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It’s not a standard practice for a pot of clay to ask it’s potter, “Give me Vision”. I place a constant pressure on myself to create because it’s what I love, sometimes how I love and it’s how I think. Its ingrained in me to tell stories visually. I create films in a way that is growing with the vision he is giving me, which isn’t always clear and that makes me go crazy sometimes.  I’m learning that my perspective varies from my to eternal in an instant when I am reminded of the promises and makings held in certain faith.

I am in an incredible season of testing. The test centers around letting go of my life list of things I would change.  The list isn’t even worth going into but I wanted to explain how today was a blessing in reminding me where to place my hope and how the placement of my hope determines my attitude in my situation. I really want to be joyful no matter what.

No call is clearer that what he reminded me of today, “God crafts amazingness from my brokenness. He actually uses my brokenness to make amazing things. He makes all things work together for my good.”

I expect challenges in my life. I also expect the success from God and the variety of ways that success will come in. I am not only willing to step into this season knowing it will produce endurance and fruit but am encouraged and empowered as I keep stepping through this season as I see my flesh wage war.  I believe it is a good thing to see the battle between flesh and spirit.

It is impossible to be physically or emotionally ready or prepared for a season like this but, leaning one foot forward, equipped I become through the ever present inheritance found in Jesus’ promises. But that step isn’t so clear sometimes. I try so hard to interpret where God wants me to go next. Each time the lengths of my worry begot illogical thinking. And for some reason I am surprised.

“You will lack nothing” he reminded his disciples and me. “When I sent you out without food, clothing or money, did you lack anything?” The disciples and I answer, “No.”  I was sent to my wife. I lack nothing. I was sent to Detroit. I lack nothing. The list continues.

Yet, even with this knowledge, sometimes I desire to see around each infliction. It shakes me and I want a quick self made way out. I look for motto, “I feel like I should be happy all the time”. Fakeness sucks.

Today I had four moments where I felt like I lacked. Each moment was quickly rendered false; one by the truth of his word, one by the power of testimony from my amazing wife who told me about what she learned in church, one by wisdom from my awesome brother in London, one by prayer backed by remembering what he has already spoken.

David sang entire songs about his despair and had verses reminding his soul to place it’s hope in the Lord. Psalm 42, 43. Read it.

vs 3. Tears are saying, “where is your God? Tears have been my food day and night.” Man that dude is sad. At that time he was asking for a savior. The difference with us, is that we have one. All justification, peace, love, identity and wholeness is found in him.

Psalm 42, 43 personalized/interpreted by my words and the words of Pastor Cliff at Woodside Detroit:

I am asking for water that gives life and you wash over me with water so powerful that it brings death by a drowning so significant the calendar shifted when it happened.  In his steadfast love, I live like I need less death and more love.  I live crying out, “Please show me your love”.  Instantly overwhelmed by circumstance my rock seems to have forgotten me. Emotional pain. Why is my soul forgetting the truth i can recite at any given moment. Fight for me God! I’m trying to live for you and create for you and love for you and live for you. I am trying so hard to make my identity in the sent Savior you gave me. Save me!

His waters quiet and whisper, “I have”.

Where is He!

HE is Here. God has Him here.

The past year and half has brought a new understanding to me: God loves us enough to allow us to go through things to show us what our hope is in. My hope was in soooooo many things that weren’t Him. His grace has revealed that and now has broken those chains.

After his awesome sermon, which pissed a ton of people off but made Jesus stand while at the right hand of his Father, Stephen was taken to be killed. Looking up, through his oppressors throwing stones at his head, past his critics, with un approval all around him, with grace and thanksgiving and peace, he declared, in the most un oportune time possible, “Forgive them God, they don’t know what they are doing.”

Thats legit. What pain do I have? Why down oh my soul? God so good.

We will not be free of pain and suffering in this life time but we are free from the slavery to pain and suffering with the knowledge that all pain and suffering will be abolished at the coming of Jesus.

Thus, after reading the word today, praying, listening to the faithfulness of my wife’s love for God, listening to wise men talk about Jesus in my community, I can say this, “The vision I have is for now and in this now, Christ is working” and with patience given to me I will press on and wait for him to pull me out of this test I am in with Him by my side.

May I encourage you to place all your hope and justification not in what you can do but in the already finished work of Jesus Christ. The rescue Jesus offers will promote a performance in your life unmatched by what is possible in all possible human achievement.

Now, at the end of this day I can see that everything that is fighting against my soul is illuminated by the Spirit who reveals that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Not only where I am supposed to be, but that my life isn’t about me, but is about serving others bc that is how Jesus lived.

Nothing, no critique, no affirmation , no anger, no words, no aggression, no film, not even the sweetest frame has any saving or destroying power.

The vision will come.

And in other news, Be honest and patient with your clients.

Below are photos of children and orphans in Ukraine who have been left by the government to raise. They make up the majority of the crime and human trafficking victims. It’s important to remember such peoples while the rest of the world watches the Eurocup down the street.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s easy to be discouraged while creating/producing your film. I am in the visionary part of a film I want to complete from a few years ago. I spent all day writing down ideas and few hours from last night. I got to the computer and started connecting the dots from my scrambled journal pages. The farther I went the less all my thoughts made sense even though I really thought I was on the right track. The weight of discouragement came heavily on me. I took a break and came back to work another 15 minutes and then everything came into place. I realized that I have felt like this countless times and pretty much every time I have had to power through and search for the next step and I have a break through. Therefor, I now know that when the discouragement feeling starts creeping in, I should embrace it with courage, like the dude exploring the scary abandoned building above, and be excited that the break through is right around the corner, whether I see it or not. Hope this helps. Check out my new website at

During Stephen McGee Films shoot

During our interview with Naomi Long for Kresge Arts in Detroit I used the same camera I was shooting the interview with to snap a quick portrait. I toggled the setting on the back of the 5d Mark II to my black and white mode and took this shot. I love Naomi Long's poetry and love for other poets.

“This just in!!!! Detroit photographer and cinematographer Stephen McGee unveils new website showcasing his ten years of reportage photography and short films and it encourages people to document the world around them to help others and educate “.

Well, Thats what I hope the headlines will say but for now I just wanted to share with the few people that read my blog that my new site is being launched today. I am still making modifications and adding Portfolios with old work.

You can visit the site here… www.stephenmcgeefilms.com

I will also start posting my creative process as I finish my 96th film for Kresge Arts in Detroit.

All while learning more about my faith and where I belong in this visual world. Would love to know what you think!

It is hard to understand but a continental shift in faith is occurring in my life. The form of it can not be presented in well crafted words or works and revolves around the same words I have been reading in my life for as long as I have been able to read. The shift isn’t measured in locational standards or by distance of thought but by a centering of existence in and around Jesus.

When the early church was teaching about Jesus, I have just read/researched, they taught about what Jesus did more than his teaching. What he did for us by dieing on the cross.
Using the common sunday school model of a wheel spoke; the center hub being Jesus and the spokes being various parts of life, I now see that instead of being with jesus in the center, my life is lived accordingly hanging on along the outside wheel. When opportunity approached, aka a spoke, for example a film, I, with the film am outside of Jesus, looking at Jesus, looking at where Jesus is, from me and the film’s perspective. I can not say that I have changed until Jesus reveals to me that he has changed me.

Jesus Centered faith is walking with Jesus, next to Jesus, focusing on what God has done for us and not what we are doing for God. I prayed a few weeks ago that I would stop hiding Jesus in God, stop hiding my faith in Jesus by just telling those I was ministering about God in my life without mentioning Jesus.

A lifetime of recalling what one person did for God will never equal a lifetime pointing to the one thing Jesus did for us.

If you support a missionary please don’t gauge whether or not to give to them or to continue giving to them by the number of people that have been saved because of their ministry.

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Video by Me.  Sorry if I just blew your mind.

A weekend over and a week now to prepare. China and Mongolia are on my mind after spending most of today helping my friend Joel Grothaus with his creation of art. It is raining now. I have a lot to prepare for. In all of this I believe I am becoming more of a professional. This week…Geting paid, buying gear, praising God, and making a movie for my church’s 5th anniversary. I am posting my third video I have created in a new program I am learning. It is way above anything I would use for my docs but I at the same time I want to push my storytelling to a new level.

Many will say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I do not disagree. Many will say that Dog is man’s best friend. I do not disagree. Many will say that the fridge is what an empty void a man can look into and not find what he searches for while it is right in front of him. I do not disagree. Many will say many things. And I do not disagree with most of those. This brings up a very important part of my life; my fridge, my friends and my heart. As I currently sit, I do not have much in my fridge. Just a few condiments for cooking Italian food located sporadically through the organizers, bins, shelves and dividers. Occasionally, on days when I feel bold or extra ordinary, I will go to the local markets and purchase the best of what they have and welcome those condiments into my life, securely placing each in their labeled organizer, bin and shelf. Hidden on the top row of the door, however, is the mini garage door of goodness. Able to be flipped up and down but when down, securing the patrons of its abode at a cool 10 degrees less than the outside. Being a digital photographer I no longer need to stock my fridge full with film (keeping it cold for longevity reasons). This garage is reserved for the rolls of 35mm that I have acquired over the 7 years I have been a photographer that have not been processed for some reason or another. As of this morning there were 11. 11rollsx36exposures/roll=a lot of photos of which I can not remember the content.  This being labor day, I wanted to take these rolls to the local film professionals (unfortunately CVS these days) to get them processed. And now I have all 11 rolls in front of me ready to spark a memory or two the way that only a photograph can do. In this study, I will write my initial reactions to these 11 rolls and site examples after I scan them into my computer. I am sure to find some photos of my only ex-girlfriend (whom I still pray for often). I dropped off the rolls of film at the CVS next to my house and picked them up after one game of frisbee golf, labor day bbq, one game of Texas Hold Em, two root beer floats and a bike ride home across town. All of that took about 5 hours. I now hold the single red envelope containing the 11 rolls of processed film and I would very much like to unravel each roll and view the photographs that have been patiently waiting this day. I will not though. I will open one at a time and reflect. This will be interesting….Ciao for now.