Nov. 13, 2007
Alex Kendrick, Janet Lee Dapper, Richie Hunnewell, Roger Breland, Walter Burnett
Alex and Stephen, Kendrick
Provident-Integrity and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Flywheel: Director's Cut
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Daily Life Producer
- Before Facing the Giants there was Flywheel.
Never heard of it? That’s because the first feature film developed by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia was not released nationwide.
Sherwood Pictures, the movie company formed by the church, debuted the movie in a local theater in Albany where it opened to a sell-out crowd. Originally, the film was scheduled to be in the theater for one week. But due to its popularity, its run was extended five times for a six-week long run.
Now, one year after the release of their second film, Facing the Giants, the church is releasing a remastered version of their first film, Flywheel: Director’s Cut. The new DVD not only offers improved color, audio, and edited scenes, but it also includes a new director’s commentary, deleted scenes, and a preview of Sherwood Picture’s next film.
The film was written by brothers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, who both serve as associate pastors at the church. They hatched the idea to make a film after reading a survey that said movies and television are more influential in American culture than the church.
“We have a phrase,” said Sherwood Senior Pastor Michael Catt, “whoever wants the next generation the most will get them. Flannel graphs and chalk talks won’t reach a student who has an Xbox in his room.”
Instead, the church decided to harness the power of the media.
“The arts of today can be used for good or evil,” Catt said. “We can complain about how movies corrupt our children and culture. Or we can say, ‘Let’s get in the middle and make a difference.’”
That’s exactly what they did. Not long after they decided to begin the process of making a film, Alex bought a car and thought to himself, “What if a minister was conned at a car dealership and then prayed, ‘Lord treat him like he treated me.’” A plot was born.
Flywheel stars Alex as Jay Austin, a used car dealer who prides himself on making the most off of his cars that he possibly can, whether they are worth it or not. His dishonest dealings have earned him the respect of his employees who hope to follow in his footsteps.
But his business practices have taken a toll on his family. Austin rarely spends time with his son because of his long hours at the office, and his wife is growing increasingly frustrated with her husband’s uncaring attitude.
With his marriage falling a part, a son who proclaims that he doesn’t want to be like his daddy, and an enormous business debt that he can’t pay off, Austin begins to wonder how he got so off course from where he wanted his life to go. The film follows his journey as he tries to turn things around.
Having only a $100,000 budget and an all volunteer cast comprised of church members, the directors have pulled off quite a feat with Flywheel.
Despite being untrained, all the actors give solid performances. The film is also superbly photographed, with quality that rivals many bigger-budget motion pictures.
Though a film with such an overt Christian message may never make big money at the Box Office, this movie accomplishes its mission, which is to demonstrate what Christian principles look like when lived out in real life. The film vividly portrays repentance, turning away from sin, the value of forgiveness, and the blessings of obeying God.
These biblical principles come packaged in an entertaining tale that offers drama, romance, and a bit of humor, making it a great vehicle to share the gospel with non-believers. Its message touches the heart more than most sermons ever could.
Take the time this holiday season to share this heartwarming story with all of your friends.
Purchase your copy of Flywheel: Director's Cut.
For more information, visit www.flywheelthemovie.com.
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More articles by Belinda Elliott on CBN.com
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