I’m sure many of you have heard about the story of the cinderella film “Blue Like Jazz” It is a story of coming to age and a story of faith. I love the story of this film. It has led to good good things.
The idea of making Donald Miller’s book Blue Like Jazz into a movie was birthed a few years ago. I may not get all of the details 100% accurate, but I will do my best to honor the true story. Director Steve Taylor along with Ben Pearson approached Don about writing a screen play from the book and everyone thought it was a good idea; and the writing began. As they wrote Don’s character was being modified a bit, which caused Don to ask, “why not make it more like me?” Or something to that effect. And the answer spurred a thought process and change of life for Don. In so many words he was told his life was too boring. He wasn’t living a very good story, at least not one that would sell well at the box office.
This realization caused Don to go on a journey of discovering the elements of a good story and wrote the book, I believe his best thus far, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. This book came as a result of his learning and discovery as he edited his life. If you’ve not read it, you should. Then do something with the motivation it stirs!
The book has inspired thousands and thousands of people. This led to a desire to help people learn how they can live better stories. So along with a team of people and the dream of Tara, a friend and co-laborer of Don’s, a seminar was built called Storyline. This seminar just took place in Portland and I was able to attend. The seminar was a raving success.
But just before the seminar there was a negative turn in the story of “Blue Like Jazz” the movie. The movie which had led to the book, which led to the seminar was laid to rest. The funding could not be found and it was almost too late to be able to go into production. Don posted a blog about the “death” of the movie.
As I listened to the story of the film and all that had come as a result of it, I thought to myself how amazing it is that God allows dreams to guide us to stories we might not ever write otherwise and I was encouraged. I wanted to write a note to Steve and Don and Ben and tell them it was all worth it. The entire process was worth it, even if the movie was never to be made. I saw beauty in the life that sprung from the process and yet, I know what it feels like to have something that is a dream die and it is painful so I didn’t write such letters. There was this powerful story of creativity, life change and hope all wrapped up in a plot that ended in seeming defeat. I wondered how it felt to juxtapose the life and the death at the same time.
But then something happened. The little movie that was once dead came to life. Two young men asked if they could help spread the message of the movie and see if individuals like you and I could help fund it. Using a site called Kickstarter and spreading the word through social media, these two were able to catapult the once seemingly dead movie into a life that LIVES much brighter than before it’s death. In a short period of time, one week later the film has raised nearly 125,000.00 and the story of the cinderella film is being told all over.
Another surprise ending.
No one thought the movie would die, then there was little hope that it would live. But live it does and it lives because a community of people, from every sphere of the world have given of themselves to make someone else’s dream come true.
How can one not get excited about a story like this one? I’m amazed and excited! What a gift, the story of the film has been to countless people. The beauty is that the story of the film is not only the story of the author Donald Miller. The story is one that reflects the truth of true community and the body of Christ. It screams Jesus! We are one body, many parts and we need each other! (This is only one of the stories this film is telling through its coming to fruition.) And, when you’re need and you participate in something that is moving you feel as though you are a part of something kind of wonderful.
If you are discouraged in a dream you have that has died, remember that God, the giver of dreams and the one who can do more than you ask or think, has a much bigger plan than your biggest dream. So go crazy. Dream big, work towards that end and see what unfolds. It’s crazy great!
In the mean time, take a moment to go to www.savebluelikejazz.com and join the fairy godmother of all fairy godmothers and help this cinderella go to the ball!
Oh and after she goes to the ball, I want to help fund a movie about the life of the movie itself. NOW that is a good story to tell!