Off Camera . . . with Brian Bird
Producer/writer Brian Bird (Touched by an Angel, Captive, When Calls the Heart) shares personal insights with Mastermedia CEO Dan Rupple.
Dan: Brian, God has guided your career to the highest levels in film and television, and you have been a faithful witness for Christ. Has your faith ever been an obstacle?
Brian: To be honest, I have never felt that faith has been an impediment in my career. If you’re good at what you do and are willing to work everybody else under the table, there will always be a place for you. The entertainment business can be so terrifying, so fiercely competitive and alienating, that people are hungry for authentic, meaningful relationships. As Christians we can commit to loving on the people around us with no strings attached.
Dan: Can you share a time when God showed His faithfulness during your 30-year career?
Brian: In 2008, when the global financial meltdown happened, I was in Alberta, Canada, filming a movie. The day Lehman Brothers went belly up, so did our source of funding. We had to shut down the project halfway through filming and were left with $1.4 million in debts—a devastating time for me personally. I considered quitting the business until my pastor, Rick Warren, said to me, “There is no such thing as being ‘uncalled’ when God drafts you to a position of leadership. Persistence always beats resistance.” I took that advice to heart, and three years later we finished the movie. It was called When Calls the Heart, and is now a TV series for the Hallmark Channel and is in Season 5.
Dan: What’s different about your approach to mainstream projects and faith-based projects?
Brian: I think good stories are good stories, whether they are secular or faith-based. I have this theory that all good stories are faith-based in a way. Many of the top films of all times have contained transcendent themes of redemption, forgiveness and resurrection. Yes, resurrection. ET, The Matrix, Harry Potter, and many others had resurrection in them. That’s because mankind is wired for these stories. We are all hungry for stories of overcoming the mortal coil, so I try to approach every project in the same way.
Tell stories that stir up soul cravings in people, just like Jesus did with His parables. He used messy, authentic human situations that His audience could relate to in order to communicate eternal principles necessary for salvation and redemption.
Dan: Brian, thank you for sharing your heart with us. We in the Mastermedia community will continue to pray for God’s hand upon your career, your family and your life.