Alex Kendrick: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Filmmaker

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Failure may come in a season but remember that it doesn’t have to be more than a “season”. Get back up and keep walking, applying all you’ve learned!

As a part of our series called “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Filmmaker”, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Alex Kendrick.

Alex Kendrick has dedicated his life to following Jesus Christ and making His truth and love known among the nations. After serving in church ministry for 20 years, he now writes, speaks, and produces Christian films with his brothers Stephen and Shannon. Alex directed and co-wrote the movies OVERCOMER, WAR ROOM, COURAGEOUS, FIREPROOF, FACING THE GIANTS, and FLYWHEEL. In 2021, the Kendrick Brothers released two films: COURAGEOUS Legacy, and SHOW ME THE FATHER, their first feature-length documentary, for which he served as an executive producer and writer. Alex is an executive producer, co-writer, and plays the role of Shawn in their newest film, LIFEMARK, opening in theaters in September 2022.

Alex co-wrote the New York Times bestselling books The Love Dare, The Resolution for Men, and The Battle Plan for Prayer. He has been interviewed on “Fox & Friends,” CNN, and ABC World News Tonight. Alex and his wife, Christina, live in Albany, Ga. with their six children and are active members at Sherwood Church.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?

I was born in Athens, Georgia as the middle of three brothers. My father was a minister and my mother was a schoolteacher. Since we didn’t have a television for much of my childhood, we spent a lot of time playing outside and creating games and our own adventures. So seeing a movie was a rare treat. When our parents would occasionally take us to a movie, I remember thinking, “I’ve got to do this one day. I’ve got to make movies!”

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

By the time I got my first chance to make a low budget film, I was too confident. I thought, “This can’t be that hard! I’m going to make it good and entertaining.” But I was humbled so quickly. I remember directing a scene in an office, but the sun got too low to finish shooting. So I told the cast to come back on Monday to complete the scene. But when they returned, they showed up in different clothes and one of the volunteer actors had gotten a haircut over the weekend. So I was mad at myself for not managing the cast and crew and thinking through the filmmaking process. I quickly learned the value of each crew role and the need for teamwork and communication!

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Working with talented actors is always a privilege. But finding skilled crew members that are a joy to work with and bring incredible value to the production is a huge blessing. We’ve had stuntmen and women who showed up for an action scene, but made it twice as spectacular because of their creativity and skill. They were also easy to work with and pleasantly friendly. That made it an amazing experience!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

For our second small movie, Facing the Giants, a cinematographer named Bob Scott came to shoot the film with his only camera. He walked me through each camera lens, shooting motion, and production lingo. Over the course of making the film, I felt like I got a year of college education in filmmaking. He went on to shoot five more films with us.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

As a Christian filmmaker, I’ve learned that there is a difference between a “good” idea and a “God” idea. I thought I had really good ideas, but when I would spend time praying about it, God would lead me to much better ideas and creative paths. So I’ve determined to honor Him in prayer as we develop our films!

I am very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

We’ve enjoyed meeting so many people from various walks of life in our filmmaking journey. Young, old, rich, poor, experienced, and first-timers have walked our sets. We’ve featured actors and characters in a variety of racial roles and stories. We’ve enjoyed featuring men, women, teens, and children in crucial roles. It’s something that we fully intend to continue in future films and has made our journey all the better.

Which aspect of your work makes you most proud? Can you explain or give a story?

I’m so grateful for the response we’ve received around the world from our films. Couples have stopped their divorces after seeing Fireproof. Parents have become more strategic and prayerful when raising their kids after watching Courageous. Coaches have focused more on their “purpose and goals” after viewing Facing the Giants and Overcomer. The emails, phone calls, and letters have poured in from dozens of countries, and it’s never gotten old for us. We are so grateful for these reactions!

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Don’t make it about yourself. People are drawn to humbleness and kindness. But arrogance is an irritation to most people.

2. Remember that people are more important than fame and awards. Don’t step on others to reach your goals. Value everyone you can on your journey.

3. Pace yourself. Stress and exhaustion can burn you out much sooner if you don’t stop to rest and “breath” when needed.

4. Failure may come in a season, but remember that it doesn’t have to be more than a “season”. Get back up and keep walking, applying all you’ve learned!

5. Include God in your life and your work. He sees you and loves you, and wants to walk with you. He also knows you better than you know yourself!

When you create a film, which stakeholders have the greatest impact on the artistic and cinematic choices you make? Is it the viewers, the critics, the financiers, or your own personal artistic vision? Can you share a story with us or give an example about what you mean?

My primary motivation is to inspire viewers to seek after God. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, and He’s made an incredible difference in my life. So my target audience is not to please film critics. It’s to give the audience a relatable story that offers hope, insight, and truth. When people respond by the thousands with heart-grabbing stories from seeing our films, that makes it as fulfilling as it could be! Marriages are turned around, estranged children come home, drug users willingly get the help they need, even ball teams realign their goals of what success looks like for them. We’ve had men throw out pornography and alcohol to protect their marriages and families. Women have purposed to pray more for their loved ones, even businessmen have reset their work values. It’s truly been incredible!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’d encourage people to pray 30 minutes a day for 30 days. Take your hardest problems and issues to God, and ask him to invade your life with his answers, no matter what they are. We’ve done it a few times now, and every time has been astonishing! We’ve had couples that were told by doctors that they could not have children, only to get pregnant after the 30 days. We’ve seen financial issues get fully resolved, relationships get restored, and addictions go away. I can’t imagine what it would look like for our nation to try that for 30 days.

How can our readers further follow you online?

Our website is My instagram is the.alex.kendrick and my facebook is This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Alex Kendrick: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Filmmaker was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.