I was sitting in my school library working on a paper when suddenly a friend drew near and excitedly pitched/invited me into a totally unasked for and thus even more cool opportunity. Through some spur-of-the-moment conversations with some MHGS people, author Donald Miller is coming to MHGS this Thursday to garner support and interest in the film being produced of his book Blue Like Jazz, the darling book of progressive Evangelicals, ex-Evanglicals, Evangelicals, and a whole bunch of people that aren't any of those things.
I've been invited to co-facilitate a panel discussion with Don, his co-screenwriter and director Steve Taylor and hopefully their producing partner as well. I and another student (the friend mentioned above) will ask general- "What's up with making a screenplay out of a book subtitled 'Nonreligious Thoughts On Chrsitian Spirituality?" kind of questions, but mostly, we're hoping to engage them around what's it like to step into that muddy land of artistic expression and theological questioning/prophetic culture call-outing, etc. Not sure what I want to ask other than "Hey Donald Miller, did you see John Patrick Shanley's 'Doubt', because an important character in the film has your same name and it gets said over and over and over and do you think that could work promotionally?" But maybe I'll ask that at the refreshment table.
So if you're in the area, come on down to Mars Hill Graduate School this Thursday, Feb 12 and about 1:15 and join the conversation. I just read the screenplay, and having read at least 500 un-produced scripts and screenplays in my time, this one is definitely in the top tier of make-ability. Good signs were the fact that I laughed outloud twice, and for the most part, could hear the characters' voices. (Now I just need to read the book in the next 24 hours. I missed that bandwagon back in 2004 somehow).