Author: Darren Wilson
Located in: Chicago, IL
Submitted: September 13, 2008
Tell us a little about yourself. My name is Darren Wilson. I'm the director of Finger of God, loving husband of my wife, Jenell, and father of 3 children: Serenity, Stryder, and River. I currently teach Media, Film, and Writing at Judson University, in Elgin, IL. I am also hard at work on the follow up to Finger, entitled Furious Love.
What was your motivation behind this project? My motivation was pretty simple: to chase the Spirit of God around the world in an attempt to capture what God is doing. The entire time I was filming, I had very little idea what the finished product was going to look like--which very nearly caused me to have more than a few nervous breakdowns! But God wanted to keep me wholly dependent on Him for this film, and so I quickly realized that my job was to simply be obedient and to take whatever God gave me. It started as a film about the miraculous, but in the course of nearly two years of filming, turned into something much more important than that. The film is really my personal journey around the world, starting out as a skeptic, and the transformation that takes place when a normal guy encounters the living, loving God.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? At first I had no idea what people would gain from the film. In fact, I was positive no one would even want to watch it! But since it's release earlier in 2008, it seems to have caught on like wildfire around the world--almost entirely through word-of-mouth. And now I can see how God appears to be using the film. The movie tends to affect many people by boosting their faith in a God who is still moving today--to the point where they cannot be satisfied with "normal" Christianity anymore. I have received countless emails from people telling me about how their church was turned upside down, or how God renewed their passion for the lost through the film. A group of older people in Singapore even started a club to go out once a week to pray for the sick after they watched the movie! Those kinds of stories only come from something that is infused with God's Spirit, and for that I can take no credit. It is very humbling to be God's servant for something like this.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? It changed my DNA. I started the film thinking most of this stuff was probably just overblown stories by a handful of wackos, or at the very least stories that were, shall we say, "enhanced" by well-meaning people. What I found was a reality that shook me to the core. God is moving around the world today in amazing, bizarre, and powerful ways, and this film simply scratches the surface of what He is doing. You can't see the things I saw while making this film and remain unchanged. Many people, when they finish watching the film, don't have words for what they've just seen. I tell people that for the initiated, this movie is like going from 0-60 in 2.3 seconds. It's almost too much to take in. So while I had 2 years to process what I've seen, the viewer only has a little under 2 hours! It's no wonder that most people, after they watch the movie, have to go pray for someone, because they simply need to release what is rising up inside of them.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? I'm a Hollywood guy. By that I mean, I never wanted to make specifically "Christian" movies. I wanted to make movies for Hollywood. So for me, an entertaining story is first and foremost. So I guess my main inspiration comes from anyone who tells a great story--from Spielberg to C.S. Lewis. For this particular film, I suppose you could say I was influenced by the storytelling techniques of Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine) and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me).
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Simply that this film is not something I originally wanted to do. I had no hidden agenda while making it--I just wanted to be as honest and forthright as I could be. My main question throughout the making of this film was simply this: "Is there more to the Christian life than simply believing the right stuff, going to church, and trying to be a good person?" What I discovered, and what you will see for yourself, is that yes, indeed, there is MUCH more to the Christian life than that!