Corban student David Hamilton sits at his large computer in the far side of his family’s dining room in Salem. The desk is filled with CDs, a few films and some combat video games. His full-size Yamaha keyboard sits in front of him as he plugs a pair of headphones into his ears. A total of six power cords are shoved into the power strip. The computer itself is every gamer’s dream– a 6-core 3.0 Gigahertz with a 3.5 Gigahertz Turbo-core.
Hamilton’s younger siblings run around the room chasing the dog through the house as the family’s cat tries to catch the headset cords. Eventually, a little congregation forms to watch his project on the computer like it’s an annual football game.
Although he seems an average Corban student, Hamilton isn’t working on a research paper. He is composing a soundtrack for a film that will end up being a semifinalist in the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival– the Oscars of Christian films. After months of hard work, the final results of the film, “Indescribable”, will be revealed at the 2013 Christian Filmmakers Academy on Feb. 4-6.
The feature-length film is based on the historical events surrounding the writing of the hymn, “The Love of God”. It tells the story of Blynn, an adventurous, young boy determined to help his family face the struggles brought about by WWI, and his journey to discover what it means to truly love God. Morning Star Production’s stated goal with this movie is “to teach children the rich history of the Church by portraying the faith and courage of past Christians.”
When chosen for the role of primary composer, Hamilton didn’t know what to think. There was an apparent computer glitch that put six months between Hamilton’s email of interest and the filmmakers’ response.
“I had totally spaced that I had sent it,” Hamilton said.
This isn’t the first film project for Hamilton. He has been interested in film for a few years and has composed for a variety of projects. Prior projects have included working on a popular web series “In His Steps,” a film called “Holiday Hostage” that premiered in christianfilmmakers.org’s 48-hour holiday film festival, and his current involvement working on a science fiction web series with his younger brother.
“Film is something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Hamilton said. “It’s a crazy process. A six-minute piece might take three hours to finish.”
After eleven years of piano lessons, his instructor recommended he looked into composing for Orchestras. Eventually this progressed into film making.
“God has really given me eclectic talents, and film making allows me to use many of those talents at once,” Hamilton said.
For him, composing is magical.
“I personally would argue that music is often 60-70 percent of the film,” Hamilton said. “I really believe in letting the film write the music.”
Though Hamilton stays busy with many projects, he makes it a personal priority to work on Christian projects.
“I’ve looked into working on a few secular projects, but I’ve seen that once you head into that, you can’t get out,” Hamilton said. “I’ve seen other people crash and burn.”
Concerning the science fiction Web series he and his brother are working on, Hamilton has seen it interesting to hit the secular standards while “still maintaining clean and Christian material.”
“The series is slowly starting to generate excitement and attention,” Hamilton said.
“David is a very talented young musician who has had marvelous opportunities to write music for various Christian films,” Music Theory and Composition professor John T. Bartsh said. “I am glad to have him in my Music Theory classes.”
Above his desire to work in the industry, Hamilton views every opportunity as a chance to minister.
“There is a real need in the industry,” Hamilton said. “Some people say film isn’t right for ministry but it has a global impact and the Lord can use whatever media he wants.”
While balancing his involvement in the film industry, school work, and the many connections the Lord has brought into his life, Hamilton considers all of it as nothing less than an “exciting adventure.”
Samples of Hamilton’s work can be found here: https://soundcloud.com/davidwhamilton