The Kendrick brothers from Sherwood Baptist in Albany, Georgia, are at it again. Their fourth motion picture project, Courageous, is set to be released in 2011. Filmmaking has been a hobby and a passion for Stephen and Alex Kendrick for over 25 years. Their films have inspired millions. Flywheel, a little project about honesty being the best policy was their first movie with Sherwood Baptist in 2003. In 2006, Facing the Giants, showed the world that with faith and perseverance all things are possible. Then in 2008, Fireproof, staring Kirk Cameron, addressed the bonds of marriage. This new story, Courageous, follows the lives of four law enforcement officers. A tragedy occurs and all four men are struggling with their faith and their emotions. Somehow, through their trials and triumphs, all four will be lead to make decisions that effect their lives and their families in a positive way.
The Kendrick Brothers
Here is just a little bit of trivia for those of you who fans, There are actually three Kendrick brothers. Alex and Stephen have an older brother, Shannon. Back in the early 80's, the boys enjoyed taking their VHS camcorder around their neighborhood in Smyrna, Georgia. They filmed short videos with their friends.As the brothers developed their storytelling abilities, they begin including church groups, businesses and schools in their productions. The oldest brother, Shannon, went on to work for IBM. Alex took a job as a Christian radio announcer, and then went into the ministry starting as a college minister. Stephen, the youngest brother, followed his big brother and worked with Alex at a metro-Atlanta church. Alex was the college minister. Stephen was the middle school minister. They both enjoyed their work, but their love of cinematography never ceased. They fueled their hobby and passion by using it to produce videos as a ministry tool.
In 1999, Alex took a job with Sherwood Baptist in Albany, Georgia, to oversee their television and media ministries. When he was hired, he expressed a desire to produce Christian movies. The church showed interest in the idea but wanted to focus on their own media ministry first. In 2001, Stephen was hired on as associate pastor for Sherwood Baptist. The brothers were working together again. The stage was set. The church was given a survey to read in 2002. The survey expressed the opinion that more people were influenced by movies than they were church or religion. The church now saw the media of Christian film making as a possible outreach tool.
Alex Kendrick's first project with Sherwood Baptist was Flywheel in 2003. The whole film was made on a budget of $20,000, and the cast and crew were all church members. Alex played a used car salesman that learns honesty is the best policy. The film first appeared in a local theater in Albany, Georgia. It ran for six weeks. The church ran the movie in two more cities before releasing it on DVD. Seven Christian TV networks showed the movie and Blockbuster placed it on the shelf in every store in North America. The film won seven awards at film festivals around the country that following year.
In 2004, Alex and Stephen started writing Facing The Giants. The movie was shot in high definition with professional lights and audio. Again, the cast and crew were church members. It took six weeks to film the entire movie. The budget was a little higher this time, however the entire $100,000 to make the film was raised by church members as was the $20,000 for Flywheel. Some of the music for the movie was written and performed by Christian contemporary groups Third Day and Casting Crowns. This was Sherwood Films first attempt at a national theatrical movie release. When it was released, it was shown in over 400 cities nationwide and pulled in over $1.3 million the first weekend.
Their next project, Fireproof, in 2008, was the highest grossing independent film for the year. The budget for this film was $500,000. Again all funds were raised by the church. The Fireproof movie was incorporated with a book, also written by Alex Kendrick, called “The Love Dare“. The project has been more than a success. Millions of people across the country have bought the book, watched the movie, started Bible studies and marriage enrichment classes. It's inspired so many to stay committed to their spouse and build deep meaningful relationships.
Courageous Filming Complete
Filming is now complete and fans eagerly await the 2011 release date. For those of you who also follow the Duggar family, you might want to know that Jim Bob and 18 of the children, including Josh Duggar, his wife, Anna and daughter Mackynzie, were all invited to be part of the film. Michelle Duggar and little Josie are resting at home.The Duggar family will make two cameo appearances in the film. You'll see some of the Duggars in a funeral scene and the men and the boys are featured in a Father/Son race in the movie.
If you're like me and impatient for the trailers, keep checking the Courageous website, This is going to be big!