AU alum follows his dream of making a film on Rich Mullins

Tue, 2013-11-19 09:32 -- univcomm
November 19, 2013

Take risks. Dream big. Why not? Just do it. This is the advice Anderson University alum David Schultz wants to give to aspiring filmmakers. “That’s how I’ve learned everything I know,” said Schultz. “I’m the type of guy who jumps in the deep end and then learns how to swim.”

Schultz has taken his own advice in many aspects of his life, especially in filmmaking. He recently completed “Ragamuffin: The True Story of Rich Mullins,” a full-length feature film based on the true story of Christian singer Rich Mullins. The film is produced by Color Green Films in association with Kid Brothers of St. Frank Co., and stars Anderson University alum Michael Koch, a 2001 grad, in the title role of Rich Mullins.

Anderson University will host a public screening of the film – the only viewing currently scheduled in Indiana – on Friday, Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. in Reardon Auditorium. Tickets for Anderson University students are $3, and tickets for alumni are $5. Students and alumni may purchase tickets online. Tickets for the general public can be purchased online at www.itickets.com for a cost of $10.

Mullins grew up in Indiana and attended Cincinnati Christian University in Ohio. In 1997, he was killed in a tragic automobile accident on his way to a benefit concert in Hillsboro, Kansas.

He is famous for songs like “Creed,” “Here in America,” “Awesome God” and “The Color Green.” But to many people, including Schultz, he is much more than his music. “Rich’s relentless pursuit of God, his life and words, have continually had an impact on my life,” said Schultz, “especially in light of my many failures.”

One of Mullins’s singing groups was called “A Ragamuffin Band,” named after Brennan Manning’s book “The Ragamuffin Gospel.” That concept is now inspiring the movie.

During Schultz’s freshman year at AU, a friend gave him Manning’s book, which he found inspirational. “What helped me get back up and continue to follow Christ after my screw-ups was the idea that is so clearly found in Manning’s book: God loves me for who I am, not for who I’m not, because none of us are what we should be,” said Schultz.

His love and admiration for Mullins grew after a friend gave him radio interviews featuring Mullins. “I would listen to those interviews over and over again,” said Schultz. “Often, I would daydream of what a movie about Rich would look like.” The inspiration behind the film, however, was ultimately Christ.

Also contributing to the film is AU alumnus and producer Ed Fry. “I signed on as a producer because I want a new generation to understand who Rich was and what he challenged us to, which was follow Jesus first,” he said. Fry was lucky enough to come into contact with Mullins on multiple occasions. During those times it was Mullins’s humility and interest in their conversations that solidified Fry’s respect for him.

Along with a dedicated team, Fry and Schultz began to unfold their dreams of making a movie about Mullins. The pre-production process included interviews with friends and musical colleagues of Mullins such as Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Mac Powell, Brennan Manning and Mitch McVicker.

Schultz says Anderson University was influential in his preparation for making the film. “AU is where I met some of my most treasured people. The guys I used to do ministry with are still like brothers,” he said. “I think AU really allowed me the opportunity to express myself both artistically and spiritually. I will forever by grateful for that.”

Unlike many filmmakers, Schultz knew soon after pursuing this movie that it had little to do with his career. “God was bringing this movie into my life to draw my heart back to what matters most: Jesus,” he said. “At least for a ragamuffin like myself, I need this reminder almost every day.”

In the end, Fry hopes the film is faithful to Mullins’s story through the eyes of his family and friends. “I hope we are faithful to the people whose lives were touched by his, even beyond his music,” said Fry. “But more so in what he did by being obedient and following Jesus.”

Schultz is excited to see what God will bring in his life through the film. “Rich Mullins, in the way he lived both in success and failure, showed us that what he wanted was to live for what truly mattered: Jesus,” said Schultz. “He hungered for what Saint Francis hungered for: to live simply and to love God and love people.”

Visit https://www.facebook.com/richmullinsfilm for more information.

— Editor's Note: Originally written by alum Aimee Munn with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications with updates on ticket information.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.