Investing in the Next Generation

As the Kendrick Brothers planned the production of their fifth film, one of their goals was to invest in some of the brightest and most promising students from across the country who are actively pursuing a future in Christian filmmaking. Seeing 2 Timothy 2:2 as a great model, the brothers desired to “entrust … to faithful men [and women] who will be able to teach others also.”

Stephen Kendrick said, “We believe every generation needs to be investing in the next generation. It’s exciting to now be able to pour into those who are called to make Christian movies long-term. God has commanded us to disciple those coming after us. We must help them learn God’s Word through the lens of our experiences and mistakes. Then they can stand on our generation’s shoulders one day and bring even greater glory to God with what they produce."

Choosing the right interns was not easy. The team looked over hundreds of cast and crew applications on the Kendrick Brothers website and also accepted recommendations from various college professors and filmmakers. Almost 20 young adults were selected and invited to Charlotte, NC from a variety of schools like Liberty University, Cedarville University, Moody Bible Institute, North Greenville University, Ouachita Baptist University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Samford University, University of Georgia, and the homeschool community. They were brought onto the team and trained for a day at “boot camp” and then allowed to work shoulder-to-shoulder with professionals on set.

These interns eagerly took on a wide range of roles-working on the camera crew, in the grip, sound, lighting, wardrobe, and art departments, assisting in the production office, etc. Every day they participated in on-set devotions and prayer times, worked hard in a full-scaled production environment, enjoyed mentoring conversations during meals and throughout the workday, and also had a lot of fun.

Brothers Shannon, Alex, and Stephen Kendrick were grateful and excited to offer this opportunity to these students and were extremely pleased with their work ethic, attitudes, and enthusiasm. “These young filmmakers added so much value to the experience. They not only worked hard, but they also were taught to seek and honor God in the details of their day to day jobs” said Alex Kendrick.

Here’s what a few of the interns said about their experience:

•    “It was such a blessing to work on this film, meet such amazing, godly crew members who were masters of their craft, and get to see God move and work in not only the cast and crew's lives, but in my own life as well. It was a growing experience where I was able to find a deeper understanding of multiple aspects of my personal faith, as well as find and gain accountability and wisdom from those above me. My life [was] dramatically impacted by three brothers who have a passion for investing into the next generation of Christian filmmakers.” - Chelsea Byers, Ouachita Baptist University
 
•    “The people I worked with took the time to teach me and I felt like a valued member on set.” - Josh Mulvaney, North Greenville University

•    “Being able to work side-by-side with real professionals practicing their trade and being able to put the skills learned in the classroom to work” was the best part of the Kendrick internship. “Strong Christians have one major thing in common: daily prayer … I have been in the Word daily and my life has improved immensely since this summer.” - Nick Lantzy, Moody Bible Institute

•    “I was inspired and challenged by the great role models on set over the course of the summer. I learned to better problem solve and juggle many tasks at once as well as the importance of staying flexible as different hurdles arose.” - McKenzie Cranford, Ouachita Baptist University

•    “The best part of the production…was the opportunity Alex provided me to direct on a day with split units. The most beneficial lesson that I took away was the importance of planning for each and every shot so that it can be properly used to communicate even the most subtle messages throughout the movie. Alex and Stephen both had a tremendous impact [on me]. I was thankful for their investment and intentional pursuit of mentoring me … throughout the [shoot].” - Parker Adams, Cedarville University

•    “My favorite part of the internship was getting to work side by side with professionals who cared about you and had an interest in you learning about film making. You get to work with A-list cast and crew, but in a fun and unified Christian environment.” - Nick Burt, Ouachita Baptist University

Our hope is that these students will launch into a lifelong pursuit of utilizing one of the greatest tools we have in our generation to communicate the greatest truths from the Word of God in a way that honors the One who created them for His glory. Regardless of what we are each called to do, investing in the next generation is vital. Our joy should shift with every success towards taking delight in bringing success to those who come behind us. This is what Jesus did and it’s what we are challenged to do in our generation. What’s your career or area of expertise? How are you investing in the next generation? Don’t miss the blessing!