Ryan Smith is one of the founders of Seabourne Pictures, one of many new Christian film companies that has emerged since movie production has become increasingly more cost effective.He is the son of Michael W. Smith, the well known Christian Pop sensation from the eighties who was compared to George Michaels at the time. Interestingly enough, Jesus-Is-Savior.com says “Michael Smith is No Christian!” Apparently the infamous paranoia of this funny to read site has evidence that Michael is involved in the occult and reveals the hidden symbols within the album art for The Big Picture.
But I digress. Ryan is carrying the torch for the new generation with filmmaking and per ChristianCinema.com has found its funding source for the first Seabourne feature film called After. After was written by Ryan and I suspect he will direct as he has already done so with a handful of short films and music videos.
After appears to fall into the science-fiction/fantasy genre and the official site news touts this: “Two twentysomething loners meet and strike up a conversation during a bus ride home. After a sudden crash, they wake to find that they are the only people left in their town. Scouring for clues, they discover a cloud of darkness surrounding the town and closing in on all sides. Within the darkness is a mysterious door, the key to which is guarded by a monstrous guardian. They soon find themselves in a race against the clock as they attempt to retrieve the key and escape the town before the darkness destroys them.”
The site even contains some concept art, one piece is apparently of this monstrous guardian which I would assume is a fill-in for Satan. Has the cost of CGI come down enough that this film might actually look good on a low budget? Possibly. Bad CGI can kill a film’s premise no matter how well written.
My prediction is that as more Christian film directors decide to go in the direction of fantasy that there may be some issues involved with separating the fantasy of the film from the fantasy of The Bible. In other words, we accept in a fantasy film things like talking animals, demons, otherworldly beings–but then if the director speaks at a premier and says these things are representations of real talking animals, demons and otherworldly beings as portrayed in the good book, there may be some confusion.
Still, I’m sure Ryan will get a song out of his dad for the soundtrack. I remember the album The Big Picture, very catchy tunes.