'Holy Ghost' Doc Vows to Disrupt Hollywood Status Quo

'Holy Ghost' Doc Vows to Disrupt Hollywood Status Quo

Want to see Holy Ghost, the new documentary from the studio behind Finger of God, Furious Love and Father of Lights?

It won’t cost you a penny, but the studio behind the project has faith consumers will pay for the movie … eventually.

Wanderlust Productions will release Holy Ghost for 48 hours starting Sept. 6 at no cost to the public. It believes it will make money from the home video and VOD side of the current film model.

Here’s why Wanderlust Productions is gambling on the strategy. The film already snared $360,000 via a Kickstarter campaign, which the studio says makes it the most funded faith-based film in the site’s history. More than 2.4 million people have watched the trailer. Roughly 400 churches will help with the U.S. “premiere tour” set to follow the free 48 hour window.

The film itself doesn’t follow the standard documentary template. Director Darren Wilson shot the movie without a script or a plan, saying “we just showed up and allowed ourselves to be led on an adventure.”

Holy Ghost also reflects changes in how people view new content. The studio offered a pre-release screening of the film for just $5, and nearly half the customers watched the film on mobile devices. And at a time when Hollywood is increasingly looking to sell tickets overseas, about 45 percent of people who saw the pre-release screening hailed from outside the U.S.

The film arrives during a robust year for faith-based films. Recent hits like Son of God, Heaven Is for Real and God’s Not Dead showcased how hungry audiences are for spiritual fare. Social media allows Christians and faith-friendly audiences to spread the news of these projects, bypassing traditional marketing machinery.

The film’s Kickstarter.com campaign promised Holy Ghost “will capture the power, mystery, and character of the Holy Spirit through amazing God encounters around the world.”

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