And Then What Happened? | Mark 1 | Week 1

Years ago, I rekindled a childhood love for storytelling, and got into screenwriting. I wrote a number of different things, from short films, web series, sitcom pilots, and most recently, a feature film script. In fact, my friend Michael and…

And Then What Happened? | Mark 1 | Week 1

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Years ago, I rekindled a childhood love for storytelling, and got into screenwriting. I wrote a number of different things, from short films, web series, sitcom pilots, and most recently, a feature film script. In fact, my friend Michael and I wrote a sitcom pilot that made it into the top 10% of an international screenwriting competition. Pretty wild, huh? One lesson I learned was to start the scene as late as possible, and to get out of the scene as soon as possible. A great example of this comes from one of the greatest underdog stories of all time: “Tommy Boy.” Tommy’s family is gathered for a huge wedding celebration, because Tommy’s father, Tom Callahan, got married that day to a beautiful younger woman. While at the reception party, Tommy’s dad collapsed. Tommy ran over to him, and we see the camera tighten on Tommy’s face. The next shot widens to reveal Tommy and many others in a cemetery, burying his father. A bad screenwriter does what’s called exposition—they add a bunch of filler material that’s really unnecessary. For example, they might have kept the scene going with a 911 call, waiting for the ambulance, and more. Good writers write just enough to reveal what’s important, what helps the reader understand the characters and move the story forward, and nothing more. They take the reader or viewer through snapshots that tell a larger story, and leave us wondering what’s next.
We’re starting a brand new series today called “AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED?” And that’s exactly what we are going to do for the next 14 weeks. We’re going to journey together as a church community through the Gospel of Mark. We could almost call this the ADD gospel, because it moves so quickly from one thing to the next. I was talking with a friend this week, and he said, “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but are you a little bit ADD?” I laughed and said, “Absolutely, it’s one of my superpowers!” Mark moves very quickly also. In fact, he consistently uses words like ‘immediately’ and phrases like ‘a little while later’ to move the story forward. It’s a story that has all of the elements of an incredible story: Character development. Conflict. Power struggles. And redemption…

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