Celebrity Interviews: Directors Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin Talk on The Making of "I Can Only Imagine"

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

I Can Only Imagine, directed by Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin, has, since its mid-march release, been breaking performance expectations and now as it begins its second month in theaters is closing in on the 100MM dollar mark.

During the film's pre-release media day the directors and talent were participating the media day for the film, which in the faith and family genre was exceptional and obviously that translated beyond the critics who at times can be harsh or overly glowing.

With Dennis Quaid in the lead, the film was destined to have box office longevity and draw, even with the challenges theaters face with streaming so readily available, I Can Only Imagine has remained solid with a good shot of passing the 100MM mark over the next month.

Bart Millard, the lead singer of the popular Christian Band, Mercy Me, was played in the movie by newcomer to the screen J. Michael Finley, who is well known for his work on Broadway. Millard wrote a song titled I Can Only  Imagine, which became the most successful Christian single in history crossing every demographic. The lyrics as he explains came in about ten minutes; ten minutes after a lifetime of hurt, heartache and finally forgiveness. I Can Only Imagine also stars Cloris Leachman and Madeline Carroll as Shannon.


Celebrity Interview: Talking with Dennis Quaid on the Making of I Can Only Imagine


Having the opportunity, during the media day to interview the Directors of I Can Only Imagine, Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin, below is an excerpt.

Janet Walker: So congratulations. It's a powerful, exceptionally powerful. So tell me how, other than it came from a song, so tell me how it came to your desk and how it became a scripted project?

Jon Erwin: That came from Andy's relationship with Bart.

Andrew Erwin: We would do artist's screenings with music artists to help promote previous work and so we had one in Nashville and we invited a bunch of music artist to an just on a whim we invited Bart Millard from Mercy Me and said 'Hey we'd love you to come to movie night. So he, after it was over, he came down to the front and talked and said, 'Hey I love you all's story telling. I don't know if you know this but a movie studio has been developing my life story for the past five years, and my relationship with my father. And I love for you guys to consider directing it.' And I said, 'I don't know if you know this, but they sent us the script this morning.'

And it was just kind of meant to be and we became fast friends. And we were still trying to figure out what the movie was but the Amy Grant angle that we talked about where she launched Bart's career.

We were doing on a morning show, promoting one of our films, and they asked us on the air what stories we were thinking of doing next, and we said Bart Millard story and the story of I Can Only Imagine, and he said, 'Oh my goodness, I was on there that night when Amy Grant gave him his song back.' It was the most magic thing I've ever seen in music. And I said, 'I don't know about this story.' So we called Bart and asked, 'Did this happen?' And he said, 'I was going to tell you guys that.The first night my real life exceeded my imagination.' And then we felt like we had all the tentpoles to the movie and that's when Jon and Grant and the screenwriters took over and began digging into those story lines.

Jon: Yea. To me, I think it starts with the story that moves us and we can't stop thinking about. And I have been a huge fan of I Can Only Imagine. There's song you know, and there songs you love and then there are songs that do something fundamental to you.

And for me "Imagine" speaks to hope at a time when we were losing our nephew to a brain tumor. It was like this anchor and I probably listened to it 500 hundred times in a row. It was some sort of therapy to Just listening to the song closing my eyes and imagine a world without pain, without suffering.

So I had that and didn't know there was this incredible story behind the song as we learned it from Bart. I remember vividly, I said 'Bart how do you know that God is real, I'm just curious?' And he said, 'because of the changes I saw in my dad, I watched a monster transform in front of eyes to man I wanted to become and into my best friend.

And I do believe forgiveness is the highest form of love, and as Bart forgave his Dad their relationship completely mended and that's so relatable. That relatable beyond the faith audience.


I Can Only Imagine Review - Inspiring, Ensemble Cast Shines in this Character Driven Film


That's just a relationship between a father and son is one of the most relatable stories you can tell. And so I couldn't stop thinking about it after that moment, and I thought we've got to figure out how to get this to the screen and so with millions and millions of fans of the song, of which I am one of the song, which we feel is a song about heaven, but in reality it is a song about son relationship with his father and I feel that is powerful and special needed thing.

I Can Only Imagine is playing in theaters everywhere. See the film. It is exceptionally powerful.

Haute Tease

  • Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Ewa Minge Fall/Winter 2017/18 Couture Collection – Fairy Tales

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Inspired by the ancient gypsy fables that transport all into an enchanted, joyful, dancing world, Ewa Minge, Poland’s most celebrated and well known designer, recently showed her Fall/Winter 2017/18 collection during the Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris, France.

     
  • Jaguar Land Rover Makes Global Auto Show Debut Of Range Rover Sport SVR and Jaguar C-X17 In Moscow; Showcases Its Discovery Vision Concept

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Whitley, UK– Jaguar C-X17 and Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept makes Russian debut Earlier today Land Rover unveiled its eagerly anticipated Range Rover Sport SVR to global media at the prestigious Moscow International Auto Show (MIAS).

     
  • Business News: Why Hasn't The Force Awakened Disney's Stock Price

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    After buying Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012, The Walt Disney Company had to wait three years for its investment to begin paying tangible dividends. If, however, the initial box-office performance of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is a sign of things to come, then the wait was well worth it.  

  • Farewell My Concubine: The Beijing Opera

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    To celebrate 35th anniversary of Sino-American diplomatic relations, the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and Television is presenting a new and innovative film to the United States, part of an exchange and exhibition of Chinese culture.  In conjunction with Dolby Laboratories, the film's director will showcase Farewell My Concubine:  The Beijing Opera before a special industry audience on May 30, 2014 at the Dolby Theatre.

     
  • HL Tech: Hot Fun In The Summertime - Ten Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From camping trips to backyard cookouts, summer brings friends and families together — in many cases, it brings them together outdoors. A new generation of wireless speakers can bring summer pool parties or family vacations to life, no matter where the fun takes place.  

  • It’s Spring! Past The Blahs Into The Blues

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the seasons change and we shed the winter wools it’s time to step outside our inoculated online I-Pad world and breathe!

     
  • The New MM 30G From Sennheiser: Superior Audio Quality From Your Samsung With ‘Hands Free’ Call and Track Control

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Las Vegas, NV, January 7, 2014 – Sennheiser unveils its new MM 30G in-ear headset, a ‘perfect fit’ for the latest generation of Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets from the Galaxy S2 upwards. Sleek and discreet, it’s a headset with a mobile device remote control, modeled in elegant black or white. It offers you a top of the range Sennheiser music listening experience on your Samsung Galaxy device while giving you complete control for all your conversations on the go.

     
  • Eastern Seaboard Recovers after Apocalyptic Hurricane

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hard-hit New Yorkers, known for their resilience, bowed to the killer storm as Sandy battered the World Financial Center with an unprecedented power usually reserved for the canyons most infamous financial brokers.

     
  • Box Office Roundup: Films Audiences Loved, Critics Hated

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Most of us have strong feelings about our favorite movies. We expect our friends to enjoy them, and we assume that movie critics know how to fairly judge them as well. Audiences and critics, however, do not always see eye to eye. PrettyFamous wanted to find out which films the crowd loved and critics hated.  

  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Trickledown Agenda; Students/Journos Murdered; Flint; Killer Winter Storm

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama met this week, for last time as he embarks on his end of term duties, with America's Mayors hoping to motivate them to see beyond the chronic challenges that may not present solutions under their term.

     
  • California Spirit XXVII: An Evening of Food, Wine, Auction and Music Benefiting the American Cancer Society

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Wolfgang Puck, Barbara Lazaroff and Paramount Pictures Sherry Lansing recently hosted California Spirit XXVII: An Evening of Food, Wine, Auction and Music Benefiting the American Cancer Society in West Hollywood, California.

     
  • Drive-By Shooting Kills Seven

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Gun fire erupted in the coastal community of Isla Vista, near UC Santa Barbara, in a drive-by shooting that left seven dead and another seven injured in what police are calling a premeditated attack by a disgruntled student.

     
  • Miami Arts: The Frost Art Museum Opens 2019 With Soul Stirring Truths of Life In America

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Two stirring photographic essayists open 2019 at the Frost Art Museum (FIU) capturing two disenfranchised groups; a family’s daily life with the catastrophic Flint Michigan Water Crisis and America’s hidden aging culture of transgender and gender nonconforming people.

     
  • The Top Ten Most Fun Places to Retire In the U.S.

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Americans are widely known as some of the hardest workers in the world. Many work very long hours, and when they're not in the office, they're catching up on emails. The goal? To get to the point where they can retire.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Addresses Nation on Sandy Hook Massacre; Hillary Clinton Injured; Susan Rice Out as Successor

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The looming Fiscal Cliff and Washington business as usual was disrupted Friday when news of a tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut brought the nation and the president to tears.