Brenden Bell and the Divine Narrative
Brenden Bell (’08) graduated from Bethel with a bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry fully prepared to be a pastor preaching from the pulpit. Little did he know that he would be living in Australia preaching the Word under the spotlight of a film studio during the production of the film, “The Umbrella.”
Just months after graduation, Bell joined Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Orlando, Fla. After working with this organization for about a year, Bell felt the pull toward film, an area of work he had always had a passion for, but lacked the courage to pursue. Having the opportunity to tell someone’s story from a different perspective in a way that could further the gospel was exciting to Bell.
“The word of our testimony is one of the major weapons that we have against the enemy, and to have the privilege of sharing that with a wide audience would be incredible,” says Bell.
Luckily, YWAM ran film schools for missionaries who felt the call to the film industry. Shortly after applying to one of these schools in Brisbane, Australia, Bell joined with Australian independent filmmakers “The Initiative Production Company” as they were just beginning preproduction on their first feature film, “The Umbrella.”
“The Umbrella” is a film about an emotionally detached man named Jared who uses an imaginary umbrella to shield himself from suffering in life. Jared realizes that when he tries to protect himself from pain, he is disengaging from life in the present.
Eventually, Jared lets go of his umbrella and finds freedom that comes from living honestly. Bell works as the head script supervisor with the main function to serve as the editor’s representative on set, paying attention to detail and making sure there is continuity from shot to shot.
Bell hopes to write some of his own screenplays in the future, allowing him to effectively minister to the public by storytelling. Through film, Bell is fulfilling his call to ministry in an unconventional, yet effective way.
“I have always been interested in writing in general because you have the opportunity to tell someone’s story, and THAT is a powerful thing,” says Bell.