By Nathan Jones
How have people been responding to a movie about the Rapture?
A great new movie about the Rapture has been produced and is being released in theaters this month. It is titled Final: The Rapture (watch the trailer). The film was shot in Argentina, Japan, Hawaii and Los Angeles. It is hard-hitting and realistic, complete with all sorts of special effects.
On our television show Christ in Prophecy, Dr. David Reagan and I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the movie's writer and director, Tim Chey. The following contains some behind the scenes insights into what went into the movie, as well as getting to know the vision and heart of the director.
Dr. Reagan: The auditions for the actors used in Final: The Rapture were not all held in Los Angeles, were they? This film was shot in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Argentina and Japan, right?
Tim Chey: Yes, that's absolutely right. It's amazing that we went to all the places that we did for auditions and shooting.
Dr. Reagan: Tim, I tell you, when I saw this film the first thing that impressed me was the quality of it. The quality of the filming, of the directing, of the script and everything is top notch. The reason that this impressed me so much is because over the years I've seen many Christian films that were produced with great dedication and with great zeal, but they were very, very low budget. Those movies sadly just came across sometimes as totally hokey. But, yours is very different.
You shot this in Hawaii, Los Angeles, Argentina and Japan. I noticed at the end that you had a different film crew in each area. That adds up to a lot of money. How in the world were you able to raise the funds for this film?
Tim Chey: We were very fortunate. We had Christians who were wealthy Evangelical Christians. That's a very hard combo to get — a wealthy Evangelical Christian, that is.
Dr. Reagan: They are few and far between. The Lord must have led you to them.
Tim Chey: He did. It was out of the blue where we got most of our funding, because we had just gone through a disappointment with this Indian chief who runs a billion dollar tribe. I flew from Hawaii all the way to Canada and I asked the chief, "Are you sure? Because I'm flying all the way from Hawaii to Canada to meet with your tribe." He said, "Tim, we're going to put 10 million into this movie. We want you to know it's a done deal." So, I fly all the way over to Canada. They pick me up, then two hours to their tribe the chief says, "Oh, we just had a meeting and we decided to not do your film." It was very devastating, but we meet these kind of people all the time.
Two months later we get a phone call and it was one of my friends who had invested in our other film called called Suing the Devil. That's the one with Corbin Bernsen, and also in it is Malcolm McDowell. My friend invested in it and he did very well with it. He said, "I want to put some serious cash into your Rapture movie." So, they flew my wife and I to Australia. They picked us up in a limo, which was a little better than the Indian tribe. Then he said, "We want to put millions into your movies."
Nathan Jones: Praise the Lord!
Tim Chey: Did you know that all my movies have been doing well. All our films have been in the black, to let you guys know. And, it's a good way to get the investors their money back.
Dr. Reagan: Sure, if I'm investing, I want to know what you've done and if you made any money previously.
Tim Chey: Oh, absolutely! Movie making absolutely beats the stock market.
Dr. Reagan: There's no doubt the Lord's hand is upon you.
Dr. Reagan: You've shown Final: The Rapture now in a number of theaters across the nation, with Florida opening in theaters in January 2014. What has been the response of the audiences to your movie?
Tim Chey: One story in the news was a woman who came out of the theater after watching Final: The Rapture. This happened in Houston. She came out of the theater shaking. My wife saw her in the lobby and she pointed a pastor to her and the pastor led her to Christ. She got on her knees right in the middle of the lobby and people thought this was crazy. Some woman came up and asked me, "What's going on here? It's like a Baptist revival?" I replied, "No, it's just a Christian film that the Lord has lead us to show."
Nathan Jones: Your movie's website has a video where people can watch and see people's responses as they are coming out of the theaters, which is fantastic. They are coming out saying, "Wow! I didn't know this." Or, "This movie really moved me." Final: The Rapture is changing people's lives!
Tim Chey: Yes, it is. The great response is all the Lord, because you know 1 Corinthians says, "I become all things to all men to win some to Christ. To the weak I become weak, to the strong I become strong." In actuality, we are going to the weak — the movie-goers.
I think it was a mistake for the Christian Church since the 1940's to not get into movies. They should have competed with Hollywood and got in there and mixed it up with them, because we are seeing so much fruit now, such as altar calls. People are using Christian media to bring people to Christ.
Nathan Jones: Wow, praise the Lord!
In the third segment of our interview with Director Tim Chey concerning his movie Final: The Rapture, we'll go behind the scenes into who some of the movies actors are and discuss what society would have to look like just before the Rapture.