I’m a professional filmmaker and a Christian. Here’s what that’s like.

As a professional filmmaker, there’s a question I get asked a lot that’s tough: “What is it like to be a Christian working in the film industry?” Especially since I live in New York City.

It’s tough because it’s not honestly something I dwell on. Here’s what I mean: God has given me the ability to do what I do, so my work flows freely from that. It’s a joyful process of doing what I believe my purpose is. It’s not about doing my work or being a Christian. They’re one in the same.

But when I force myself to answer the question, there is something that stands out.

Ever since I was a child, my brother and I would take our parents’ video camera to the fields behind our home. There was a railroad track that cut directly between them. It was the perfect location for a couple pre-teens to create epic short films.

So we did.

All of our friends would come over, we’d assign roles, and we’d start filming. When I think about that, I’m reminded of something. You know what stands out? How different our skills and equipment were back then.


That, I think, is what being a Christian and a filmmaker is about. We’re always striving for excellence, but in a way that’s different. No shortcuts. No excuses. And no taking advantage of people.

Let me put it like this: It’s no different and yet all about being different.

How could it be any different if I’ve truly allowed what I believe to infuse into my work?

At We Are Films, we’ve worked with major clients like Sufjan Stevens, Squarespace, and Microsoft. Time and time again we’re told that there is something different about working on set with my brother and me. The film industry has a reputation for being cutthroat, backstabbing, and grueling. It’s true — especially in NYC.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. And we don’t have to be that way.

We create videos while treating others with kindness. We work as a team. Yes, we celebrate God as our motivator and our inspiration, but that doesn’t mean we are passing out Bibles on set or demanding people talk or act a certain way around us.

Instead, we work very, very hard, we treat others with respect, and we focus on creating an excellent product. That all flows naturally from God’s gift and, in the end, impacts people in our industry more than anything I’ve seen.

Aaron Craig, right, and his brother, Alex. (Source: WeAreFilmsNY.com)
Aaron Craig, right, and his brother, Alex. (Source: WeAreFilmsNY.com)

Think about it this way: Everyone is influenced in one way or another by others on set. Many months or even years are spent with people creating the final product. These people become your closest friends. It’s intense. And it’s one of the most beautiful parts of being a filmmaker. We are able to use that time spent together to show people that there is a better way, that there’s something different out there.

Being Second is not just about checking a box of things to say on set or to friends. It’s about living a lifestyle. Since I am Second, I am different. And people notice.

So being a “Christian filmmaker” isn’t something I constantly think or talk about, instead it’s just a part of who I am. It’s reflected in the life I live and in the way I create art.

I’m still just a kid running around with a video camera on the railroad tracks trying to do the best I can every step of the way.

So, what’s it like being a Christian in the film industry? It’s no different than being a Christian in a lot of other industries.

Let me put it like this: It’s no different and yet all about being different.

Aaron Craig is the co-founder, along with his brother Alex, of We Are Films, a professional film company in New York City. He’s worked on music videos with Sufjan Stevens and Cold War Kids, filmed documentaries in Ireland and Alaska, and is the producer of an upcoming feature film entitled “Rapid Eye Movement” that gets underway in October 2015. You can see his work at wearefilmsny.com.

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