Reuben Evans is a brilliant screenwriter and the executive producer at Faithlife TV/Faithlife Films, and has been for over ten years. Reuben is also the head writer and script supervisor for the highly anticipated forthcoming Christmas comedy classic, The Farmer & the Belle, due for release Thanksgiving 2018. Reuben took some time to dive into his faith, personal life, and work as an executive producer of Christian TV/film. Take a look!
Miranda ~ Hello Reuben! Honored to have you visit TBAP today. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Reuben: Great to be with you. I’m from the beautiful Pacific Northwest where I work as a filmmaker and Executive Producer for Faithlife TV/Faithlife Films. I’m married to my lovely wife, SaraAnn, and I’ve got four little kids.
Miranda ~ How did you become a Christian?
Reuben: I actually became a Christian at the age of eleven. I watched The Jesus Film and they gave an invitation to trust Christ at the end. I ended up kneeling beside the TV and accepted Christ.
Miranda ~ In what way do you believe your personal journey as a Christian/Executive producer for Faithlife TV inspires those around you?
Reuben: I hope that we can use the media of filmmaking to inspire an awe of God in others.
Miranda ~ When did entertainment/film become a part of your life? What events inspired, and in particular, led to you to this industry?
Reuben: I’ve been doing video production at Faithlife for over a decade now. But what really launched me into filmmaking was a very personal project. We did a documentary, Reunion (also on Faithlife TV and Amazon Prime), a film which told the story of my wife’s adoption and reunion with her biological family. It’s a truly unique and inspiring story.
Miranda ~ You’re working with Jim and Jenn Chandler on their forthcoming movie, The Farmer & The Belle, a movie that’s being projected to be a major Christmas classic. What inspired you to join the team?
Reuben: I met Jenn at the International Christian Film Festival. She is such an inspiring and hard-working actress. She was looking for people to help read what they had at the time. Soon thereafter, I joined the team and began work on script revisions.
Miranda ~ You’ve worked with a number of writers/professionals. For The Farmer & the Belle project, how did you pick your team?
Reuben: From the get-go, co-producer Joel Bunkowske, wanted to draw on the talents of a team. Jenn had a number of excellent connections with talented writers. They volunteered to read the script and give their insights. From there, we used a Faithlife group to coordinate the collaboration efforts. We had over a dozen contributing writers that we were able to work with. One of those writers, James M. DeVince, ended up taking an even larger role on the project and is credited as a co-writer.
Miranda ~ Who are the people that have inspired you the most professionally and personally? How so?
Reuben: I’ve been fascinated by those who have written about story structure: Joseph Campbell, Robert McKee, Christopher Voelker, Blake Synder and others. Understanding the building blocks of “story” helps us to write well and read well. It even helps us to have a deeper perspective on the stories in the Bible. And it helps us to learn humbly from those who have taken the time to master their craft.
Miranda ~ You’ve been on the executive production side of TV for some time now and have also worked on film. In what way would you say the Christian industry is different than the mainstream and, what would you like to see change on the Christian scene?
Reuben: The divide between Christian and non-Christian is essentially a marketing one. You are choosing an audience to serve. What I would like to see is that regardless of which audience we choose to serve, that we choose to challenge them to examine themselves. Christian entertainment that chooses to pander to Christian audiences instead of challenging them to a more Christ-like life are of limited value. So in addition to sharpening our crafts of writing, acting, and cinematography, we need the courage to produce scripts that seek to go beyond an “us vs. them” mentality.
Miranda ~ Using Faithlife TV as a positive platform, what do you believe you can add to the entertainment scene that isn’t already there?
Reuben: The kind of content that we are producing at Faithlife TV is designed to help you grow in the light of the Bible. Knowing and obeying the Scripture is key to Christian growth. We hope to help our viewers from young to old understand and apply God’s Word to their lives.
Miranda ~ What are you most grateful for right now and generally?
Reuben: I’m genuinely grateful for the opportunity to come home to my wife and kids at a reasonable time most nights. I get to do something creatively challenging, but in an environment that seeks to keep first things first. We push hard to make great Faithlife Films, like our latest documentary, Fragments Of Truth, but we never want to lose focus on the primary responsibilities that God has given us.
Miranda ~ What advice would you offer a person who believes they’ve been called to become a writer/producer?
Reuben: Seek to make good films. Read the books on screenwriting. Study the marketplace. Go to Christian film festivals and seek to learn from those in the industry. It is a fast changing market. Finally, go shoot a short film with your iPhone and a good microphone. Now you’re a Christian filmmaker.
THIS or THAT (The Fun Questions!)
Coffee or Tea? Coffee! Single shot 8 oz. half sweet vanilla latté
Gym or Outdoor? Outdoors—I live in the beautiful PNW! (Pacific Northwest)
Sneakers or Boots? In my heart I’m a sneaker-head; my first job was at Footlocker 🙂
Running or Walking? I ran cross country for a semester in college. I really don’t feel the need to run again.
Cereal or Fruit? Cereal for me.
Music or Books? I’d love to think of myself as an audiophile and a bookworm, but really I just want to watch a movie!
TV or Magazine? Does Netflix count as TV? I haven’t bought a magazine in a long time, but if I was going to read one, it would probably be American Cinematographer.
About Reuben Evans
Reuben Evans is the Executive Producer of Faithlife TV/Faithlife Films. He’s an experienced commercial director and documentary filmmaker (Reunion, Archaeology + Jesus, Aliens & Demons, Fragments of Truth). Reuben is a co-writer and the Script Development Supervisor of The Farmer and The Belle. He resides in Bellingham, WA with his wife SaraAnn and 4 children.