(All this week, WP Films will be making each of their films free to watch for one day. Today is the fifth of those films, Holy Ghost Reborn. You can watch for free at wpfilm.com/holy-sharathon/).
It should have been called Holy Ghost 2. Everyone told me so, but I didn't listen. I thought it was clever. Holy Ghost Reborn. Sure, it was the sequel to Holy Ghost, but I shot both films at the same time—in reality they were all part of filming for one movie. And while the first film was designed to start a discussion, this movie was the more emotional one. It wasn't a straight sequel, but more the other side of the same coin.
Holy Ghost was power. Holy Ghost Reborn was heart. So I went with Reborn because I wanted the film to reignite a passion in the viewer's heart for the Holy Spirit. You thought you knew the Holy Spirit, but there's so much more. In essence, I wanted to rebirth your perception of the Spirit into something new, something more. It was a good thought, but it confused most people. Holy Ghost Reborn? Why does the Holy Spirit need to be reborn? Is this just a rehash of the first movie with a few added scenes? I think most people viewed "Reborn" as "Remix." It's unfortunate too, because I think this is the most complete, artistically beautiful film I've ever made, and a lot of people missed it because the title confused them.
I was on a train from Rome to Monaco when I realized I was making two films at the same time. I was about 2/3 of the way through filming Holy Ghost, and I had a few solid hours to decompress and start to figure out how to make all these different stories God was giving me work into one cohesive narrative. I laid out all the adventures I had already filmed on a piece of paper, and then factored in what I still had left to shoot, and I immediately realized that either I had to split this thing into two films, or I was going to have to make a three-plus-hour documentary (side note: My original cut for Father of Lights was nearly three hours, and it was so long it was almost unwatchable!).
When it came time to edit the films, I had some real decisions to make. To put the movies together in chronological order of how we shot things wouldn't work at all—it would have been way too jumpy, plus I had never done that with one of my films except for my first one, Finger of God. God had directed me to film all these disparate events, and now I was going to need His help in figuring out what story He wanted to tell through them.
During one of my prayer times for editing, I heard a phrase in my spirit that helped organize how I would make the films. "Get their attention with the first film, then break their hearts with the second." So that became my goal as a storyteller. Holy Ghost was designed to be big, bold and yes, controversial. It was a big movie designed to get your attention back on the Holy Spirit. But for Reborn, everything was different. This was an emotional movie, because the greatest love stories are always the most emotional ones, and while some might say that emotion in faith is dangerous, I don't know how you can possibly love someone without a feeling of some kind. Most Christians associate the Holy Spirit with power, but with Reborn, it felt like God wanted to highlight His tender mercy and love.
Holy Ghost Reborn is the last film I directed and will lead directly into my next movie, The God Man (about Jesus), which will be the final film in this epic journey that's lasted for over a decade. When I started these two Holy Spirit films, I understood very little about the Spirit. Jesus and the Father both have an anthropomorphic essence to them, where at least there is a jumping-off point for relating to them in some small way, but the Holy Spirit has always felt more like smoke to me—like a Jedi force or providential influencer. But what I learned most through making these films was that the Spirit is as much a person—a unique, singular individual—as the Father or Jesus. Personality, thoughts, emotions—they are all part of the package. And what a loving, wonderful package He is.
Holy Ghost Reborn is available to watch free today, April 20, at wpfilm.com/holy-sharathon/. You can watch the rest of the movies in the series each day leading up to Easter, when you can watch our newest film, Finger of God 2, free.
Darren Wilson is the Founder and CEO of WP Films and the creator of various films, including Finger of God, Father of Lights, and Holy Ghost. His newest TV series, Adventures With God, can be seen on various Christian networks around the world and purchased at his website: wpfilm.com, as well as his newest book, God Adventures.
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