Last year for his entry in the 168 Film Project, he was going to wrap the verse he selected around a car crash.
“During the pre-production for the film, I had this vision in my head of a car crash,” explained Wech of the run-up to 2008’s edition of the annual Christian short-film festival. “We hired a stunt coordinator and we were going to make an action film centered around this crash.”
Then on a Feb. 5, just a few weeks before he was to find out what specific verse he would need to interpret, Wech’s artistic pursuits met a frightening reality.
“I was T-boned in an accident,” he recalled. “It was pretty miraculous I even lived.”
Wech is convinced that prayers from his contacts and colleagues at 168 pulled him through a harrowing evening where he was immobilized on a gurney and laid flat for eight hours other than being X-rayed. Without any health insurance to his name, Wech was released from the hospital within three days and left to recover largely on his own.
Still on his back most of the time, he knew God would need to have a strong hand in whatever the film for the competition became.
“I knew at that time that once we drew the verse, we would need to be inspired by God and follow His lead as for what to do next,” Wech said.
Psalm 107:10, which reads “some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains” (NIV), was appropriately chosen. “The rest of the psalm categorizes relying on the Holy Spirit in times of inner turmoil,” Wech said.
Praying for guidance after drawing the stone, Wech saw a beach. Other members of his crew saw a blue sky and water.
“It was clear that something that happens on a beach was what God was telling us,” he said. “Putting together the rest of it was like figuring out a Rubik’s Cube.”
Part of that puzzle cleared up even more the next morning when Wech had a song in his head. He spoke with his director later in the day who said he felt there was some sort of a music video to be worked into the film.
Another woman involved with the film had envisioned a surfer. This drew Wech to call a surfing friend of his whom he hadn’t seen in six months to see if he could take part in the movie. When his friend answered his cell phone, he was standing on the same beach as Wech, 20 feet behind him.
“For (the friend) this film allowed him to re-commit to the Lord and gave him deliverance from an area in his life where he was without God to where he was on the set reading the Bible on the beach in between shoots,” Wech said. “Our last scene in the film was him getting baptized. This is not something you can make up on your own.”
The film was appropriately titled “Break These Chains.” “The director of the film (Tim Lowry) had just had a client refuse to pay him for about $100,000 where he thought he might lose his business. We had a beauty pageant girl whose mom had pushed her to do that for a long time and she felt neglected from other areas of her life.
“God released us from our bondage through this process. By the time the film was over, Tim got more business that surpassed his other client. It took me a while to recover; I was in a neck brace for four months. . . . The whole process freed me to feel that God was completely in control. It was a real eye-opener to see Him at work.”