Since 2008, the OFA has been the first site to provide an Eastern Orthodox Christian perspective and inspiration on all things media-related & the creative process.
Supporting artists & enlightening those interested in the media/arts. Commentary, discussion, opinion & creativity without compromise.
“You know, if I had to describe what the
goal of Horyzon Pictures
is, I would have to say that we want everyone who views our ﬁlms to come in and
not only enjoy our entertainment, but be able to take home a feeling of being a
part of something larger. Something that makes them think about what their
purpose is. We want our ﬁlms to focus on stories that really emphasize and
explore that idea because if you really think about it, that’s what life is all
about – ﬁnding your purpose” Andrew Stokich
Andrew W. Stokich is a born
and raised Antiochian Orthodox Christian from Phoenix, Arizona. He and his two
partners, Cody J. Carlson, & Andrew J. Peterson are the three ﬁlmmakers who
founded Horyzon Pictures in the Fall of 2013. Horyzon Pictures is a premier
up-and-coming ﬁlm and multimedia company based out of Phoenix, Arizona. So how
did this young ﬁlm company come to be? To understand the full story you’ll have
to go back one year prior.
The three friends &
partners met in the spring of 2013 while working on a school web series. After
forming a bond from working on this series the trio was asked to produce a
short ﬁlm that was to be screened at Campus Movie Fest in Hollywood, CA.
"When I was approached to work on the
Campus Movie Fest project we didn't have much of a crew going in and I wanted
to make sure that the project that we were creating would stand out from
everyone else's in the festival, to do this, we decided to really focus on the
technical execution of the story. Which is why I brought Cody, and Andrew onto
the project, they are by far some of the most talented ﬁlmmakers I've ever met,
and their main focus when creating a ﬁlm is on how the technical aspect of
ﬁlmmaking can be used to emphasize the story rather than dominate it."Andrew Stokich
Andrew J. Peterson, at Campus Movie Fest 2013
It would be in Hollywood that
the trio would ﬁrst experience the taste of success. In the city of a million
shining lights, the team would take 2nd in the nation. Upon returning back to
Phoenix, the three ﬁlmmakers were hungry for more and wanting to take on a
project that would push them to a level they had previously never been before.
"When we returned back from Hollywood
the three of us decided that we all worked extremely well together and wanted
to continue working with one another. That's when we formed Horyzon Pictures
and began working on our next project which ultimately would be known as
“Faith”. “Faith” not only ended up solidifying the three of us as partners, but
also opened up new opportunities for the three of us to continue to make ﬁlms.”Andrew Stokich
Cody J. Carlson In Central Park
Faith is the
largest project that Horyzon Pictures has currently worked on. It tells the
story of Johnathan Morrison who is a veteran who has returned home only to ﬁght
an internal battle of guilt-ridden PTSD. The ﬁlm picks up with Johnathan self-medicating
himself through alcoholism inside an empty church. It is here that the story of
Faith unfolds before us, allowing us
to witness what brought Johnathan to this point in his life. It's a beautiful story
that actually mainly takes place within the conﬁnes of Andrew's home parish of
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, in Phoenix, Arizona.
"The original concept for
"Faith" was literally a story about two people having a conversation
and how that could actually be something that would visually be interesting. It
was then myself and the other writer, Matthew Branscome, decided we should have
the story take place inside a church, and I knew that St. George would be the
only place we could shoot it, due to the unique architecture that can only be
found in an Orthodox Church."Andrew Stokich
Now with Faith's festival run coming to an end, the trio has begun work on
formalizing the production company. Currently they have three ﬁlm projects that
are in pre-production, and aside from working on their own proprietary content,
Horyzon Pictures offers its videography, photography, and sound work to
individuals who are in need of such services. They recently signed a contract
with vocal group to produce their next album as well as ﬁlm four music videos
“You know this is our ﬁrst full year of
working together and we're excited to see where we go with all our projects.
We're thrilled with what we've been able to accomplish thus far, but we're not
a company happy with being complacent. Even our name states it, Horyzon
Pictures, we're always looking on towards the next Horyzon!"Andrew Stokich
Irene Koronas is an Orthodox poet, painter and poetry
editor at Wilderness House Literary Review. She has spent her whole life
capturing the very essence of life and its extra-ordinariness of even simple
+ + +
My life begins with lots of people, relatives,
apartment dwellers, neighbors from all parts of the world, store keepers
selling penny candy and stray cats. Mother let us have kittens. Because we
lived on main street the kittens were often run over by cars. We never owned an
automobile and TV came after everyone else seem to have one with nic-nacs on
top. Scarcely a day went by without mother saying we can't afford 'that'. I
spend time alone, listening to classical music. Mother bought records on sale
at the grocery store. Creative seeds were planted early. Music, icons in
church, books from the library, father's radio in his cobbler shop tuned to
rhythm and blues, all lent to my early drawings of trees.
Our formica table top became a desk until supper was
served. Bread began the meal. Salad with fetta cheese ended the meal.
Grandmother always blessed herself three times before and after eating. Her two
fingers and thumb together touched her forehead, stomach, right shoulder, left
shoulder. For me prayers were done as I lay on my bed waiting to fall asleep.
When I was about eleven years old mother took me to
Far Rock Away New York to visit her cousin who was very sick. The adults sat in
the warm kitchen talking. After their usual conversations mother brought me
into a small bedroom. Cousin lay on her bed propped up with pillows. Her room
glowed. Red and orange glass with votive candles on small alters or hanging
brass candle holders hung from the ceiling. The incense swayed me. I felt
transformed. My head swayed. I swooned. Icons. Small icons surrounded the
entire room. Darkness became light. I remember the whispers between mother and
cousin while I stood in wonder.
From that day, colors found a place on my canvases,
and on paper. I tried to write about what I saw but it took years before I
could express the image. Holy saints and Jesus depicted in written form. I fell
in love. Poetry took shape when I turned twelve. Mostly I pleaded on
paper. Human love. I didn't know how to
write about anything but myself. There is little about myself that could
satisfy even a fly but I keep trying to form a poem.
Being an Orthodox Christian helps me to be accountable
in my creative endeavors. An endless flow comes from the creative nothing that
I am privy to and blessed by. I consider each painting on paper with pen and
various other materials, my prayer work. Not extemporaneous prayer but
Patristic prayer, in that the abstractions follow tradition. The abstractions
depicted on the clothing on an icon, allows freedom to exist within the boundary
lines. Writing poetry with an ear toward the music found in our psalms:
wheat berry memory
my knees sore from repentance
an immense distance carries
all I have been
every place purchased or
exaggerations planted in dung heap
I fail at simple gestures
because the living room has
old kitchen pots cooking down
asparagus for soup
wet dresses pinned on line
my whimper in Wind
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Poetry books Portraits Drawn from Many,
Ibbetson Street Press
Pentakomo Cyprus, Cervena Barva Press
Turtle Grass, Muddy River Books
"Interstellar" is an
ambitious project by Christopher Nolan and, without a doubt, one of the biggest
Hollywood movies of recent years. Other than its grand special-effects,
the film is a curious exploration, a snapshot, of the contemporary post-Christian
Beginning at the turn of the 19th
- 20th centuries, the search for so-called "new religious
consciousness", designed in the form of a surrogate to quench the
spiritual thirst of the Western world, led to a two hundred year obsession with
rationalism and materialism, which exploded during 1960s youth counterculture, followed
by the creation of numerous Orientalist sects. Through repression
of Christianity did not suddenly begin in the twentieth century, but its grand scale
is the reality of our times.
Nolan tries to satisfy the
needs of modern man’s unconscious with a “miracle”, relying on "New Age"
ideas of absurd, quasi-scientific theories as justification for "mystical
this sense, "Interstellar" moves within the cultural mainstream, so
popular today promoting the idea of individual empowerment through technology,
which, among other things, attempting to acquire all the features of a
The film sends out a message,
rooted in the Western mass consciousness: the joyful anticipation of the
"new era", the desire to step beyond the bounds of what is permitted
by God and the fear of losing our most loved, such as, family and home.
In the first scene the
audience is faced with a possible future: total destruction of Earth, the result
of natural disasters.But
for the Christian consciousness it is a sign of approaching the Last Days and
the need for repentance from the "New Age".
Hollywood, in pursuit of providing
audiences a spectacle, offer lukewarm spirituality, unable to provide answers
to questions about the meaning of life.The question of God's existence does
not arise in the film, even though throughout the film the hero (Matthew
McConaughey) frequently citesScriptureand
even the spaceship is named "Lazarus".
It is no wonder the film’s spiritual
foundations are shaky and confusing: it expresses the most hodgepodge of ideas
and concepts, which is equivalent to modern society’s mass consciousness in the
complete absence of moral hierarchy and need for God.Modern
man constantly feels threatened by unseen and physical forces (terrorists,
natural disasters) and inside his own passions.He
longs to escape, but does not want to make even the slightest effort, nor does
he wish to blame himself, instead looking for an answer in dark superstitions,
scientific theories and space itself.
The fact that today spiritualism
(as dealt in the film) seeks the theme of outer-space shows the futility of
modern civilization not wanting any reason to turn its gaze to God. Flying inspace,
passing through "wormholes" and "black hole", the cold glow
of interstellar space, landing on the wrong planet are all attempts to satisfy
the craving of modern man for something beyond himself. But it is this
unbelief which makes him spiritually hungry.
It is interesting to think looking
back on history, the alterative sub-cultures of the 1960s were completely void
of fear because their existentialist, hedonistic lifestyles prevented them from
realising damage being done to the world. Yet today we are experiencing the complete
opposite: people are afraid of everything, but God.
Original article: Fear and Illusion: Reflection
on C. Nolan’s “Interstellar”, Alexander
Popov, 18 Nov 2014
GoofBoard provides the closet experience to riding a wave. Armin
founder of GoofBoard and Orthodox Christian, explains how his passion has
turned into a growing business.
favourite hobbies are surfing and guitar…“surf” guitar to be exact.’ His Southern California existence lends
itself well to all things surfing related.
As a self-employed entrepreneur of many years, Armin always believed he
would end up creating a business related to surfing.
collided in 2008 when he stumbled upon a concept and design improvement over
existing balance boards already on the market.
The rail-to-rail balance board motion Armin envisioned was not being
done by anyone else. Other boards commonly
relied on a “rocking” motion with the roller perpendicular to the length of the
board. The rail-to-rail or “surfing”
motion found in what was to be called the “GoofBoard” results from its roller
placement being parallel to the length of the board. To Armin, this riding orientation felt truer
to the surfing experience both in look and in feel.
off as a side business. Armin’s primary business is a small company that
manufactures engine gaskets for vintage American cars, typically from 1930s to the
1960s. As that business grew, and with
an eye towards dedicating more time on GoofBoard, he decided to hire a general
manager. This manager executed his job so
well that Armin decided to have him run the day-to-day gasket business so he
could dedicate himself to his Goofboard passion! Then in 2010, GoofBoard operations moved out
of the gasket shop and into its own commercial building.
To keep things
simple and avoid chasing receivables, sales are 100% online, that is, consumer
direct. The GoofBoard design is clean
and simple, with lots of birch wood grain showing. Rollers are made from recycled
materials. GoofBoard has been awarded
two patents from the U.S. Patent Office.
The original GoofBoard, now named the “Classic,” rides exclusively in
the “surfing” motion and has lots of room to walk to the nose. The “Freestyle” rides in either “surfing” or
“rocking” orientations and offers removable stops to open up further trick
Although Armin has
hired part-time help off and on, most of the time he works alone with the help
of some automated woodworking equipment.
Except for the wood milling, much of the manufacturing handiwork can be
done in relative silence. In a small way,
this has created an almost monastic work environment where, more often than not,
Armin prefers silence over music or other audio “filler.” Ancient Faith Radio podcasts also supplement
the silence for a spiritual backdrop to the work day. The GoofBoard business offers
him a unique opportunity for meaningful work and quiet focus. “I pray
that I make good use of this time at work in spite of my fallen, wandering
The GoofBoard has
received stellar reviews from surfers and sales have been healthy, albeit modest. The primary audience has been surfers and those
with interest in surfing. In order to
gain a larger future audience, GoofBoard will soon be releasing a new model
with the general population in mind. The
new model will be less extreme than the two existing models and will provide
safer riding with an easier learning curve.
“With the help of a friend who is both an experienced
surfer and workout trainer, we will soon begin testing the viability of
GoofBoard classes. Who knows…the next
Miles to Stuckeys” an original composition by Armin Brown, performed by his
band, The Torquays.