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An Interview With Daniel Millican

Christians and Disciples

Daniel Millican, director/scriptwriter of The Imposter, sums it all up in a statement we could ask ourselves. “Are you a Christian or a disciple?” "Christian" meaning a believer and "disciple" meaning a follower, so by doing so, you take that extra step in helping someone else. In “The Imposter,” Johnny C. (Kevin Max) is a Christian rock star, but his friend, Proff (Kerry Livgren), who helps Johnny, is a disciple. He takes that extra step. Though, sometimes, as Tom Wright (street man) says, “You can be too churchy for the world and too worldly for the church.”  I liked the dialogue when Johnny C. is finally confronted with his drug problem. It is by the street man who says, “Mr. Troubadour, you are an imposter.” That sums it up.

This was an interesting introduction to Daniel Millican, a director and writer of Christian-based films. Millican is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington and has done four films in the past eight years. They include The Keyman (2002 and also called Finding Redemption) with Adam Baldwin (television’s Chuck), A Promise Kept (2004 and for U. S. audiences called The Gunman) with Sean Patrick Flannery (Boondock Saints), Striking Distance (2006) with Lou Diamond Phillips and now, The Imposter  (2009). When Millican finds that an actor works well with a group, he keeps that actor in for another film, which was the case with Tom Wright, who has done the role of a street man before, complete with bug zapper named Oprah.

Millican is a man of many trades in the film business, and sometimes not only writes and directs, but acts, edits, produces and composes for his films, too.  For The Imposter, though, Josh Goode wrote the soundtrack songs and a separate soundtrack CD should be available toward the end of this year.

Millican said the hardest part for young filmmakers to learn is about financing their film. The first thing people think of is a credit card, but there are regular payments to be made, legalities such as rights for music or the price for filming in a certain location or lighting problems are other things people don’t usually think about in planning a film production. Also, settle on the type of audience to reach; “Oh, everyone will like it” just isn’t enough anymore.

Millican’s advice for young filmmakers is to attend workshops about the various components of film, where you can interact with other people in the profession.  Currently, he is teaching film classes at the University of Texas at Arlington, and one of the things he has students do is to prepare a five minute presentation to a group asking to borrow money for their project. I personally could relate to this, as in college, we prepared such a presentation as part of an education class. That time it was going before a school board to ask for money for your department. Millican says you can go to Facebook for The Imposter movie to find information on future Millican projects, what's new and comments on film-making situations.

I asked Millican what his dream project would be and he said to do something on the life of Keith Green, a piano player who was killed in a plane crash in the 1980’s. This has overtones of the late Buddy Holly.

Daniel Millican is a friendly, talkative man who mentions his faith frequently. By choosing to show his faith through films, Millican can reach many people and show them that they aren’t alone. People in all walks of life have problems that religion can help them with. The next project for Daniel Millican is the family film Rising Star with Fisher Stevens, Barry Corbin, Catherine Mary Stewart and Rebecca St. James.

Interviewed by Marie Asner

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