One of my early jobs in the “film industry” was scooping popcorn and cleaning theaters at the Northwood Cinema in my home town of Fort Wayne, Indiana. At the age of twenty, all I knew was that I wanted to be as close to the movies as I could get. And while I was simultaneously working as a freelance grip, gaffer and videographer in the local and regional video production market, working in the movie theater made me feel that much closer to my dreams. One of the most memorable times during those years was when our little two-screen theater went from being a second-run $1 dollar movie house to a first-run theater. That meant that we had a lot more business and got the new movies as soon as they came out.
There are a couple of things about working at a movie theater that really stuck with me. First, you get to see all the movies you want for free, and you can usually get your fill of all the popcorn you can handle, too. I’m a popcorn and movie addict, so for me it was like living in my own little slice of heaven. The second thing that sticks with you is the opening sequence and closing scenes of every movie you run. That’s because, whether you’re seating people or working concessions, you always hear when the movies start up because the doors to the theater are still open. We usually wouldn’t close the doors until the feature itself started to run, and then you could kill some time in the back of the theater, watching for a few minutes under the auspices of “checking the print”.
The other part that I’ll never forget is the closing scenes of so many films, because that’s when you would sneak back into the theater to open the doors and start sweeping up popcorn and throwing away people’s trash, prepping for the next screening in 30 minutes. We had the exclusive run of Schindler’s List in the city, and so I have seen the entire film at least 25 times, and the last 10 minutes well over 100 times. A lot of movies would let out and people would be jovial. When Schindler’s List let out, it was as somber as a funeral. Some people would even be in tears.
Do you remember that scene towards the end of Schindler’s List, where Itzhak Stern (played by Ben Kingsley) and Oskar Schindler (played by Liam Neeson) were saying their goodbyes as Oskar and his wife were preparing to flee after the Germans had surrendered, and the war was coming to an end? In the scene, Itzhak and several of the Jewish elders give Oskar a gold ring with an inscription on it. Itzhak holds it up to Oskar, who takes it and examines it closely. Itzhak looks him in the eyes and says,
“It is Hebrew, from the Talmud. It says, ‘He who saves one life saves the world in time.’”
Oskar breaks down in tears, collapsing to the ground, because he grieves at how many lives were lost, and how he could have saved more. At once, he is surrounded by the men and women whom he has saved, and they comfort him as best they can as he and his wife get into their car and disappear into the night, now to be hunted as a war criminal as a member of the Nazi party. It is one of the most profound scenes in cinema history.
There are real heroes all around us, but they don’t wear capes, they don’t have exoskeletons of armor, and they don’t carry giant hammers. The real heroes all around us are those who quietly go about the task, every day, of saving lives. They don’t ask for recognition, and they don’t ask for awards, and they certainly don’t receive monetary compensation like our make believe heroes do. But, these real-life heroes are the men and women who “run to the sound of the gun”, going in to stand first and sometimes stand alone against the dangers and injustices and evils of the world. And, if there’s one thing that I learned in my sabbatical from filmmaking, it’s that those are the stories that we need to be telling more of. There’s nothing wrong with the cinematic allegories of righteous superheroes, but real superheroes are much more compelling to me.
I’m proud to announce that my next feature film is a true life documentary film about an earth-shattering battle between absolute good and absolute evil. And the true heroes of this film are those who are fighting every day to save the lives of our unborn generations, battling now for over 4 decades against the absolute tyranny of evil in our society called abortion. Since 1973, our nation has committed the greatest holocaust in world history through the state sanctioned murder of over 60 million children while absolutely defenseless in their mother’s wombs. Yet, my industry - the motion picture industry - has remained profoundly silent.
So, let me paint you a picture. Imagine yourself going to church one Sunday morning, only to discover that the church has a new neighbor just across the street that is an abortion clinic, and that they will be opening for business that very week to ply their trade. What would you do?
That is the real-life story of Inwood Drive. A church body one day found that the front line of the battle against abortion had suddenly been brought to their literal front door, with only the width of a city street - Inwood Drive - separating their congregation from the horrifying daily trade of abortionist Ulrich Klopfer.
Inwood Drive is a story of hope from despair, courage and victory in the battle to save the lives of the most innocent among us - the unborn.