ORLANDO—Coming off the improbable box-office success of his last two films—Fireproof and Facing the Giants—producer David Nixon felt as though he had stumbled onto an underserved market: Christian filmgoers.
So Nixon founded an independent production company, switched from the producer's chair to the directors, and set out to make a series of three more faith-based films. The first, Letters to God, is the based-on-a-true-story tale of Tyler, a 9-year-old boy stricken with brain cancer who writes his prayers to God in the form of letters.
CT Movies recently visited the set of Letters to God, now shooting near Orlando, where we spoke with Nixon and others affiliated with the family film, scheduled to release in spring 2010.
The venture marks a departure from Nixon's work with Sherwood Pictures, the small—and almost all-volunteer—studio at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., behind the indie hits Fireproof and Facing the Giants.
"We said, if we're going to continue to make all these movies, let's find a way to pay the crew," Nixon says. "Sooner or later you need to find real actors."
Sherwood did not have the resources to take part in Letters to God, says Nixon, so he drew on the fundraising prowess of executive producer Tom Swanson. Swanson pulled together 15 Christian investors to raise $10 million for the first three films from Nixon's new studio, Possibility Pictures.
Now Nixon has a production budget of $3 million, a cast of professional actors, and an ambitious goal to reach families of cancer patients across the U.S.
He says Letters to God isn't a "cancer movie," but a movie about prayer. "I love the idea that if a boy going through a horrible disease would have the strength to write a prayer, ...1