Hollywood Stunt Man Makes Faith-Friendly Action Film
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
By Louis Jones
Family, faith, and action: some things that drive Brian Finn to create movies. With a diverse amount of experience in the film and movie industry, Finn is set on creating films and movies that will be both entertaining to watch, while having powerful messages behind them.
Having over 20 years working in the film and movie industry, Finn has a vast amount of expertise under his belt, especially when it comes to making sure stunts are done properly. Brought on to do utility stunts in the 1997 film, Face/Off staring John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, and even being Tom Cruise’s stunt double in the 2005 version of War of the Worlds, Finn knows how to properly do stunts to make a film much more dramatic. Aside from actually doing the stunts, he’s also been the stunts coordinator for a handful of films as well, including works like Vamp U, The Freemason, and Don Verdean.
Finn has also dabbled in acting playing the role of “Adam” in an episode of the series, 21 Jump Street (1987-1991). In addition to his extensive background working on films, he started the company, Line 204. Currently’ with 12 stages in the center of Hollywood, Line 204 offers studio and production space. Finn recently got permission to break ground in Sun Valley, allowing him to build a 10-stage, 240,000-square-foot complex, the largest production studio project in Sun Valley in nearly thirty years.
Finn’s rise in the industry wasn’t without hitches. As a youngster, things took a dark turn when he was four years old: his parents got arrested for hiding cocaine inside of hallowed out surfboards. He lived with his grandmother while his parents were locked away during which time they both became Born Again Christian Evangelists.
Growing up with both his mother and father being pastors, Finn’s life revolved around the Christian faith. After moving from California to Idaho, Finn and his family lived on a Native American reservation where his parents were pastors. During this time, Finn’s mother would often produce plays to help spread the gospel, often having Finn take center stage as the main lead.
Even after going on stage in his younger years, he still had an interest for sports and athletics, mostly for football and baseball. As he grew up, he had to juggle to balance faith and sports. Eventually, he earned a few baseball and football scholarships.
After sustaining an injury, Finn packed up and moved to Los Angles, California to study law at UCLA. At the time he was studying, his uncle, who was also an attorney, helped him realize that he just wasn’t cut out for a life devoted to law. With that in mind, Finn decided it was time to start living a new life around what he wanted to do. With his faith still in tact, he began working in a club to help keep himself afloat. While in LA, a friend with whom he worked out at a the local gym, helped Finn land his first real gig working on a commercial. Soon after, he found himself working in larger positions and roles, eventually leading him to where he currently is today.
As Finn went about and took on various projects across various themes, a number of issues started to make him question what kind of film he wanted to present to the movie-viewing audience. Some topics would sometimes make him question if his beliefs and values sat well with the focus of the movie, and some would just rub him the wrong way. And sometimes, a project just seemed bland and repetitive, falling into a long list of movies that were practically the same thing. After having enough, he went on to create a film that fit his vision. He wanted to make a film that would stand out, one that would be recognizable, yet original all while keeping his values and his thoughts on what an entertaining movie should be intact.
And that’s where Resilience and the Lost Gems come into place.
Through his company, AOE Media, Finn produced his first major project. Staring his daughter, Kiara Finn as the lead actress, Resilience and the Lost Gems, previously known as Resilience and the Last Spike, follows the story of a young girl who goes camping with her family. While they are on the search for information about an old local legend, Resilience “Rizzy” O’Neil gets separated from her family. Alone in the harsh deserts of Utah, Rizzy endures the intense heat, survives the dangerous wilderness that lingers in the dunes, uses her cunning smarts and athletic skills, and keeps her faith with her as she goes on the search to uncover the secrets of the legend, all while trying to save and reunite with her family.
Right off the back, Finn knew that he wanted this film to help spread and promote the use of faith in films; he wanted to break the stigma that faith-based films were dull and boring. Inspired by the Indian Jones films and Lara Croft from the “Tomb Raider” series, he wrote the first draft of the film in a single night, roughly fourteen hours from start to finish. And although he knew he wasn’t exactly the best at creating a film script, the film captured his vision perfectly.
“I Hope Resilience will inspire and possibly create a blueprint for other filmmakers to get out and actually make a film with little to no outside funding,” said Finn.
Finn wanted to prove that action films could have a powerful message behind them, and that they don’t have to be all about explosions and dramatic fight scenes to make an impact. All
shot right at home in Utah, the film was made in forty-five days, shot across thirty-two different locations to showcase Utah’s wide array of landscapes, and had a team of roughly seventy people, made up of his own crew and volunteers.
Since one of the main messages behind the film is to promote the value of family, Finn thought the best person to be the main star would be his own family which is why he cast his daughter Kiara in the lead role. However, this isn’t her first appearance in a film.
In 2015, Kiara Finn had a role in the movie, Underdog Kids. Shortly after that, she would be in a baseball short film called, When All Else Fails, but when that project fell through, it left her out of a potential role. That was the night when Brian Finn wrote the script for Resilience—not only was it going to be his first original film, but he was going to make sure that his daughter had a new role.
While having family be an important theme in the film, Brian Finn also want to keep the message of faith among the themes as well. Since Resilience is an action film, he didn’t want the messages to be thrown out there directly for the viewers; he wanted to weave the message in there, most notably through the use of either dialogue and story-telling.
“The power and opportunity as filmmakers is so much bigger than most actually realize. We can change the moral compass of our entire society. To really create change for the better, we have to create content that doesn’t just preach to the choir. This will require effort and funding from churches everywhere,” said Finn.
The film itself was originally going to be a two-episode pilot for a long-term series, but slowly evolved into a full-length film. Finn stated, however, that based on what the future holds after this, he would like to either continue it as either an episodic series streamed online or possibly turn it into a trilogy movie. Regardless of the outcome, Finn wants to keep the message of the importance of family and faith consistent for everybody to enjoy.