I happened upon a documentary the other morning on Sundance Channel that I highly recommend. I should be less surprised that it is about a church.
(It was Sunday, after all.)
An Audience of One follows Richard Gazowsky, a Pentecostal pastor from San Francisco who used donations from his congregation to found a movie studio and production company. He said he received a vision while praying on a mountaintop to spread the Gospel through filmmaking.
Stone tablets are so B.C.
The documentary begins as Gazowsky and his followers are in pre-production on their full-length feature, Gravity: The Shadow of Joseph, described as a ‘biblical science fiction.’
The movie poster tagline reads “filmmaking is hard.” Gazowsky would no doubt agree. During principal photography, the novice director only manages to get two scenes in the can during their five days on location in Italy.
Cameras jam. Cranes freeze. Cords snap. Tempers flare. Of course, you see that kind of ‘tech diff’ on film sets all the time.
What makes Audience of One a must-see is watching Gazowsky lead his congregation on this journey. Despite the setbacks, the lack of funds, and — let’s face it — the project’s absolute and total failure, the preacher constantly spins the story in such a way, his followers never blink.
Even though the movie is never been made. Even though their major investor never comes through. Even though the city shuts them down.
They call it faith. But on camera, under the harsh glare of the lights, the delusions are harder to disguise.