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Filmmaking Is Family Business for this Father and Son

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Jarrod Anderson - CBN Films Producer/Director
Matt Vilkas - 700 Club Producer

Watching movies isn’t just something Chris Wood and his son, Caleb, do for entertainment.  It’s about learning more about the art of storytelling.

Chris said, “Actually we're one of the few that actually sit through the entire credits.  And we'll sit there and we'll say, ‘How would we do it differently?’”

It’s that passion that led both of them to enroll in Regent University’s film school.  For Chris, it wasn’t his first time at Regent.  He put his dream of working in theatre on hold to become a lawyer.      

Chris explained, “My undergraduate was in theater.  My parents felt that I probably needed to have some other form of income, so they encouraged me to study law.”
When it came to picking a law school, Chris chose Regent.

“I was accepted at four of the five major schools in the country, but Regent called to me because of what it stood for and because of the Christian background,” said Chris.  “And there was just a difference.  There was just an air, a feeling in and amongst the faculty.”

While practicing law, Chris stayed active in local theater, often taking Caleb with him.  In time, they worked together on a number of stage productions.

Caleb said, “Being able to be a part of that like, shared experience between actor, performer, director to the audience, – they leave with this full experience that's just been created for them.  That was just really, really cool.”

It was no surprise that Caleb decided to pursue a career in film.  Neither was his decision to attend Regent.

Caleb explained, “When I first visited Regent, they took the time to see me, to get to know me, and say that ‘we’re about relationship, we’re about connection, because that’s what God’s about.’ ‘Having this personal relationship with Christ, we need to walk that out, not just in our craft but in like our connecting with different people.’ So that just struck a chord with.

Chris said, “we knew that the principles that I learned in law school were probably going to be the same principles, just from a different perspective, if it's in theater or film. And that's when I decided, ‘Wait a second, if we're going to keep this team together, I need to sharpen my skills also.’”

Following in his son’s footsteps, Chris enrolled as a part-time student in Regent’s online master’s program in film production.  With Caleb as director and Chris as producer, they worked on several film projects together, despite being hundreds of miles apart.

“He’s someone I can count on,” explained Caleb of his father, “and he’s always been that to me. Whether it’s in theater, film, or just ‘dad.’ So ‘Producer Dad’ just seemed like the right fit.

Caleb’s senior year, Chris came to campus to work on Caleb’s thesis film.  

Chris smiled as he said, “We have our disagreements every once in a while, ‘artistic differences,’ but we make a pretty good team.”

Caleb graduated in May 2017 with his bachelor’s in film directing, and Chris wasn’t far behind, graduating with his master’s in December.  They’re excited to get to work on their production company, Lone Tree Films, and other projects to fulfill God’s bigger purpose.

Chris said, “I feel that Regent really has equipped me, and will equip anybody that's out there, to do the task that needs to be done.”

Caleb said, “You're like learning, ‘Okay, these are ways that I can incorporate redemptive storytelling, Christian aspects into film-making, without forcing scripture on someone.’  But take like a Scriptural foundation and say, ‘All right, how can our characters, how can our stories reflect this, and how can we reach an unreached people?’"

“I feel with confidence,” Chris continued, “God has placed these desires in our hearts to work together and make stories for Christ.”

To keep up with Caleb’s work with the 700 Club, check out the link below!

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