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The Chosen: A New Look at the Life of Christ with Dallas Jenkins

CVB: Where did the seed come from for “The Chosen”?

Dallas Jenkins: About two years ago, I was coming off of the biggest failure of my career, which was the box office failure of “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone.” I was in a position in my life spiritually where I was open to anything. I didn’t really have a certain future. God had really pressed upon my heart the feeding of the five thousand. Through speaking to my wife and me, and speaking through other people, God made it really clear that it wasn’t my job to feed the five thousand, it was only to provide the loaves and the fish. So I said, “Lord, I’m just going to be open to what comes.”

So I poured myself into this short film about the birth of Christ from the perspective of the shepherds for my church’s Christmas Eve service. That’s all it was supposed to be, just a short film for the church. While I was doing that, I came up with this idea of a multi-season video series about the life of Christ. There have been movies and there have been mini-series’, but there has never actually been a multi-season video series where you can really dig into the characters and binge-watch it like you would binge-watch any other thing.

I thought, “What a cool way to tell these stories and really enrich the experience of the life of Christ.”

I thought it was a good idea, but I kind of had it on the back burner. Then my short film was put online and on social media as a kind of ‘proof-of-concept’ test to raise money through crowd funding for this show. I thought crowd-funding was ridiculous. Video Angel, a streaming service, had this idea and I thought it was never going to work. The all-time crowd-funding record was 5.7 million and we needed more than that to do this show well. But I was kind of in this ‘loaves and fishes’ moment where I thought, “All right, it’s not my job to worry about that. I’m just going to bring the loaves and fishes.”

So we ended up shattering the all-time crowd-funding record, raising over ten million dollars from 15,000 investors around the world. We ended up producing the first four episodes, which are now available. We are currently shooting the next four episodes.

It’s been a crazy ride. The response to the first four episodes has been overwhelming. The feedback we are getting from people has been huge. It’s been a really humbling and exciting journey.


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