The first-ever multi-season TV series about Jesus' life, "The Chosen," has now become the most crowdfunded film projects ever, surpassing $5 million in investor pledges for the project.
“We’re proud to let you know ‘The Chosen’ is now the No. 1 crowd-funded media project of all time,” said an announcement emailed to supporters on Friday.
“If you look at the public information available of the top crowd-funded film/TV projects of all time, 'Mystery Science Theater 3000’s reboot has been No. 1 at $5.7 million. And even though all the projects on the list had huge fan bases before they started, we (again, not all of us) somehow believed we could raise much more,” the announcement added.
The first episode, "The Shepherd: A Story of the First Christmas," was released during the holidays in 2017. The pilot, which can be watched on the video streaming service VidAngel and other platforms, has been used to help raise over $6 million of the $13 million goal.
"God has been teaching me that my job isn't to feed the 5,000, it's just to bring my loaves and fish. And it's been humbling and overwhelming to see so many people add their loaves and fish. I don't know exactly what God's going to do, but it'll be fun to watch Him multiply it," said Dallas Jenkins, director of "The Chosen," in an interview with The Christian Post about the support the project has received.
Jenkins, the son of "Left Behind" writer Jerry B. Jenkins, teamed up with VidAngel for the series. He is looking to spend a minimum of $400,000 per episode to cover cast, locations, crew, and equipment.
"The Chosen" has nearly 11,000 "angel investors," with hopes to gain more investments before the year is up, which will increase production quality. They estimate production on the first four episodes will begin at $4.5 million, with a total goal of $13 million to complete and market an eight-episode first season.
"What I'm hearing from supporters is more meaningful than their investment. They're just so desperate to see this impact the world. We've had multiple people invest five and six figures, but one woman wrote a check for $452. That's clearly the exact amount she could afford. Shame on me if I don't cry out for God's help to make sure I justify her faith in this project," Jenkins said.
"My original idea in making 'The Shepherd' was simply to create a short film about the birth of Christ in a fresh way. As I shared it with friends, ministry leaders and entertainment professionals, I kept getting the same response: 'I want more,'" he said in a statement last year. "As a result, we've decided to make an entire TV show about the life of Christ through the eyes of those who encountered him called 'The Chosen.' And when I say 'we,' I mean we literally, because you can be a part of this unprecedented project."
VidAngel is an entertainment platform that helps users filter out obscene language, nudity, violence, and other mature content from movies and TV shows. It also provides original content such as "The Chosen."
"The Chosen" is still looking for investors. To view the pilot episode or to support the project, click HERE.