Hello my friends!! Welcome to another creative interview here in my new series! I love learning about people. It’s amazing what we can learn if we take a moment to get to know someone else or listen to what they have to say.
I decided to start this series on my blog, sharing interviews with some of my friends and fellow creatives/small business owners/entertainers/their projects etc., to support them and share with you their faith, inspiration, and just how amazing they are! I hope you enjoy them, and if you fall into one of the afore mentioned categories, continue reading to find out how you can be featured with an interview, here on my blog.
Today’s interview is with Kevin M. Kraft, an extraordinary creative from Kansas City, Missouri. Let's see what Kevin has to share with us:
Kevin M. Kraft is CEO of Heaven's Wheel in Kansas City, Missouri. He is also a Family & Youth Specialist with a major Midwest healthcare provider. He has been an avid writer from early childhood, growing up in upstate New York. He lives with his family in Kansas City, Missouri. An award-winning author and multi-award-winning screenwriter, Kevin has written, produced, directed or acted in a number of film shorts and is writer, producer and director on a number of movie projects in development at Heaven's Wheel. An independent author, Kraft is a prolific writer and an instructor and lecturer on a number of aspects of creative writing.
In 2018, Kevin was honored by being authorized to write the screenplay for his favorite novel, international bestselling author, James Byron Huggins' technological thriller, LEVIATHAN, which began a collaborative agreement between he and the author and WildBlue Press to try and get a film version of the novel finally made.
At the time of this interview, JAMES BYRON HUGGINS' LEVIATHAN is nominated for Best Script in the 2020 International Christian Film & Music Festival.
What role has your faith had in your creative enterprises? Everything I aspire to do issues from my faith in God through Jesus Christ. My work, regardless of genre, expresses, in some way, a biblical worldview. For a long time, I thought it would be most advantageous not to put my faith in front of what I do. I figured it would come out as people spoke to me about it. But one day it occurred to me:
My faith is the best thing--the only good thing about me. And who am I to say how and when I should express myself and the truth of God?
I'm not a filmmaker who just happens to be Christian. I'm a Christian first and foremost, beyond anything else, in spite of anything else. My identity is in CHRIST and Christ alone. That is why I do what I do, for His purpose. Now, I freely refer to myself as a Christian author and filmmaker and singer and songwriter and composer. I don't shy away from it; I rely on it. I rely on Christ as my source of living, not an accessory to life.
Describe your creative process. Since I have a very active imagination, I am never at a loss for ideas or inspiration.The creative process varies from one project to the next. Some projects come fully formed. I literally sit at the keyboard and the idea emerges complete. No logline, no outlines. At other times, it begins with an idea and then develops from there. Like taking a file from a file cabinet, I choose an idea that inspires me and I work on it as long as I am motivated to, first writing the logline, then a one-three sentence summary, then a synopsis, followed by a bullet-point plot summary, then an outline. In the case of a novel, I'll write a chapter-by-chapter outline. Anywhere within these steps, I'll create biographies for the most important characters. Now, once I begin the first draft of a project, whether it is a novel or a screenplay, I usually have in mind a key scene or action sequence or conversation that must occur. I write that first. Once I do that, I write the next most pressing scene on my consciousness and the next. I continue this process each day--one or two scenes, until the first draft is finished. And I have found this to be the fastest, most motivating way to write. This may seem weird, but, when I write, it’s almost as if I have an auxiliary brain. I write "cinematically," to coin a term, very much in real-time. At any given time, I am in the moment I'm wiring about, which means I’ll get so wrapped up in the story, as I’m writing it that something shocking or unexpected will occur in the narrative and I'll literally jump in my chair. “OH! I can’t believe he did that!” Yeah. I've done that. Out loud, caught somehow totally by surprise by what had just happened...in a story I've created. Anyway, there is definitely a sort of zone I go into when writing. It’s hard to explain, but it actually makes the very writing process exciting for me, which I hope indicates what my readers experience. Knowing God gave me the ability to write lets me be confident in Him, not myself.
What is your main goal as a creative? My main goal is, first, to glorify God and represent Him and biblical values to the world. Second, to tell EXCELLENT stories that people have to hear. While many storytellers (novelists, screenwriters, etc.) begin with a message in mind for their project, I begin with a message and then build story and characters around the message. I begin with character (most often believers) that readers and care about. Then I place them into a situation, the story, and see how they respond. Any message that arises grows organically from this, which apparently resonates with all of my readers, whether they identify as “Christian” or not.
What is a passion project you have been dreaming about but hasn’t come to fruition yet?
I have been on a two-decades-long crusade to bring international bestselling author, James Byron Huggins' technological thriller, LEVIATHAN to try and get a film version finally made. When I read the novel years ago, it became my all-time favorite. I knew it had to become a film. I read the book several times and, early on, knew the Lord wanted me to campaign for the making of the movie. At the time of this interview, the authorized screenplay based on the novel, JAMES BYRON HUGGINS' LEVIATHAN, is nominated for Best Script in the 2020 International Christian Film & Music Festival. One more step perhaps in realizing a motion picture. Bryon (I call him "Byron"!) said it is the best adaptation he has read of any of his novels.
What is your favorite or most inspirational Bible verse? John 15:13: "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
What is something that makes you smile on a daily basis? My family.
What do you find to be the easiest part of creativity? Coming up with and crafting ideas for stories.
What do you find to be the hardest part of creativity? Proofreading my work and looking at my work objectively, although I'm getting better at the latter..
Who, living, is your biggest influence and/or supporter? My wife, Sharon.
Conclusion... While I am more accomplished at novel writing and love it, the endgame to all of my creative efforts has been to make motion pictures. I have the intellectual properties and the ability to do it. All I (we) need is the financial backing to do it. Therefore, I invite those with faith and means and a desire to influence the industry and moviegoers by creating movie that reflect, whether implicitly or explicitly, a biblical worldview, to contact me for more information. I can be reached through my personal website: www.kevinmkraft.weebly.com,
The Heaven's Wheel website at www.heavenswheel.weebly.com
Facebook: Kevin M. Kraft Author