Monday, December 3, 2007

Answered Prayers (Week 5, Day 1)

An award-winning commercial director and editor, Bill Ebel has long prayed for the opportunity to use his skills in movie-making. A series of faith-affirming events has allowed him to become a key crew member on FIREPROOF.

Bill serves as the movie’s online editor, recording the digital cut of the film directly onto a Mac and doing the first edits of scenes—right after they’ve been filmed.

“I’ve been feeling led to get into Christian films,” Bill says. “But I didn’t know anybody in the business.” However, the pastor of the church he went to growing up did. That led to an initial meeting for Bill with Kris Fuhr, who heads up Provident Films’ operations. She encouraged Bill to connect with the Kendrick Bothers.

“I hadn’t seen FACING THE GIANTS before that,” Bill says. “I was blown away. I watched it with my kids and I was wiping away the tears. I realized that these guys got it. They know how to tell a great story.”

Bill’s story has the twists and turns of any good movie plot. He met Alex and Stephen Kendrick in July and connected well with them. He was soon offered his role in FIREPROOF … and decided to turn it down.

“I couldn’t really afford to do it for what they offered me. With a family and a mortgage I just couldn’t do it,” Bill says. “Stephen encouraged me to pray about it. My wife said I couldn’t not go.

“I sent Stephen an email saying I would do it. I was trusting God to make things work out financially. Stephen was in a budget meeting when I sent the email and he didn’t even see it before he called me to say, ‘We have more money for you and we want you to come.’”

Despite being away from his family for extended stretches, Bill Ebel knows an answered prayer when he stumbles upon it!

“My three older kids were excited for this opportunity for me. My five-year-old wanted to know why everyone couldn’t come to Chicago to film there,” Bill says. “From the beginning, my wife has been focused on this is where the Lord is leading. She knew we couldn’t say no.”
Bill Ebel (right) shows a just-filmed scene to cast and crew members on his computer screen.