With the rise of independent entertainment, the increase of interest and quality in Christian entertainment, and the availability of on-demand video services such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and even Vimeo and PureFlix On Demand, Christian creators no longer have any excuses. One does not have to look far to see that the popularity of Amazon Original and Netflix Original Series’ is growing. Instead of being left behind in the entertainment curve once again, it is time for the Christian creative to stand up and seize the opportunity to change the culture. Starving artists no longer have to hope for networks to pick up their shows when they have the ability to market their ideas to possibly favorable on-demand video providers such as PureFlix On Demand. There are many advantages to the creations of Christian original series’ and miniseries’, as will be outlined in this article.
Opportunity for better character development and plot twists
Too often, independent Christian films are severely limited in funding, thus causing their otherwise good plots to be squeezed into a less than two-hour runtime. With series’ and miniseries’, this does not have to be. Running multiple 40-minute to 60-minute episodes about the same plot with the same characters provides ample time for deeper development and more complex plot twists. Naturally, funding is necessary for this to happen, but we believe it is possible.
Today’s entertainment consumers want more, period. We all want more interesting movies, more things to laugh at, more effects to be wowed by, and more plots to enjoy. With series’, we get to see more of the same characters following a common plotline across a continuum. Of course, this has to be done responsibly so that the series does not meander, but it is definitely possible.
Ability to make quick new ideas without undertaking a major screenplay
I’m no expert in the inner workings of what it takes to get a movie to the big screen, but I suspect that it’s much easier to present a series, at least ‘on trial’, and to have it provided to viewers through the cloud than it is to work in the major movie distribution business. Especially since PureFlix On Demand is such an open network (you would think), someone with a good idea *should* be able to expose it to more people faster through such mediums. Of course, I could be wrong, but I’m going to bet that I’m not.
More popular with the younger generation
Perhaps most importantly, on-demand is simply the wave of the future. It’s not that Christianity is outdated, it’s that we’ve stopped listening to the younger generation (my generation) and stopped trying to make sure that the message of Christianity is able to be understood by all. In a more simple vein, I know for a fact that many professing Christians my age just swear off all Christian entertainment completely, and sometimes rightly so, due to the horrible reputation of Christian film that is constantly being added to. But what if a Christian on-demand series all of a sudden materialized? If done properly, it would be popular almost overnight. Just look at how much people desperately cling to When Calls the Heart, which is only a shadow of what a Christian series could be.
In short, if God calls us to be creative, then we have to be creative. We have to listen to people and pay attention to what they are doing so that we can know how to effectively reach people. It’s been too long since the inception of on-demand series’ for Christians to not have a voice there. But maybe that’s a good thing up until now, so that the reputation is not tarnished by terrible productions. Yet the time has come for Christian creators to rise up, to make their mark, and to take their place in the Kingdom.