Storytelling runs in Dallas
’ veins. The son of
best-selling author Jerry
B. Jenkins, he grew up
surrounded by words.
Although he hasn’t
followed in his father’s
footsteps as a novelist,
Dallas is no less a teller
of tales.

At age 25 he produced the $2 million independent movie Hometown Legend. He’s
since produced or directed four feature
films and two short ones, including
Midnight Clear (starring Stephen Baldwin) which won the Cinequest Film Festival’s “Best First Feature” and “Audience
Choice” awards. His latest movie, What
starring Kevin Sorbo, Kristy Swanson, Debby Ryan and John Ratzenberger,
is already hitting select theaters.

As a believer, Jenkins is passionate
about challenging the Christian
community to become more involved in the
entertainment business, but he resists the
“Christian” label on his movies. “I’m not a
fan of the terms Christian or secular for
films,” Dallas says. “They’re purely
marketing terms that I think come solely
from the company that makes the film.

“However, I pretty much gave up the
fight on What If. The film has a strong
Christian tone and storyline throughout.
Instead of trying to be cute about it, I just
embraced all the Christian elements. Funny thing is, of all my films it’s the one
most liked by my non-Christian friends! I
feel like God is smiling at me now, saying,
‘All you had to do was relax and not
worry about it.’ I firmly believe non-Christian audiences don’t care how
explicit a movie is in its depiction of faith
as long as it’s good.”




And What If is remarkably good. A
cross between It’s a Wonderful Life and the
TV-movie Comfort and Joy, it tells the
story of Ben Walker (Sorbo), a man who
has everything: the job, the car and the
girl. He basks in his self-made success and
isn’t afraid to flaunt his toys. But what if
he’d chosen a different path? What would
his life have been like if he’d followed
God’s plan instead of his own?

Making a movie is full of challenges, but
Dallas and the crew experienced several
on-set moments which can only be called
“God stories.” Take the last night of
filming: The crew was already behind
schedule, and a rainstorm was coming.
Filming was continuing indoors but they
still had several outdoor shots to capture.
They switched everything, hustled outside
and got the shots in time to beat the rain.

“We ended up shooting longer than we’d
expected and the sun came up just as we
finished,” Dallas says. “A non-Christian
crew member came up and said, ‘If it
wasn’t for our fear of that rain storm, we
wouldn’t have rushed outside, and we
would have missed those outdoor night
shots because the sun came up. Maybe
God is helping us out here—this kind of
thing has happened so many times.”

Dallas tries to
take it all in stride.
“I learned so much
about my
relationship with
God on this
movie,” he says.
“So many times
I made a decision I
was convinced was
right, and then
when it didn’t
work out I was
crushed. But the
solution was so much better than my
original idea every time. God really
showed me how in control He is, and
how His timing and plan is so much
better than my own.” FF

Watch the movie trailer here: What If…

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About The Author

C. J.'s love of reading began when she was a kid dragging home bags of books from the library. When she was twelve she started dreaming about becoming a published author. That dream came true when her first novel Thicker than Blood won a national writing contest. It became the first book in the Thicker than Blood series, which also includes Bound by Guilt, Ties that Bind, and Running on Empty. She has also written Jupiter Winds and Jupiter Storm the first and second books in the Jupiter Winds series. Her children's fantasy Alison Henry and the Creatures of Torone has also been well received. C. J. lives in Pennsylvania with her whippets, two tabby cats, and a Paint mare named Sky.