Wading through Singleness in Single Creek
- Thursday, June 02, 2011
Was the footage of Stacy crossing the creek in Montana the inspiration for the title of Single Creek? Or did you already have that imagery and symbolism in mind before it happened?
Very good question. People have asked me about the whole “creek idea” of singleness. About a year ago when the church had asked me to be a local singles ministry pastor, I actually went through about three days while I was privately praying and I just started brainstorming about you know what would a ministry like this look like to what kind of metaphor would make sense so that you could engage singles of all times. And the idea of a creek with the water flowing just made sense, because you’ve got water flowing from upstream and you’ve got water flowing downstream. And young adults are the upstream, and the older singles are downstream. And they have different stories, but they just happen all to be flowing together in this thing we call singleness. And so it just kind of ended up being branded before the film even started. But I will say that I had been in Montana several times to visit friends, and I knew that the natural beauty and the creeks out there would be really awesome if it could work out.
What surprised you as you were interviewing singles like Stacy? Did you hear anything that you weren’t anticipating?
Well I can tell you about one of the most astounding surprises that was hurtful, but it turned out to be part of God’s plan. We started a Facebook page when we started on the film, and so as we were shooting interviews we were posting clips on YouTube and linking it to our Facebook page. I got an e-mail from someone who I hadn’t talked to in 25 years and she said, “Hey, I’ve been following your posts on your Facebook page and I was just impressed to let you know I just lost my husband to suicide last year.” She said, “I’ve been married 23 years and I just wanted to share this with you—my reentrance into singleness because of my broken place. And it’s only been 11 months since this happened. If there’s anyone this could minister to, I just wanted to let you know.” Well, this is halfway through our production and I wrote her back and said of course. What do you say to someone who has experienced something like that? And I just told her I was praying for her and if she was serious about wanting to minister to others would she be interested in an interview. So that’s how Beth Morris ended up in the film. She reached out to Facebook originally and that was a surprise to me.
You can’t sit down and craft out everything that happens in a film. That’s one of the things that surprised me. We also interviewed Karla, the Filipino woman who plays the ukulele. She had just written that song after a four-year relationship ended. And what surprised me in interviewing her was it’s hard for singles to be vulnerable in front of the camera especially because no one wants to admit their loneliness. And for a Christian it almost feels like you’re not being faithful to God if you admit that there’s a part of you that hurts sometimes. And while I was talking to Carla, it wasn’t so much her young age but the fact that she could write that song called “Life Is Good,” and write it during her grieving process after a four-year relationship ended and to be heartbroken over it and yet to write those words of faith that life is good when God is on your side.
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