LANCASTER, Pennsylvania – The Sight & Sound service, which has spent decades providing Bible-based entertainment in theaters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Branson, Missouri, is expanding its entertainment portfolio by creating content for the big screen.
During the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry launched streaming service Sight & Sound TV. This allows people from over 100 countries to follow a live performance of “Queen Esther” virtually. Under God’s guidance, the organization felt compelled to create unique Christian films for the world to see.
Sight & Sound President and Chief Story Officer Joshua Enck said in a video released Friday, Sight & Sound Films will bring its passion for storytelling from the big stage to the big screen, with true stories about historical figures and events who “changed the world because Christ first changed it.”
Sight & Sound Director of Marketing & Communications Katie Miller, granddaughter of company founder Glenn Eshelman, spoke to The Christian Post about the making of the new film studio.
“[My grandfather] is really excited,” Miller said. “It felt like a big undertaking to come out of such a challenging season and we’re just incredibly grateful, and so is he, that we were able to do it [do this].”
The company began discussing a possible film venture just before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. While they felt it was the direction the Lord was leading them, they had no idea how they would get there.
“When we first came up with the idea, the questions were really about how are we going to do it, shouldn’t we? And then when COVID hit, it felt like it was going to be this thing that said, ‘Okay, maybe one day we would probably years later,'” Miller said.
“It felt like the Lord of this season had just allowed us to not only give us the space to venture into feature films, but actually speed them up, something that we really thought would slow us down,” added her. “It became such an answer to prayer and really felt like God’s faithfulness in the whole situation.”
Eshelman has always had a love for the stage and multimedia, and a mix of both. He originally began his productions in 1976 as a slide show for churches. After years of traveling he opened a theatre.
A decade later, Sight & Sound began its immersive live animal experience and performances on a 300-foot scenic stage. Now they have built their film studio next to the legendary theater in Lancaster.
“I think it feels really special when the next generation of storytellers picks up the mantle and takes it to the next step,” Miller told CP.
“We are so excited about the stories we can tell and the messages they contain. So if we were going to do it and get into something like movies, we wanted to be able to do it at the same level of quality that everyone already knows when it comes to our stage shows.”
All Sight & Sound productions contain original content inspired by biblical narratives found in the Holy Scriptures. With their loyal local team, they were able to use the same gifts and talents in a different medium to tell the stories of various heroes of faith not mentioned in the Bible.
“When it comes to theater, Bible stories are what we are called to do there. And at the same time, we began to feel this stirring for other stories that we know are out there with equally powerful messages of faith. ‘ remarked Mueller.
“And so the question really became, how do we start telling these stories? And the film is what came out on top,” she recalled. “So for us it’s partly about a different medium, but it also opens the door to a whole range of different stories, all of which still have a biblical foundation, and inspiring stories of faith we hope to continue to present.”
With endless possibilities, Sight & Sound aims to continue providing inspirational content for audiences of faith, now in greater capacity.
Miller described their goal as “true stories about historical figures who changed the world because Christ changed it first.” According to Miller, “That’s really why we want to do this and why we’re excited for what’s to come.”
“It’s overwhelming when you’re trying something new, you see the end road where you know you want to go, and the path doesn’t always feel super clear,” she concluded.
But now that the pieces have come together, Miller concluded, “It all turned out so well. So it’s exciting and also nerve-wracking. There are still many unknowns, but we look forward to getting started.”
Sight & Sound Films released the trailer for their debut film I Heard the Bells on Friday. The film is slated to hit theaters in December.
Best known as America’s poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow leads an idyllic life – until the day his world is rocked by tragedy. With a nation riven by civil war and a family torn apart, Henry lays down his pen, silenced with grief at the sound of Christmas morning, bringing the poet’s lost voice back to life as he discovers the echoing hope of a renewed faith “, says the synopsis of the film.