The Christiano Brothers Story
On October 25,
2002, the Christiano Brothers released their first theatrical film,
Time Changer, to selected theaters nationwide. This lifelong
goal began 25 years earlier. Here is their story.
Dave Christiano, Rich Christiano
In 1977, twin brothers Dave and Rich Christiano
left their hometown of Waterloo, New York and drove out to
Hollywood, California with high hopes and big dreams. Rich had
written a high school script called The Valedictorian and was
hoping this would lead to beginning a career in Hollywood. After
negotiations with a few producers and one contract offer, Rich never
signed and the movie was never produced. Then something happened
that changed the whole direction of the Christiano Brothers lives.
"In 1979 I was attending Arkansas State
University and I met a girl," says Dave. "We started dating
and very early in our relationship she asked me if I had ever asked
Jesus Christ into my life. At the time I had no idea what she was
talking about. She gave me a little book entitled, So What's
The Difference? This book showed me the different religions of
the world and compared them to the Bible. I saw how important the spiritual
aspect of life was and began to check into things."
"I became a Christian in March of '79 at the
age of 22," says Dave. "I know now that every person must be
born again, which is a spiritual birth, and that comes by receiving
Jesus Christ into your life as Lord and Savior. The Lord changed the
whole direction of my life, and although it is not easy to follow
Christ, it is the only road to travel."
Dave then shared his newfound faith with his
brother Rich, who also began to search the Scriptures. As a result,
Rich became a Christian some 14 months later. Both brothers then saw
the need to make Christ the priority in life, and the important call
to tell others about Him.
Dave and Rich moved to Jonesboro, Arkansas, in the
fall of 1981 and entered the Mass Communications Masters program at
Arkansas State University. Their plan was to study for a teaching
job and pursue filmmaking on the side.
In the fall of 1983, Dave got a job at San Antonio
Junior College teaching entry level classes in broadcasting. While
there, he began to study filmmaking. "I learned on an old 16mm
Bolex camera shooting silent film," says Dave. "A
cinematographer from the area, Michael Smith, was a great help in
answering questions and helping me learn about the craft."
At age 28, in the
summer of 1985, Dave wrote, produced and directed his first film
called The Daylight Zone. It was a Christian version of
the old TV series, The Twilight Zone. Rich co-financed the
project. Filmed in south Texas, the movie was shot on 16mm
film and released by Christiano Brothers Films in the spring of
Prior to the release of The Daylight Zone,
Dave moved back to Arkansas and rejoined his brother Rich.
They set up an office in Jonesboro and began to distribute their new
The Daylight Zone was distributed
throughout the United States and selected parts of the world. It was
seen by church groups, Christian schools, and camps. Dave recalls,
"I had only been studying film making for one year when we
started this movie. I filmed for 5 days and then looked at all we
shot. None of it was good, which was heartbreaking, so we threw it
all away. A month later, we started again and shot the 26-minute
movie in 8 days." Dave also served as director of photography,
editor and even did the music score for this film.
In 1987, Dave wrote and directed his second film,
a 39-minute youth film called The Pretender. Filmed in
Jonesboro, Dave and Rich co-produced this project. Dave also served
as cinematographer and editor. The movie was released in late
summer of that year and played in many youth groups all across
In 1988, the Christiano Brothers shot and released
their third film, Crime of the Age. Dave wrote the original
story and the screenplay was co-written with his brother. They both
produced and Dave directed the 32-minute comedy/mystery.
After the release of Crime of the Age, the
brothers decided to set up two separate production companies for
their future projects. The first three films were released under the
name of Christiano Brothers Films.
In 1990, Rich started shooting The
Appointment, a film he wrote, produced and directed. The
film was released in the summer of 1991. This 39-minute suspenseful
evangelistic drama had a very powerful presentation of the gospel.
It was distributed under Rich Christiano Films, but later changed to
Christiano Film Group. Also in 1990, Dave started filming two
movies simultaneously that he wrote: a sequel to The
Pretender called The Pretender Strikes Again and a second
episode of The Daylight Zone entitled Kingdom Vision.
Unfortunately, disaster struck, and after 9 days of filming the
quality of work was going so poorly that production was stopped on
both films and never completed.
In 1991, Dave re-grouped and started work on his
57-minute drama, Pamela's Prayer, which was filmed in
Colorado. This movie took 7 years to complete. It took 16 months to
shoot, 13 months for the music score, and over a year just for the
sound edit. For Pamela's Prayer Dave wrote, produced,
directed, edited and shot as cinematographer.
Pamela's Prayer was finally released on
Mother's Day weekend in 1998. It premiered at a movie theater in
Jonesboro, Arkansas, and was distributed under the name Dave
1992, Rich took a story written by Danny Carrales and co-wrote the
screenplay for Second Glance. Rich also produced and directed the
movie, which features the first major role for actor David White.
The 50-minute drama was released on New Year's Eve night as it
premiered in numerous churches across the country. It was
distributed under Rich Christiano Films but later changed to
Christiano Film Group.
During 1990's, the whole Christian film industry
changed in that films were not released on 16mm anymore but rather
came out straight to video. This allowed Christian movies to come
directly into homes and also made it easier to air movies on
In 1998, Rich again teamed with David White for
his 54-minute end-times drama called End of the
Harvest. He wrote, produced and directed the film which
premiered in early December at a movie theater in Jonesboro,
Arkansas. End of the Harvest was distributed under
Christiano Film Group.
In February 2000, Dave started work on Late One
Night, his 5th movie that he wrote, produced and directed.
Filmed in North Carolina, this motion picture started shooting 9
years later (to the very day) from when he started filming
Pamela's Prayer. Dave brought in Philip Hurn as
director of photography for the project. Late One Night premiered on
March 3, 2001 with a world television premiere over The
Inspirational Network. It was released under Dave Christiano
In October 2001, Rich wrote and directed Time
Changer, his first feature length movie. Rich teamed
with Kevin Downes who co-produced the project and Dave served as his
story consultant/script editor. The film featured actors D. David
Morin and Gavin MacLeod in the lead roles. A novel version was
released in January 2002. The movie came in October 2002 and the Christiano Brothers formed a new
distribution company, Five & Two Pictures, which released
Time Changer. The movie eventually played in 310 theaters.
In 2004, Dave turned his attention to television and started work on a project entitled, 7th Street Theater, which was to be the first ever prime time Christian dramatic TV series. After shooting the first 24 episodes for Season One, the series premiered March 3rd, 2007 on TBN, the world's largest Faith-Based Television Network. The series now airs on several Christian Networks. It has 24 episodes in Season One, 20 episodes in Season Two, and 20 episodes in Season Three. There are a total of 64 episodes in the three Seasons for the series. 7th Street Theater TV Series Website
In May of 2005, Rich wrote, co-produced, and directed Unidentified, his second feature length movie. The subject of the film dealt with UFO's and how they could possibly play into the end times. Dave served as his story consultant. It was released in theaters in April 2006 under Five & Two Pictures and played on 85 screens.
In June of 2006, Dave wrote, produced, and directed his first feature length
movie, a love story, entitled Me & You, Us, Forever.
It was based on a true story about a 47 year old man, on the other side of an unwanted divorce, who
reminisced about his lost first love of 30 years ago. The movie was released by
Five & Two Pictures in 83 theaters on February 15th, 2008.
Production began in late summer 2007 on Rich's third feature film, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry, with Gavin MacLeod in the lead role.
It was eventually released in theaters on September 18, 2009 and played in a total of 313 nationwide.
Set in the summer of 1970, it's the story of a 75 year old man and how he influences
three 12 year old boys for the Lord. Dave co-wrote the screenplay with Rich on this project.
In 2011, both brothers worked on the screenplay for Amazing Love which was a co-production they did with another producer and director. This movie was based on the story of Hosea and was partially shot in Israel. Rich served as supervising producer and Dave was the film's editor. This movie was released under Five & Two Pictures for church rental in the summer of 2012 and on dvd in November 2012.
Dave is currently editing the third and final season of 7th Street Theater with it scheduled for release in the summer of 2013.
Rich is working on his next feature film project entitled A Matter of Faith, which is set to begin production in May. Both brothers are writing, with Rich directing, and Dave editing. This film is being planned for a theatrical release in April 2014.
The goal is to continue presenting messages
for Jesus Christ, and with that purpose in mind, it makes all the difference.