hollywood formulas that rely heavily on the demands of the market, as well as from Christian formulas, where faith in God solves every problem and bad people always get what they deserve.

Amy Henry
Amy Henry

Amy is a married mother of six and a WORLD correspondent from Kansas. Follow her other "scribbles" at Whole Mama or by reading her book Story Mama: What Children's Stories Teach Us About Life, Love and Mothering. Follow Amy on Twitter @wholemama.

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