behind the scenes
Few pastors begin their workday with the words,"lights, camera, action!" For Richard Gazowsky, senior pastor at Voice of Pentecostal Church in San Francisco, it is just another day in the ministry.
Raised in a traditional Pentecostal home, Gazowsky did not see his first film until 1993. That same year he launched WYSIWYG, a production company which lives up to its acronym, " What You See Is What You Get."
Gazowsky has produced videos for television for the past seven years and will release his first feature film, Guardians, this year.
Guardians, is the story of a boy who witnesses battles between angels and demons. Gazowsky describes the film as "Highlander ' meets 'Touched By An Angel'."
Today WYSIWYG fosters a colony of artists with 43 full-time employees. Their creative skills range from video production to creating the latest in digital technology. Gazowsky refers to his crew as a " ragtag band of prayer warriors born in the heat of intercession."
He tells the compelling story of their groundbreaking move into the film industry in his book, The Prophetic Whisper.
Gazowsky has been on the front lines of the prayer revolution. His highly-acclaimed book, Teach Me to Pray, I'm Falling Asleep, is a firsthand account of his advance from dormant to fervent in his prayer life. This book has awakened a sleeping giant around the world, selling 60,000 copies and translated into four different languages.
Gazowsky walks his talk. His day begins at 4:30 a.m. with a prayer walk through the city streets.
"Everything God has done has come out of that prayer time," he said. "If you're not praying, you're not plugging into what the Spirit is doing."
Gazowsky admits that the road to Hollywood has had its bumps. At one point WYSIWYG was $750,000 in debt and the church congregation dropped to ninety. Today WYSIWYG is preparing to launch WYSIWYG Networks with eight channels dedicated to Christian and family programming, and Voice of Pentecost is the largest evangelical church in San Francisco. Gazowsky is not one to hide his battle scars.
"I'm real open and honest," he said. "The reason those things happen is to share with others."
Gazowsky's mission is to bring the presence of God to audiences around the world through entertainment. He has recently signed a $12 million deal with Paramount Pictures to produce his upcoming action film, Deep Ice. He has teamed up with industry giant George Lucas and the Budapest Symphony Orchestra is set to do the soundtrack.
Richard Gazowsky clearly has the Midas touch. He has mingled with Hollywood's biggest producers and collaborated with creative geniuses. Though Gazowsky's projects continue to shoot through the roof, his feet remain steady on the ground.
"Christ is already cool, we are still working on it," he said with a laugh.
Reprinted by permission, Dunamis Life.