The Shack Movie Premiere Interview With Brad Cummings

//The Shack Movie Premiere Interview With Brad Cummings

The Shack Movie Premiere Interview With Brad Cummings

 

Kyle Newton:

I’m here with Brad Cummings, the producer of The Shack movie.  We’re here in his home park, home turf, Thousand Oaks at Muvico. It is the 4th of March.  And we’re doing your last premiere. What does it feel like to be on your home turf today, Brad?

Brad Cummings:

It’s been fun. And we get our God Journey audience here. People have flown in from everywhere, from out of country, out of state. I mean that’s pretty cool.

 

Kyle:

And what does it feel like?   This is your last premiere. It’s March 4th. You’ve been to New York, you’ve been to Dallas, you’ve been Kansas City, Pepperdine…

 

Brad:

This is where we actually March FORTH.  This is this is opening weekend. I think we’re going to do some great numbers. I think people’s response to the movie’s been fantastic. We were here Thursday night. We packed out all 14 theaters. And it was fun to stand here and watch people walk by. They’re all kind of like sniffling and smiling and just, you know, 2,200 people tenderized by the heart of God. I don’t think it gets any more fun than that. This will be an even more hometown audience. They’ve been listening to Wayne and I ever since we started shipping these out of our garage.  So this is pretty neat to have the God Journey audience.

 

Kyle:

Now tell me about God Journey. There’s people listening to us who don’t know Wayne, don’t know you, don’t know God Journey.  What are we talking about here?

 

Brad:

A couple of former pastors, I refer to, as you know, lovingly as “the knuckleheads.”  We’re talking about the love of Jesus, that sort of outside the normal parameters of your institutional box organization. And we’re just following Jesus talking about it. You know, what does it mean to live loved?  It’s every Friday.  We put up a new broadcast.  There’s maybe about I think 573 so far.  That’s a lot of conversations. People love them. They, we laugh a lot.

 

This audience has been with us from the very start. They were there from the beginning where we kind of teased people about this book that we were engaged with and they were the word of mouth phenomenon. That sort of you know gave spark to this. It ultimately went from there. You know them as our audience to 22 million sold into 40 different languages. And no, we never saw that coming.

 

Kyle:

Wow. Wow.

Now what does it feel like to be here at the end of this whirlwind tour?  You’ve been traveling around. You’ve been doing a lot of interviews. Are you going to sleep tomorrow?  What are you going to do?

 

Brad:

I slept last night and that was really good. It’s not the end. This is sort of just beginning. This is the big push. Went around screening.  It was neat to see audiences just about every shape size and color really, deeply respond the love of God.

 

I think this is going to build and snowball.  It’s going to go into 50 different nations and that will be rolling out from here until like June, July. And so a lot depends on how we do in these first few weeks.

 

But we were number three, on track to do about maybe 15 million this opening weekend which for you know the kind of genre of movie that this is — which doesn’t fit any of the genres —

 

Kyle:

The book didn’t either, right?

 

Brad:

Yeah, which is fantastic. It’s getting a great start. And the critics are struggling with it. And then everyone that watches it thinks it’s amazing. So I’ve never seen the kind of disparity between the two. Kind of like the elections. I don’t really know what the professionals do or think but I love how the audiences are responding to it.

 


Kyle:


I notice on Rotten Tomatoes today we’re getting 16 percent ratings from about 34 critics but we’re getting an 88 percent plus rating from about 6,400 raving fans. What do you think?

Brad:

I get to go with the raving fans. They’re the ones that bought tickets. The other folks got free popcorn to see it. I don’t know what their problem is.  <laughter>

 

Kyle:

Now what’s next with The Shack.  I know you you have a Website around the book and there’s a community being built. There’s ideas you’re doing out there that people can engage further if they watch the movie.  Is that right.?

 


Brad:

Yeah, www.TheShackBook.com.  That forum started around the book. You know it used to crash servers left and right just because people… You come out of this movie and you need a little time to process what happened. But then there’s a desire to talk about it. I mean we ask more questions than, honestly, we try to answer.  There’s nothing trite about it. I think people are wanting to sort out, you know, who is this God really and the forum is a phenomenal place to go and kind of be a part of a community that is enjoying sorting this thing out.

There’s some wonderful threads that have begun. But you know we figured from the book audience there was a great bunch of engagement.  With the movie it’s going to go to a much wider audience. I have no idea where those people are necessarily coming from. But we’ve got a wonderful team of folks that just love up on folks in the forum.  They do protect it so I don’t I don’t think you’re going to go there get bashed by anything.

But if you’ve got questions and you’re interested in what’s going on, that’s a great place to kind of sort it out. I am in the midst of doing a thing called Papa’s Heart to Heal which is sort of digging into this whole dynamic a little deeper.  We’ll be sort of soft releasing different portions and chapters of that in the midst for people’s kind of discussion to engage with.

What I think is that people are getting a new, fresh look at the eternal, living God but they’re seeing a face of Him that is I think incredibly loving, incredibly engaging, and he’s the one that pursues us. You know religion has kind of painted him into a mean, angry judge corner which I don’t think is accurate or fair to his heart. This story kind of blows that up. I mean I had one friend that was talking about, “You just you tackle the big issues that people have wrestling with God.  And it’s like you know, hand-grenade after hand-grenade you’ve just sort of launched him into the whole discussion.”  And then he said, “You provide some wonderful answers and clarity of how people can sort of sort through this”. And I thought that was very effective way of describing it.

Kyle:

It’s wonderful!  Now, Windblown Media is also the company behind not just partly the movie but the book. What do you think about the book climbing the charts again? Did you expect that?

Brad:

I kind of did because I figured, you know, those that weren’t exposed to it, it is that engaging. I think a lot of people that have loved it have wanted to reread it. And so it’s got a it’s got a fresh new audience that’s coming to it.

You know we took 256 pages and had to distill it down to its core essence in the screenplay of 120 pages. If you have enjoyed the movie you will absolutely love further development of all that stuff in the book. I mean it’s fantastic. So go out get some more www.WindblownMedia.com There’s also two phenomenal books that are basically the foundation.  Of the two books from Wayne Jacobson He Loves Me and So You Don’t Want to go to Church Anymore, those really are the bed upon which The Shack was built. And you know for folks that are going like I want some more of that. Those are two phenomenal resources. We got a bunch more.  This is not a sales pitch but if you’re hungry there are other things that you can go and enjoy.

Kyle:

Alright –final kind of curveball question. What is your biggest aha that you’ve gotten after all of these screenings? You know you saw us. What is your biggest moment that really touched you or was an aha moment or biggest take away now that this has actually hit the silver screen?

 

Brad:

You know I think it has been how deep audiences have laughed. I mean this is not a comedy but there is some wonderful touching humor. In the midst of the unfolding drama which is pretty intense dealing with lots of tough life. And  had I had a 12 year old girl write me and just say,  “Is God really that funny?”

 

Kyle:

Wow.

 

Brad:

And I just I was not expecting that at all because I wouldn’t have billed this as a comedy but I was happily able to answer back, “Yes.”

I don’t know why we think God is humorless. We have him as is the serious guy.  You know life is serious, things are hard, but God is so engaging. And the fact that he is so relaxed in the midst of this stuff that overwhelms us ought to just give us a little hope and reassurance.

And the other thing she asked, “Were those conversations real?”  

And I kind of went,  “Well, yes, in the fact that there’s truth tucked into them. No, in the fact that none of us actually had those particular conversations with God.  When we were writing them it certainly felt like it.”

I mean, I think that’s the thing that I loved.  It made God very accessible and very relational.  I think that was my heart.

 

Kyle:

That’s awesome.

 

Brad:

And that was coming from a 12 year old kid.

 

Kyle:

That’s awesome. Congratulations, Brad. Is a great success and we’re glad you’re joining us.  Enjoy the movie.

 

By | 2017-03-10T05:50:44+00:00 March 10th, 2017|The Shack Movie|2 Comments

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2 Comments

  1. Carolyn March 10, 2017 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    I have not seen th movie – yet..!! But when I read th book I was incredibly moved – I thot it was th BEST EVER presentation of Th Trinity I have ever heard – & I grew up in th church!!

    Hopefully many will want to come to know Papa more intimately!

    Thanks guys for your ‘inspiration’! Maybe ‘Papa inspired’?;)

  2. Betsy March 10, 2017 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait to see the movie. I’ve read the book which I loved so the movie is next!

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