I’m no spring chicken (or maybe I am; after all, my first feature film as a writer-director was released in the spring 3 weeks ago), but I’m a pretty well-seasoned chicken—wait, that sounds like a cooking metaphor. Make that a seasoned rooster with quite a few grey feathers.
I spent years directing plays, even though early on I was drawn to filmmaking: I remember seeing a production of the play An Enemy of the People when I was 20, and thinking, “I’d like to direct that, but…”
In the play’s chilling conclusion, a townful of people, having sold their souls for wealth, strut before a shiny skyline paid for by corruption. And I thought, “I want to zoom in on them until we can see right through their empty eyes to the skyscrapers beyond!” And then it struck me: “I don’t want to direct the play, I want to direct the movie!”
It took a while. But after years of theatre, sketch comedy, and numerous short films, this spring rooster finally has his first feature film in release—and a second one coming out soon (stay tuned). And Healing River has been received with such love! In fact, it’s now one of the highest-rated films at Amazon Prime! I’m passionate about what the movie has to say, so I couldn’t be more grateful. However…
It also has its haters. It was clear when the internet trolls attacked it on IMDb the moment it was released that they hadn’t actually seen it. People who don’t like a movie give it a 4 or a 5 (on a 10 point scale), but people who are against it, give it a 1. And that’s what the trolls did. Why? Because of the tagline, “Forgiveness is a life preserver”? Because it’s subtly faith-based (although grittier and more realistic than most faith-based films)? At any rate, the movie’s supporters flooded it with love, diluting the hater-ratings and elevating it to a near-normal rating (imagine what it would be without those troll-votes!).
So, thank you, everyone, for helping fulfill this late bloomer’s dream!