Three Types of Conflict in Stories

**NOTE: This article was adapted from a section in our new book, The Break In.

In real life, sane people generally try to avoid dangerous, uncomfortable situations. In storytelling, you must learn to do the opposite. Creating reasons for your hero to fail or back out of the challenges presented to him or her is vital to making the audience care about your story.

Conflict is the cornerstone of great storytelling because it demands change. Our favorite heroes in movies are the ones who encounter the most difficult circumstances and, as a result, change for the better. Whether or not we realize it in the moment, we love stories with heavy conflict because they inspire us to make heroic choices when we encounter obstacles in our own lives.

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Why Christian Movies Are Like Horror Films

Yes, today is Halloween – the day you can feel festive about type two diabetes and scary movies. In honor of October 31, I thought it’d be nice to write something about scary movies. But to be honest, I’m not much of a horror film buff (feel free to recommend your favorites to me in the comments). Even though I haven’t seen that many scary movies, I am fascinated by their unique place in cinema.

Among other things, they have ultra-specific genre tropes and a passionately loyal fanbase. Funny enough, the only other genre that shares the unique qualities of horror films is probably the one you’d least expect…

Faith-based films.

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5 Things to Know About “The Get Together”

If you haven’t heard, our new short film, “The Get Together,” releases tomorrow morning. Whaaaaaat?! Crazy, right? Well, before you watch it (and tell all your friends to do the same), we wanted to give you a heads up about five things…

1. Introverts will relate to it

The main emotion we tried to capture in the short is that of an introvert who feels alone at a party he can’t escape. All our main character wants is to hide away in his room until the crowd goes home for the night. But when our hero is forced to socialize, he comes to learn that he’s not the only one who feels out of place. If you are someone (or knows someone) who hates going out, we think the film will strike a chord with you.

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5 Reasons Writing Daily Will Make You a Better Person

Until recently, I’ve never really thought of myself as “writer.” It’s always felt like a chore more than a thrill. Regardless, it’s become a huge part of my career. Of my average workday, about 75-80% involves writing in some form – screenplays, emails, blog articles, or shownotes for our podcast.

You may not spend quite that much time writing, but I’d bet if you really think about it, you do more writing than you realize. Most of our communication involves writing in some way, even texting our friends or posting a caption on Snapchat or Instagram. Of course, there’s a big distinction between this basic communication (texting, emails, social media) and the practice of sitting down specifically to put our stories or ideas onto a blank page.

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Recapping the DVD Release

After walking through the last major phase of releasing Believe Me, we can say (as usual), we feel very blessed. The support from Riot fans was so wonderful, and a lot of you have been asking, “How’d it go?” I figured recapping the DVD release would be a fitting way to end this week. Here’s a roundup of some recent high points for Riot Studios and Believe Me.

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The Lecrae Scene

[SPOILER ALERT]: This post contains spoilers about our latest film, Believe Me. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, what’s wrong with you? It’s available now on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital HD. Go watch it. Then, come back here. If you have seen Believe Me, read on.

[VIDEO]: Make sure to read to the end of this post for a fun behind-the-scenes video with Lecrae.

Yes, this is about the Lecrae scene. And yes, it’s one of the funniest, most talked about parts from Believe Me. It’s a movie within a movie titled By Saving Grace, starring a Christian doctor character (played by chart-topping Grammy winner Lecrae) and featuring a soundtrack with a hit Phil Whickham song. Pretty perfect. The Lecrae character’s clear albeit heavy-handed monologue about forgiveness is what ultimately stirs a unconventional heart change in Callie. All in all, the inclusion of By Saving Grace is a convenient snapshot of what Believe Me is all about: a playful tease at the quirky culture of Christianity with an acknowledgment of the deep truth lying beneath its surface.

The reason people reference this scene so much (other than the fact that Lecrae makes his cameo here) is that it says a lot about the state of the Christian film industry.

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The Final Countdown

Last week, we shared the complete timeline for the creation and release of Believe Me. If you got to look through it, you may have noticed one future date on the timeline: Tuesday, March 3 – the official release of the Believe Me DVD and Blu-Ray in retailers nationwide.

Walmart, Amazon, Target

This countdown to Tuesday is a big deal for us. Partly, because it’s the last big hurdle in releasing our film, but also because no Riot Studios project has ever been available to such a big audience. In addition to every major digital platform, people across the country will be able to get the DVD at Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon. Maybe you still watch DVD’s. Maybe not. Either way, we hope you’ll consider helping us get the word out. We want to blow this thing up, and we plan on making it fun for everyone.

Join the Party

Support us this week by posting about the countdown. Ask your friends to keep track of the countdown clock  on the Believe Me website. Then, most importantly, come out next week and purchase a DVD at Wal-Mart or from Amazon. When you do, take a picture or video with your new copy of Believe Me and post it online with #believemefilm. Every day, we’ll choose our favorite posts and reward them with FREE Riot stuff and possibly even a shout-out from the Believe Me cast and crew in a special video.

No Riot Studios project has ever been available to such a big audience.

A strong start with our DVD release could open up a lot of doors not only for Believe Me, but with our future films. Thanks for being part of the journey. We couldn’t do it without you.