CFC Blog

Review: Jericho - The Promise Fulfilled

June 7th, 2013

Sorry about the lack of posts the past few days. Our internet went out and we just got it back finally! Today we present for you another review of a great film you should definitely watch! It was wonderful to get to meet this incredible family and I'm sure there are many amazing things in store for them in the future!

Jericho – The Promise Fulfilled
Last week, while at the Homeschool conference in Omaha, one of the videos I had the opportunity to pick up was Jericho – The Promise Fulfilled, a thirty minute lego brick, stop-motion animation by Shatterpoint Entertainment. This movie tells of the two spies sent into Jericho and the destruction of the city. The entire video is completely stop-motion animation, which makes it a very enjoyable watch. I watched the entire thing (bonus features and all) the day we got back from the conference and couldn’t get enough of it!
Jericho begins right away, telling the story and introducing the characters, and you quickly become familiar with them. It was interesting to see how the creators really cared about the story and did research into it before simply writing the script. The story is very compelling and even very amusing at some points. There are some very hilarious jokes throughout the film and I can honestly say I laughed several times! The dialogue thoroughly explains everything that is going on, which makes it easy to follow along and keep up. The story is excellent and has a very nice pace to it throughout the film.

So, the story was good; but how about the quality of it? I’ve watched countless stop-motion videos (and even made a few myself!) that appear very choppy and just aren’t fun to watch. You can’t engage in the story as you’re too distracted with the choppiness and poor workmanship of the film. I was pleasantly surprised to find Jericho quite the opposite. The animations are incredibly smooth and you can tell that they took their time and did it right. Many people fall into the trap (me included!) of growing lazy when animating and start making the frames more and more choppy, but this never once happens in the film. I was utterly amazed by some of the scenes with the Jericho army and how time-consuming it must have been to move all of those soldiers frame by frame! One of the most impressive scenes takes place by a river made up of blue sand, and in every single frame, they had to move the sand to give the illusion of waves. Throughout the entire film, the animation is superb and extremely high quality.

The DVD itself is very well done with lots of unique features in addition to the movie. There are fun backgrounds on the DVD and lots of extra bonus features. You can find a blooper reel, with bloopers from the voice acting for the film, the trailer for the film, and even a 30 minute behind-the-scenes documentary. This documentary has many interviews and behind-the-scenes clips of how they did certain shots and so on. So, even when you’ve watched the movie and can’t get enough, there are more bonus features to keep you entertained afterward.

This is a very fun movie with lots of humor and a good storyline, and is perfectly suited for a family movie night. There’s no questionable content to worry about here at all. Everything is very clean and it has good, wholesome humor in it. The quality of the film is superb with smooth animation, beautiful-looking effects (like water bubbling in a water cooler) and nice-looking background scenery. The voice acting is fun, and it was neat to see how they even animated mouth movements to go with the voices. All in all, the film is absolutely amazing. I highly recommend it, and it would be a great thing to see for your next family movie night.

You can find out more about Shatterpoint Entertainment at or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to support them by purchasing Jericho: The Promise Fulfilled or their other DVD "Wars of Humanity, Parts I and II".

Review: iMovie for iOS

June 4th, 2013

iMovie for iOS App Review
The home screen on iMovie.

For the trip to Omaha, I downloaded a couple new apps to play with in the car. One of those that I've always been intrigued with trying was the iMovie app for iPod, iPhone, and iPad. I knew it wouldn't be nearly as advanced as the iMovie for Mac, but I've always wanted to try it. So, for $5, I took a chance and just bought it.

Upon opening the app, you find yourself staring at a big movie theater sign with all of your options below. As you make movies, they appear as little "posters" in the middle of the screen for you to scroll through. You have the option here to get help, create a new project, watch a movie in optimized full screen, share, download, and delete a movie. When you go to make your first movie, you have the option to create a movie or create a trailer. These are basically your two options for creating movies.

iMovie for iOS App Trailers section
The trailer theme selection - with 12 different themes!

The trailer section is extremely neat, as you have a list of different themes for your trailer, ranging from "fairy tale" to "swashbuckler" to "Bollywood". Once you select the theme for your movie, it gives you a list of default titles and captions that you can replace with your own text. You can change the title of the movie, all the title slides, and even the credits in the end of the movie! Then, you go over to the storyboard and it shows you all of the different shots you need to capture. Once you capture all of these shots, it puts the whole trailer together for you, giving you a very professional looking trailer!

iMovie for iOS App Movie Timeline Screen
The timeline where you can insert media.

The movie section allows much more customization, though it does not contain the range of preset effects found in the trailers section. Here you can add pictures and videos into one layer, sound effects into another layer, and background music in the bottom layer. It does contain a few neat effects, such as crossfades, a preset (yet customizable) Ken Burns effect, and it automatically mixes the audio to become quieter on videos with sound. It also allows you to record video or audio to be put directly into the video, without the need to go over to the camera app to record. It has some neat features, such as when you swipe down on a video clip it automatically splits it into two clips, but I found others somewhat difficult to figure out without the help of a Youtube tutorial.

All is not perfect in this iMovie app as it really does lack some extremely basic features found in even very simple movie programs. You cannot do any color correction to your footage, you can't slow down or speed up clips, you can't move around when the background music begins (it has to start at the very beginning) and even the titles can't be moved around. This app has been around for a while now, so I would have liked to have seen more features put into it by now. I was amazed, however, at how fast this app is. I'm running an almost 3 year old Windows 7, and I have to wait several seconds for each video clip to load when editing on it. My iPod 5th Generation had absolutely no problem keeping up with footage and in all my use of it, it only crashed once.

Basically, iMovie is a terrific app that is well worth a miniscule $5 with lots of fun tools to create simple movies. If you're in the car or stuck in a hotel with nothing to do (like me this past week) it is a terrific app to make very fun, simple movies or trailers. It allows you to do everything from shoot the content to upload it to Youtube, so for a beginning filmmaker it's fun to mess around with. However, if you want to make a really good movie that is several minutes long, or even a full-length movie, this is not the app for you. The amount of lacking features can really limit your creativity, and it would be wise to consider something else. But, the app is a lot of fun to play around with, and I'm sure I will get much use out of it over the years. My advice to anyone would be to get this app, but don't use it for any extremely big projects.

More Content Coming Soon!

June 3rd, 2013

Happy June, everyone! We made it back from the conference and it was truly an awesome time. I just wanted to give a quick web update to let you know of all the neat content coming up soon! In the next few days, we should have our first movie review posted, with others to follow that we're working on. We also have three interviews all coming up very soon, too! Keep checking back for all the new content coming soon!

Also, be sure to pay a visit to our "New Movies" section, as we've posted more new movies coming out soon there. Keep checking back in the days ahead, as we have many different exciting things to show you.

Update from the Conference

May 31, 2013

An Update from the Omaha Teach Them Diligently Conference...
It's been a fun two days here in Omaha at the Teach Them Diligently Conference (as mentioned in our last post) I've gotten to attend some very neat talks by Colin Gunn, Danny Carrales, Voddie Baucham and Rhea Perry ranging from filmmaking to documentaries to starting your own business.We've gotten to meet some very neat people and we should have some interviews coming up fairly soon. Also, stay tuned, as we should have a movie review of Shatterpoint Film's stop-motion animation movie Jericho - The Promise Fulfilled and an interview with the creators! Be on the lookout for some very neat things coming up in the days ahead!

Spotlight: Teach Them Diligently Convention

May 29th, 2013

Are you looking to learn more Christian film tips and tricks? If you want to learn more about Christian film from pre-production to post-production, then be sure to attend the Omaha Teach Them Diligently convention. At this big homeschool convention in Nebraska, there will be several talks about all things Christian film in addition to many booths in the marketplace showcasing several different films. Some of the talks will include:

-Pre-Production: Preparing for your Christian Film from Concept to Scheduling by Danny Caralles

-Guerilla Documentary Filmmaking for the Glory of God by Colin Gunn

-Post Production: The Editing Process by Danny Caralles

And there will even be some talks about how to start a business which would be very interesting to hear as a young filmmaker looking to start a video business!

The conference is this Thursday to Saturday and will have many interesting talks for you to enjoy. Hope to see you there!

Spotlight: The League of Grateful Sons

May 27th, 2013

With today being Memorial Day, it is a good day to take a moment to honor all those who have fought and even died for our country. I thought today would be a good day to spotlight a good Christian film fitting for the occasion - Vision Forum's The League of Grateful Sons.

What is the godly legacy of the fathers of World War II? Their story has not been told — until now! More than 406,000 American soldiers died during the Second World War, leaving an estimated 183,000 children fatherless. Hundreds of thousands of other U.S. troops did return, but many never connected with their children. However, within the ranks of these survivors was a remakable collection of men who made it their life mission to speak the providences of God and the meaning of manhood to the boys who would one day fill their shoes. Through wartime letters and present-day pilgrimages to the bloody battlefields of their youth, the ancient warriors have spoken. Their thankful children rise to honor and surpass their legacy. They are “The League of Grateful Sons.”

This is an excellent Christian film with many terrific interviews shot on location on the island of Iwo Jima. It has many great thoughts on courage and heroism and I hope you get the opportunity to see it. As you spend today with your family, consider watching this movie with them. It is an excellent movie and perfect for Memorial Day. I hope you all have a great day today!

Discussion: Favorite Christian Films

May 26th, 2013

To kick things off on this new blog, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss our favorite Christian films. For me, I know I have a lot of favorites, but for here I've narrowed it down to three. What are your favorite Christian films? These posts are specifically devoted for discussion, so please share your favorite films in the comments below! For my three favorites, I chose:

Courageous - Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they face danger every day. Yet when tragedy strikes close to home, these fathers are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, and their faith. From this struggle will come a decision that changes all of their lives. With action, drama, and humor, the fourth film from Sherwood Pictures embraces God's promise to "turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers." Souls will be stirred, and hearts will be challenged to be ... courageous!

Put out by the Kendrick brothers in 2011, this movie was a big success in theaters and is definitely worth watching over and over. This movie has a perfect balance of humorous moments (specifically the "snake king" scene with Javier), serious moments, and unexpected twists. The production quality is superb and this movie goes above and beyond the average Christian film.

Indoctrination - Most Christian children attend a public school. Their families have a vested interest in all that happens there. Join Scottish filmmaker Colin Gunn a home school father of seven on a field trip across the USA. Driving an old school bus, Colin and family travel across America, asking questions about the origins and social impact of America's public education system.

This is a very excellent documentary put out by Colin Gunn that talks all about the changes in the public school system. This movie brings up some very interesting points and is worthy of much discussion. It is well shot and contains many interesting interviews... And it has an amazing ending that I won't reveal here! You should definitely watch this one from start to finish.

Time Changer - The year is 1890 and Carlisle has written a new manuscript entitled The Changing Times, which promotes good morals without discussing Christ. The book is on track to receive a unanimous endorsement from the board of the Grace Bible Seminary. That is, until colleague Dr. Norris Anderson (Gavin MacLeod) objects. Without unanimous endorsement, his book might not do so well. Carlisle and another professor seek a unanimity rule change, but the dean insists that Carlisle discuss the disagreement with Anderson privately.

I saw this movie a long time ago and I've always thought it was incredibly interesting. This movie is definitely fiction, as it involves time travel, but brings up some very real points about morality. It is definitely worth a watch as well!

So, those are my top three. What are your favorite movies? Please let us know in the comments below! I'd love to know what to watch next!

Welcome to the Blog!

May 22, 2013

And so it begins...

Welcome to the very first post on the new Christian Film Central blog! Here at the blog, you can find all kinds of resources for various Christian Film fields. We have a wide array of topics we hope to discuss on this blog, and our goal is to bring you the latest news and information concerning the ever-expanding world of Christian film. CFC is a hub for Christian filmmaking news, but we also want to make it a place where people can meet and share their ideas concerning Christian film. Each blog post has a comments section below that is meant for people to discuss the topic and learn from each other. We want to hear your opinions! We have a number of different topics these blog posts will cover, from interviews to tutorials. Through this blog, we will post:

~Discussion Questions - Every now and then we will ask you a question and get your opinion in the comments on how you feel about a certain issue. These discussion questions will range from serious questions to questions about what your favorite video editing software is.

~Interviews - We hope to perform interviews with various people in the Christian film industry. We hope to ask them questions about upcoming things they are working on, past experiences, and advice they may have to wannabe filmmakers.

~News - This will cover a variety of topics, but anything that constitutes news, such as a new line of cameras coming out, or a new movie coming out, etc.

~Reviews - We hope to review both movies and products and give you our opinions on them. Then in the comments, you can give us your take on whether you liked the product or not.

~Spotlights - Here, we will "spotlight" certain products, businesses, or movies and recommend them to you as good products.

~Tutorials - We also plan to add various tutorials on how to do certain camera effects, special effects, etc. This may also include linking to other useful tutorials for you to try, as well.

~Web Updates - Any time we make a radical change to the site, or need to alert you of any upcoming changes, we will post them as a web update.

Well, now you know all there is to know about the CFC blog. Please join us as this site continues to grow over the coming months and (hopefully) years! Ultimately, the goal of this site beyond bringing news from the Christian film world is to serve the Lord. Hopefully, we can use this site to serve Him! So, please join us for our adventure, and spread the word about CFC!