Looking To Eternity is a feature length film which is now available to order from North Breckland Youth For Christ. Here, Paul Lawrence tells the powerful, inspirational and heart-wrenching story behind the making of the film:
“Daniel had his first seizure in early September 2014 just 3 weeks before he got married. It was very frightening because his twin brother Ben could not rouse him and then when he did come round Daniel didn’t know who his brother was or indeed who he was. After that all seemed to be well and the wedding took place and was a beautiful occasion.
On honeymoon another seizure struck and this time Daniel had no idea who his wife Kim was and it was clear that something was very wrong. Later a scan showed that there was a mass that had bent the brain out of shape.
Following that a biopsy was taken at Addenbrookes hospital and the devastating news that Daniel had an inoperable brain tumour. Daniels response to this news was “God is good”. It was something he would say many times after that as he encountered treatments, A&E visits and regular bad news.
Daniel was a youth worker for Youth for Christ and helped to set up the work at North Breckland YFC based at Dereham in Norfolk. He was especially gifted and talented with anything technical and a wonderful musician too. His heart was always to engage with young people nurturing and mentoring them so that they to could know the Jesus whom he loved. He would regularly organise projects where young people would learn new skills such as an Easter week radio station which ran from early till late each day with all kinds of shows and young presenters. Short films were a frequent part of the work encouraging young people to be on both sides of the camera.
So how did the film come about? It was on one of the early trips to Addenbrookes that Daniel had a strong sense that the Holy Spirit was speaking to him to write a feature length film and that the subject matter was to deal with terminal illness. He didn’t hang around and wrote a comprehensive script reasonably quickly. He wanted to make it a film full of hope and to challenge all of us about our eternity. After that he shared it with his colleagues and they all agreed that it was impossible but God was clearly in it so they pushed on doors and those doors opened. The Jerusalem Trust helped to fund it and gave basic training and support and it became a youth project.
It was truly amazing how things came together not least the authentic hospital training facility that they were able to hire through a ‘Godincidence’ which was integral and essential for the film to work. The cast came together of young people and a few older YFC helpers and supporters, often having dual roles behind the camera too. Filming was done in the early part of 2016 being completed in the Easter holidays and took 7 days, a miracle in itself to produce an 80 minute feature film.
Daniel could not be there for all the filming, he was too ill, but he did the best he could and his brother took up the responsibility of directing for him. It took many months of editing and adding the music score but finally it was finished and premièred on the 4th November at the Dereham Hollywood cinema. Daniel saw it there even though he was very weak, he had completed what God had set before him. He didn’t take any credit for it.
After that he declined quickly but as he had been all the way through he didn’t complain or ask “why me?” When I asked him one day how do you really feel he said “I’m alright with it Dad”.
Daniel died shortly after that on the 21st of November with his wife and all our close family around him. He was 25 years old.”
The trailer for Looking to Eternity can be viewed below and copies can be ordered here.
April 27th, 2017 - Posted & Written by Laura White