For filmmaker Bradley Dorsey, inspiration can strike at the most unlikely times, and that was certainly true in the case of his newest movie, Meant to Be.
"I was flying back from finishing a movie, and I was on the plane, looking around thinking," says Dorsey. "And, honestly, I feel like God just totally gave me this burst of inspiration. It was like He said, 'What if you made a pro-life movie, and put a twist on it that was very different than anything else that was out there?'"
In Meant to Be, Dorsey tackles the perennially controversial topic of abortion, yet he does so in a way that is less Bible-thumping, preacher-on-a-soapbox critical, and more of a thought-provoking introspective into the lives of humanly flawed characters that will leave many viewers questioning what they thought they believed.
Dorsey is a Christian, and his convictions are real, so there are certainly references to God and His ultimate desire for His children. But Dorsey is careful to avoid telling people what to think through his movie.
"I don't want to produce films that make people feel like we're trying to teach them something," says Dorsey. "That's not my purpose in doing it, and I don't want to tell somebody what to believe.
Instead, Dorsey relies on his creative gifts to communicate his pro-life stance, trusting that viewers will see the debate in a new light as a result. "People want to buy, but they don't want to be sold," he adds.
In Meant to Be, there is also a clear emphasis on solid filmmaking and storytelling, and Dorsey believes it's indicative of the overall trend in the Christian film industry. No longer is it good enough for a movie to just have a good message; fans are looking for well-crafted projects, and the folks behind the scenes - including Dorsey - are more than willing to accommodate. Meant to Be is the first production of White Door Media, Dorsey's company that was formed in 2011 with the purpose of developing projects that are both purposeful and enjoyable.
"There are definitely a lot of good Christian films out there now, but several years ago I felt like most of the people that were making Christian films weren't really filmmakers; they were just people that were Christians that were trying to make films to tell people something and teach people something," says Dorsey. "That's not what I want to do. The reason people watch movies is to be entertained. It's entertainment first, and if it's not entertaining than people aren't going to get any of the messages that you have in it."
Dorsey's interest in film dates back to his childhood, when he constantly trailed his younger siblings with his parents' old video camera in hand, stopping and starting recordings at each frame to circumvent his lack of editing capabilities. As a homeschooled teenager with extra time on his hands, he began volunteering part-time for a national Christian television show, which provided his first professional peek into the industry.
Ultimately Dorsey learned the ropes on both sides of the lens, picking up acting classes and auditioning in spare moments. In Meant to Be, he stars in the lead role while also serving as director and producer.
"As far as wearing multiple hats, I hate to say that anything suffers, but I'm sure that it does to a certain extent," says Dorsey. "But then there are things [in the movie] that wouldn't have been the way I wanted them if I hadn't done all those things."
Like any artist, Dorsey views his work with an-ever critical eye, and he still notices things that could be improved upon. But it's a healthy practice, he says, and all in all, he is proud of the film. He should be.
Dorsey also acknowledges the blessing in being able to do what he loves and share his faith with the world. For him, being a Christian in Hollywood is not an inconvenience or a hassle. It's an opportunity, he says, and one that he loves to take advantage of.
"As far as being a Christian in Hollywood, there are definitely things that are more difficult about that," says Dorsey. "But there are so many opportunities to be a good example tell people about Christ. It's amazing and I actually love it."
*Meant to Be is distributed through Pureflix Entertainment and is currently available in all Christian bookstores nationwide and online via Netflix.
Read Here "Meant to Be" Film - sanctity of life /powerful pro-life drama