Pendragon — Sword Of His Father

Pendragon - Sword of His Father

I wanted to announce that I found out about a new movie that is coming out on DVD called Pendragon—Sword Of His Father.

This film is being put together by Burns Family Studios. The Burns family, who homeschool, has been involved in film making for the past six years. It all started when their youngest son, Peter, then eight, decided to make a film about the history of manned flight. And the next movie he wrote, directed, and starred in.

Why am I interested in this movie? For those of you new to my blog, I am a homeschooling father who is writing a series of books, called The Merlin Spiral, with a fresh twist on the legends and history of King Arthur. If you are interested in reading my first chapter you can click here.

Back to the movie by the Burns family: Filmmaking has become a major part of the Burns family’s life, and their current endeavor about King Arthur (Artos) is being made with their cousins. The goal of this film, set in early medieval Britain, is to encourage young people to follow God’s vision for their lives. The whole family contributes to the making of Burns Family Studios’ newest film.

I found out about this because they will be speaking at our local Home Schooling Conference and Curriculum Fair being held in St. Charles, MO, on June 23, 24, and 25, 2008 at the St. Charles Convention Center.

Here is a bit about their studio:

Burns Family Studios is a group of homeschooling families with a passion for film. Two years ago, we began our filmmaking odyssey with The Deed, followed by Quest for Glory, our first feature film. As God has opened doors, our family hobby has blossomed into a serious endeavor.

Now, through our work on the Pendragon Project, our group is being transformed even as we hope to transform others. As we strive to inspire our audience to fulfill the vision God has given them, we ourselves are learning what it means to follow a vision God has given to us.

Our desire is to use film to impact history, by inspiring our audience to impact their world.

Also, here is info about the movie:

Pendragon - Sword Of His FatherThe year is A.D. 411 – the Empire of Rome is crumbling. As the legions are called back to defend the Eternal City, the Isle of Britain is left to merciless Saxon marauders…

During the 400’s A. D., the farms and villages on the coast of Britain were raided and destroyed by invading Saxons. Our hero, Artos Pendragon, is called by God to lead the British people in the fight to save their homes and families. Artos faces and overcomes such obstacles as the destruction of his family’s village, then slavery in and escape from a Saxon camp, and even betrayal by his friends. But, through these trials, God works in the heart of Artos to make him the leader who can save the British people from Saxon destruction.

So the Pendragon story begins…

Son of the village chieftain, Artos Pendragon is entrusted with his father’s vision to drive the Saxons from Britain in defense of the people God has given him to protect. But, when Artos’s own village is destroyed by raiding Saxons, and he is enslaved, his will is crushed. Unexpectedly risking his life to defend a young girl, Artos is forced to make a desperate escape, during which he collapses at the very end of his own strength. He cries out to God and is rescued by Lailoken, a wise man of the woods. Refreshed in mind, body, and soul, he sets out carrying his father’s sword to finish his father’s work.

Artos travels to the British stronghold at Arfon to join the army that Ambrosius, king of Britain, is raising to stop the invading Saxons. In Arfon, Artos meets Wenneveria, the king’s daughter, and Brotus, Artos’s future companion. Both Wenneveria and Brotus are inspired by Artos’ vision to defend Britain and join him in his effort.

But, the army commander Cadeyrn plots to amass power for himself at the cost of Britain’s defense. Through treachery and betrayal, Cadeyrn succeeds in evicting Artos and leaving the British people defenseless. As the ravaging Saxon hosts prepare to invade and conquer Britain, how will Artos’s vision of protection, peace, and freedom be accomplished?

A story of courage, vision, and sacrifice, this film is sure to thrill your family and stir your heart. As the makers of Pendragon, we hope to inspire another generation to stand tall and shoulder the tasks God has given them.

Check it out!

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8 thoughts on “Pendragon — Sword Of His Father

  • Steve,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views.

    A think a lot has to do with expectations when you pop it in the DVD player … if you expect it to be professional and on par with movies where millions and millions of dollars have been spent, you will be disappointed.

    If you understand that this was put together by a bunch of kids and young adults who spent their own $60,000, blood, sweat, tears, incredible amounts of time, and filmed it in their own backyard, parks, and friend’s ranches—you will be absolutely astounded.

    However, if you want, you can contact the Burns family at:

    http://burnsfamilystudios.com/movies/pendragon/contact.html

    -Robert

  • Robert’s critique raises some issues that Christians who wish to influence the world would do well to address. As Rich Christiano found, it isn’t enough to excuse shoddy work by saying, “Well, we’re just a bunch of ordinary folks with a small budget.” If the work is poor, it undermines your credebility from that point on. Modern Christian cinema is first-rate. See Christiano’s “The Time Changer” or Kirk Cameron’s “Fireproof” for two examples. The earlier “Facing the Giants” offers the contrast of how far someone can go from a first effort to a later one, to “Fireproog.” As a former movie critic on a Salt Lake City radio talk show in the ’70s, it seems to me that the Burns family are going to have reach more outside themselves if they’re going to reach the quality I think they’ll agree we all want the non-Christian world to see us presenting in our efforts to witness. After all, we wouldn’t want to present seekers with Christian books filled with typos, poorly bound pages, and badly drawn illustrations, would we?

  • Major Centner,

    I strongly disagree when you say “it isn’t enough to excuse shoddy work by saying ‘Well, we’re just a bunch of ordinary folks with a small budget’.” Here is why:

    “Shoddy Work”

    I do not consider anything in Pendragon to be shoddy. Nothing was done haphazardly or without very careful attention to detail. Yes, some scenes are better than others, but I chalk that up to either lack of funds, or the process of learning professional film-making.

    “Undermines Your Credebility”

    You seem to think that shoddy is only something Christians do, but I think the world is far more full of shoddy than Christian produced stuff. The reason Christian work is panned by the world (both Fireproof and Time Changer have been considered poor films by most secular critcs) is because of the Christian content. This will always be so.

    “Ordinary Folks”

    Yes, these were ordinary folks. Did “Time Changer” or “Fireproof” use ordinary folks for actors? No. Kirk Cameron has quite the resume. “Time Changer” had SIX professional actors. Pendragon had none. Why? It comes down to funds.

    As part of “ordinary” you also have to add “learning the craft”. No this wasn’t the first film from the Burns Family Studio, but Chad Burns does not have the experience of Rich Christiano. If Chad had been making movies as long as Rich, he would have made his first film at six years old.

    “Small Budget”

    Yes, Pendragon had a small budget. But that is a relative term. The producers of Fireproof spent TWELVE TIMES more money than the makers of Pendragon. And that was on top of having most of Fireproof’s locations for free, including firetrucks, trains, etc. Yes, Fireproof had a small budget compared to Hollywood. But if you say that, then Pendragon had a TINY BUDGET.

    Considering the challenges they faced, Pendragon is astounding. I was on set for one shoot, and I have seen the incredible effort that went into this film.

    “if they’re going to reach the quality”

    The most frustrating thing for me is that you seem to imply that the Burns Family Studio’s goal is to “be” and “stay” mediocre. This could be nothing further from the truth. If anyone in the Burns family chooses to make another film, they will do it better, having learned from the process of making Pendragon.

    You can even see this learning process as the film progresses. The scenes shot later were sometimes better than those done earlier. The end fight scene, for example, between Caydern and Artos was incredible. The funeral scene was well done. So what was the Burns family to do? Go start the film over again and reshoot? They did do some of that, but you have to stop somewhere and get the film out. They invested YEARS in this film.

    With all due respect, Major Centner, please spend your time building up the fledgling Christian film industry rather than tearing down those directors and producers who are in the process of learning the ropes.

  • I received this movie as a birthday gift, and my family watched it a few nights ago.

    It was awesome! We’ve dabbled in movie-making ourselves, and we know how complicated the entire process is. I’ve written music for our short film, and I know how hard it is.

    We liked it better than “Widow’s Might,” another movie made by homeschoolers. Yes, the acting was less than professional, but that’s to be expected in movies like this! I thought that everything else about it, from writing to set-building to editing, was incredible.

    Anyway, I’ll probably do a full movie review on my blog soon.

  • Evergreena,

    I saw your name on the Nightwing Tribe blog … welcome to the tribe!

    Also, thanks for the encouragement after Major Centner’s negativity got me all stoked up last week.

    You should check out my daughter’s blog (Greenwood Shadows over at http://adele.epictales.org ), you and her might have some things in common.

    Thanks for stopping by,

    -Robert

  • Secular critics do not consider Time Changer and Fireproof to be poor films because of the Christian content. They do so because they are comparatively poor films. Yes, Kirk Cameron can surely act, but only when a good director is there to bring that good performance out of him and not be happy until Kirk gives it. The director of Fireproof was happy with one take too few.

    I received Pendragon as a white elephant gift this year from my coworkers. They had bought it at a Christian bookstore thinking it would be on par at least with Fireproof. They had a good laugh and decided it would make a good white elephant gift.

    I guess their problem was that they had set their expectations too high. Unfortunately, Hollywood has set some high standards by which all low budget films are compared to and there is nothing we can do about it, except meet those standards.

    Some people will be able to look past the films shortcomings and see the heart of the filmmakers. It is, after all, clear that this was a project of humungous scale for a family of homeschoolers and a lot of blood sweet and tears went into it. Their props, costumes, score and visual effects they can be quit proud of. I’ve seen movies with 10 times their budget do worse. However, the production, acting and script writing shortcomings are hard for today’s Hollywood sensitized audience to overlook, Christians and non-Christians alike. If They want their movie to be taken seriously by the majority, and if they want to impact young lives by it’s message, then they are going to have to fix those little faults in their next film.

  • Firstly let me congratulate your group for trying to make a decent Christian movie that a family can sit down together and watch. While I agree that ist was not quite as professional as the big hollywood blockbusters that it is being unfairly compared to, it was still very good in the action and scenery shots as well as the score. It also got the message across re living by faith and trusting the Lord in all things!!!!! So keep up the good work and best of luck with your other movie ventures, I will certainly be buying more of your movies, as they are released.

  • Thanks, Sharon for your kind words! Just to clarify one point … I’m not affiliated in any way with Burns Family Studios (other than as a one-time movie extra). They are the ones who made Pendragon Sword of His Father, and my hat is off to them!

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