Choosing ‘The Chosen’
Loretta Dale was skeptical at first. Someone in her church…
ABILENE, Texas — Two filmmakers who are producing the streaming television series “The Chosen” visited Abilene Christian University recently, offering their take on why the show has become a surprise hit and why Christians should be engaged in filmmaking and entertainment.
Chad Gundersen and Chris Juen, owners of Out of Order Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, have worked with “The Chosen” creator Dallas Jenkins since 2018, when he first began shopping his pilot for production. As producers, they’re responsible for all aspects of show planning, preparation and distribution.
Related: Choosing ‘The Chosen’
Ironically, the filmmakers said they almost opted out of producing the show.
“When we set out, it was not to be a ‘faith company,’” Juen said. “We are Christians who make films. And the reason for that distinction is that we need to engage culture. Five years ago, when we set out to do this, ‘The Chosen’ would not have been on our to-do list.”
The producers offered several reasons for the success of the show, including an emphasis on quality production values, the unique free-distribution model and even the ongoing pandemic, which has encouraged people to watch multiple shows at a time — or “binge Jesus,” as Jenkins says.
But mostly they credit the phenomenon to the biblical story itself, the gospel message and divine blessing.
“God just created this perfect storm,” Gundersen said. “My greatest prayer right now is, ‘Lord, just don’t let us mess this thing up.’”
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