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Derral Eves: "Producing The Chosen is not just a job; it is a vocation".

Derral Eves is a producer of the television series The Chosen. Together with Dallas Jenkins, also screenwriter and director of the audiovisual project, he embarked, in 2017, on a professional and personal adventure that has taken on dimensions unimaginable to its own creators. The producer and his team, aided by the donations of thousands of people, have brought the life of Christ and the Apostles to more than 175 countries around the world. 

Maria José Atienza-September 25, 2023-Reading time: 5 minutes
Derral Eves

With a degree in Public Relations and Advertising, Derral Eves is a well-known figure in the YouTube world. His agency has managed the presence on this network of public personalities and companies such as ABC, NBC and ESPN and has worked for events such as the SuperBowl. 

With a deep knowledge of the world of audiovisual marketing, Eves is convinced that all his professional preparation has been a path to produce The Chosen

This series on the life of Christ, the Apostles and the holy women is now a global phenomenon with over 110 million viewers in almost 200 countries around the world. They currently have plans to make it available in 600 languages. 

The series continues to grow in popularity, generating 6.5 million followers on social networks and $35 million at the box office in special theatrical releases. 

With three complete seasons available, production is currently in full swing on the next two. In total there are seven seasons that Eves and his team have planned for this great production, which has broken the traditional schemes of the film industry. 

How did you become involved in a project such as The Chosen?

-After watching a Christmas short film that Dallas Jenkins made for his church. I was deeply moved and impressed by the strength of the storytelling. I realized it was made on a very low budget, but it really moved me, so I contacted Dallas. 

Our conversations resulted in a shared vision of what we The Chosen could become. 

I recognized the potential of this project and wanted to bring my expertise in online marketing and audience development to try to ensure its success.

You are an expert on YouTube. Is audiovisual language the key medium in our society? 

-Audiovisual language has become an integral part of our society today. It's not just about entertainment; audiovisual content plays a vital role in education, communication, marketing and community building.

People are increasingly consuming information through videos, webinars and live broadcasts, as these media often offer a more engaging and accessible way to understand complex topics. 

For organizations such as the Catholic Church, the use of audiovisual language can be a powerful tool for dissemination, connecting with the public and transmitting messages in an impactful way.

What continue to be the most difficult issues in the production and development of The Chosen?

-Manage the growth of the television series The Chosen presents a unique set of challenges. As the series attracts more attention and a growing following, it becomes more difficult to maintain the vision, values and community connection that drove its success.

Growing can offer exciting opportunities, such as reaching new audiences and expanding into other formats. However, it can also create logistical challenges: Expanding production, union relations, distribution, marketing and community engagement require careful planning and execution. And also, it can be an internal struggle to be tempted to make decisions guided by commercial interests rather than the core mission of the series.

I believe that the growth of The Chosen is not just a matter of expanding its scope, but doing so in a way that honors and preserves the integrity, spirit and community that define the series. 

It is a delicate balance that requires thoughtful leadership and a commitment to the principles that gave life to the project.

The Chosen has broken the mould on crowdfunding How can this success be explained?

-The success of the crowdfunding for the television series The Chosen is undoubtedly a remarkable achievement. 

I believe this success is based on several key factors:

- A strong connection with the audience: The Chosen reaches a specific audience that feels a deep connection to the content. It is more than entertainment; it is a portrayal of stories that many appreciate.

- quality productionBy maintaining high production and storytelling values, the series has earned the trust and admiration of its viewers. 

-the team. The Chosen had a clear vision and mission, and that resonated with people who wanted to be part of something bigger. The series was not just another program, but a movement.

-effective use of social networks and marketing: Using various platforms allowed us to connect with potential sponsors and supporters and share our vision and purpose. This created a community that felt invested in the project and helped us spread the word.

-transparency and commitment with sponsors: Keeping sponsors in the loop and making them feel like an essential part of the project probably fostered greater trust and enthusiasm.

- the right time: The timing of the crowdfunding campaign may also have fit well with society's current interests and needs, making the series especially relevant and attractive at the time.

The combination of these elements enabled us to create a successful crowdfunding which not only met our objectives, but exceeded them, allowing us to produce a series that has marked the lives of many people.

Is the message and the figure of Jesus more interesting than we sometimes think? How do non-Christians receive this message? 

Certainly, the message and figure of Jesus transcends religious boundaries and has proven to be interesting to a wide variety of people, including non-Christians. 

Jesus' teachings often focus on themes such as love, compassion, forgiveness and social justice. These are universal values that resonate with people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

They are also of great historical interest: Jesus is a historical figure whose life and teachings have had a profound impact on Western civilization. The historical aspects of his life can be fascinating to many, regardless of their religious affiliation or belief system.

The figure of Jesus has been depicted and explored in literature, art, music and film, often in ways that have appealed to a wide audience for centuries.

What does it mean, personally, to be part of this project?

-Participation in the television series The Chosen has changed my life. The opportunity to combine my professional experience with my deeply held beliefs and love for Jesus has transformed my perspective in many ways.

Every day on this project has been a journey of faith, creativity and connection. I see the stories of people impacted by the series, and we know that The Chosen is reaching hearts and minds around the world.

Collaborating with such talented people, all united by a shared vision, has enriched my understanding of storytelling, art and humanity. But beyond that, it has reaffirmed my faith and deepened my commitment to using media as a force for good and inspiration.

This is not just a job, or even the highlight of my career; it is a vocation to which I feel privileged to have responded. 

The impact of The Chosen is not only felt in the lives of its viewers, but also in my own. It's a testament to what can be accomplished when passion, purpose and profession align, and I'm incredibly grateful to be a part of it.

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