What is Scapegoat?

Scapegoat is a feature-length screenplay, written by filmmaker Christopher Julian, about the last years of the life of Jesus, from the point of view of Judas Iscariot—in this version, a young and idealistic teenager. A secret romance blossoms between the two men, to the extent that the kiss in the garden of Gethsemane is not a kiss of betrayal.

The script is decidedly non-religious, abandoning the Christian cosmology, and replacing it with something much more philosophical, metaphysical, and Eastern in flavor. The film takes a very different but carefully researched angle on the history, politics and religious spectrum of first-century Palestine.

On and off for quite a few years, Chris has been working with a team of artists of various talents to move the project forward, working to attract financing for a live-action production of the film. Most notably, Chris and the team have been working towards building an “animatic” of the film, which functions as an elaborate proof-of-concept of the work, so producers and financiers can get a clearer sense of the vision, feel, and style of the film.

What is an animatic? Simply put, an animatic is like a moving storyboard, or a set of storyboards presented over time, so a viewer can get the sense of the tone, rhythm, and pacing of the work. Historically, animatics are most often used to map out any elaborate sequences or set pieces in a film that require careful planning, such as fights, choreography, or high-production scenes involving stunts, explosions, or multi-camera action. Animatics may be as simple or as complex as the production requires, from rudimentary sketches to 3D computer simulations and mock-ups, also known as previsualizations, or pre-viz.

In the case of Scapegoat, the animatic is covering the duration of the feature script, so it functions as a watchable, 2-hour version of the film, made up of about 1,500 hand-drawn sketches, all colored and loosely animated in 2D or 3D, plus sounds effects, an original music score, and performances from a full cast of voice-over actors.

The look and feel of the animatic is demonstrated in the 2-min trailer as well as the 10-minute documentary about the making of the project, both found here. But this is not the end product, just merely a rough version, and a means to a larger end. As mentioned earlier, the purpose of the animatic is to connect with individuals and companies interested in backing the project financially, so the film can be realized as a live-action work. Those that are interested may contact the team at


The adolescent Judas Iscariot lives a sheltered life under the thumb of his domineering and abusive father. But when Jude comes to the aid of a stranger, he is whisked away into a harsh and unwelcoming world beyond his ken.

This stranger in need slowly becomes a popular teacher in the nearby countryside, but hides the truth about his own dark and dangerous inner world. Jude is the only one privy to the haunting visions of the future that begin to drive his mentor to madness. As their connection unfolds into a deeper attraction, passion, and love, both of their lives begin to crumble.

Ultimately, Jude must choose between the traditions of his heritage and the love for his mentor and hero, and hope that he is able to save the situation for everyone.

While the team is seeking the budget to build this project in a live-action form, many talented members of the acting and filmmaking community have provided their services towards the production of the animatic, in order to further the cause of getting this project funded. Such talented members of the team include:

Voice Over Actors:
Visual Artists:
  • Krista Wade
  • Sarah Campbell
  • Cody Shotwell
  • Zac Cain
  • Chris Julian


Pre-production Art

Colored Illustrations, 2012-15

These are frames extracted from the animatic. Each element is hand-drawn by Chris Julian on paper, then scanned, and colored digitally in Photoshop. The separate elements are animated and composed together and animated in Adobe Premiere. Some more elaborate virtual camerawork was created in After Effects as well.

Several digital artists took the responsibility of the coloring process. The color artists are each indicated per image in the slide show.

Oil Paintings, 2002

These images were painted by Chris Julian soon after having finished the seminal 5th draft of the screenplay, where the script began to take on a more cohesive form. Most of these are painted in oil on 24" x 48" Masonite board.


Although Chris had previously been familiar with the basic texts related to the stories of Jesus of Nazareth, the writing of the screenplay involved literally several years of research, in the form of reading, viewing documentaries and films, and taking several college courses, mostly in the Near Eastern Studies Department at Cornell University.In that time, Chris had immersed himself in a tremendous amount of information about Christian History—particularly the first four centuries—and about current New Testament Scholarship, which is rich and complex in its own right.

In the process of forming the narrative structure and character development for the script, Chris did not merely utilize the Christian New Testament canon, but drew heavily on other non-traditional text sources, including and especially excerpts from the Nag Hammadi Library, within which is an impressive collection of non-canonical Jesus narratives, depictions, and teachings.

Below are links to information about a few books and documentaries that served as incredible resources for me during the formation of ideas for this project

Resource Links

Paula Fredriksen
Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews

An incredibly rich and comprehensive reconstruction of the life of Jesus during Roman rule. She is a courageous scholar, to such extent that she even chooses to refute her own conclusions from previous writings of hers.

Bart Ehrman
The New Testament

An incredibly engaging and compelling textbook—very clear, well structured, comprehensive, and enjoyable to read. Although Ehrman has his own biases, he freely admits it, and always tempers his opinions with the opposing points of view. Excellent for anyone interesting in understanding a broad overview of the historical context of the New Testament.

Elaine Pagels
The Gnostic Gospels

A perfect first-time introduction into modern studies of the Nag Hammadi Library. Although the book has its flaws, it's still a classic in the field.

Kim Haines-Eitzen
Guardians of Letters

A more in-depth and specific look at the transmission of Christian texts in the first several centuries of the movement. Perhaps technical for some, but with incredible ideas and insight into the process of history at work in ancient texts.

PBS Documentary:
From Jesus to Christ: the First Christians

The show is dense, but very watchable and informative, with engaging interviews from scholars and experts. I have watched this 4-hour documentary at least 15 times, and learn more each time. The website has a massive amount of information as well—hundreds of pages worth examining.

ABC's Peter Jennings
The Search for Jesus

Another television documentary, this one is geared to a more layman's audience, and its conclusions are softened and reduced for mass appeal. But nevertheless it has some terrific information, and has an interesting narrative flow, given the material that they attempt to cover.

Writing Process

Notes from Chris Julian

The idea for "Scapegoat" manifested itself sometime in 1994 or 1995, soon after I had received my Bachelor's degree from Binghamton University. Although I knew that it was a compelling idea, and that the project could evolve into something very important to me, I also knew that it would take a massive amount of work—in the form of research, learning, writing and rewriting.

I consequently postponed the process, involving myself in other smaller projects, a bit intimidated by the daunting task that I knew lie ahead. Finally, in Fall 1998, other projects were out of the way, and I began doing a massive amount of reading and note-taking.

By Fall 1999, I was thoroughly immersed in a New Testament course at Cornell University, and the coursework not only propelled me to take even more classes, but also to become consumed in the drafting of the script itself.

In May of 2000, I had cranked out the first draft, which was absolutely horrible, barely readable, and at 227 pages was nearly twice as long as it should have been for a film script. But it was a beginning, and still had within it the seeds of some compelling ideas. I received some vital feedback and input from friends and family, which sent me in great directions. Redrafting continued from that point onward, as well as new feedback from friends and fellow writers. Although there have been a variety of "sub-drafts" along the way, the current version is in its ninth generation of drafts, and it is currently 127 pages. The most recent set of revisions was based on several screenings of the 2019 version of the animatic, which convinced me that more changes were required to improve the story and characters. The script will likely continue to improve until the project is shot, edited, and committed to a live-action film.

Many people have asked me over the years what had inspired me to write this story in the first place, and spend so much effort in manifesting it. The short answer is: it is the result of both A) being disturbed by the dangers of religious thinking and religious institutions, and B) being simultaneously fascinated with the complex history of Christianity, including the dark and disturbing power its institutions have had over the course of events in history. The research on Scapegoat has even led to the work on a second screenplay, exploring the history of the Nag Hammadi library, its burial and later discovery.

As a youth, I was fortunate enough to have a mother who decided to send me to Sunday school because she felt that Christianity was an important part of our culture and heritage, whether I ascribed to its beliefs or not. This began a healthy curiosity for the myths and legends of Christian stories while simultaneously operating outside of it, observing and understanding it without drinking the proverbial Kool-aid.

I do not subscribe to the Christian cosmology or belief system, in part because I know too far too much about it and its archaic and disturbing origins in the 2nd through 4th Centuries. But I am grateful for having had the opportunity to learn about Christianity in my childhood. Perhaps what has kept me so engaged and passionate about the project is that I feel there are plenty of things about early Christianity that most of the world—especially Christians themselves—do not know about, understand, or realize.

As some people may realize, there were literally dozens of different "accounts" of the life and teachings of the historical Jesus, in the form a variety of gospels and teachings, only four of which had filtered down into what is current orthodox Christianity. The others had been suppressed by church institutions in the first several centuries of the movement, and only in the last century in modern times are we privy to texts that had been previously unavailable for many centuries.

These newly uncovered documents have thrown different light on how we view 1st-Century Palestine and its various religious movements, and on how we view the cultural and historical context of the gospel texts that have been available. (Please visit the Research Page for more information and links about this subject.) The four gospels of the Christian canon, attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are still the most thorough and lengthy accounts available to us. Despite the fact that they are the foundation of modern Christian thought, the four of them contradict each other quite extensively.

Mark's version of Jesus, for example, is an emphatically human character, very flawed, often angry, borderline abusive to his friends, a reluctant and inconsistent teacher, angry at god for having abandoned him. John, on the other hand, paints a very divine picture for the Jesus character, always calm, in control, following a grand plan, and clearly willing to be a crucifixion victim.

Matthew and Luke, somewhere in between the other two in terms of the human/divine spectrum, differ from each other in that Matthew's Jesus is a messiah only for the Jews—the new Moses, fulfilling prophecy, imposing a new Biblical law—whereas Luke's Jesus was abandoned and rejected by the Jews and is now morphed into a messiah for the the Gentiles—the rest of humanity. Other aspects differ as well. For example, Mark declares that Jesus only taught in parables, and never taught any other way. But there is not a single parable to be found in John's depiction, only “signs” to prove that he’s a miracle worker. The birth narratives and death narratives each differ as well, always there to reinforce the main points and themes of each of the differing gospel accounts.

The list of contradictions and differences between the four canonical gospels is extensive, and not worth reiterating here. Needless to say, these anomalies have puzzled Christians and intrigued scholars for centuries. Contradictions aside, though, all four of the canonical gospels have a clear evangelical agenda at hand, and can not be relied upon for historical information. The more one digs into the texts to learn about the "historical" Jesus, the more one is reminded of how little we can ever truly know.

As people of the last two millennia have developed countless retellings of the Jesus story—in forms of play, book, film, painting, or any other medium—each author/director/creator has had to determine exactly how the Jesus character is to be depicted. To chose one type of character depiction based on one gospel is automatically to exclude a contradicting depiction from another gospel. This is inherent in the task.

I knew that I had the same built-in contradiction ahead of me, but at least I was aware of it. As I began to write the script, I simultaneously began viewing films about Jesus—movies that had their own interpretive depictions of the character. I found them all to portray Jesus as—well... incredibly dull! Not only dull, but unrealistic, uninteresting, implausible, and just not squaring with the way that a character needs to behave in a story—with his own goals, flaws, obstacles, and story arc.

My list of movies slowly turned into a lesson in "this is what not to do," or at the very least, "this is what I don’t want in my version." In some ways, my exploration of other cinematic depictions of Jesus led me right back to square one, needing to determine for myself who my version of the Jesus character was going to be.

In doing the research, the Jesus depictions that closest fit with the approach I wanted to take was a hybrid between A) the Jesus from the Gospel of Mark—human, angry, self-contradictory, confused, a reluctant leader and teacher—and B) the Jesus depicted in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, which depicts Jesus as a teacher of esoteric and secret wisdom, as an ascetic, demanding that his students seek their own inner world and inner mind for answers.

Although the Gospel of Thomas contains no narrative elements—no story or sequence of events at all, least of all the crucifixion—and only "teachings," it is still clear that the Jesus depicted by the author of Thomas was vastly different from the canonical depictions, and some would say even has an Eastern or quasi-Buddhist slant.

These two versions of Jesus (from Mark and Thomas) may have fit my approach best, but it did not mean that I ignored the other gospels. There is a substantial quantity of story elements from Luke, Matthew and John in the screenplay, but these elements are all tempered by the more consistent Mark/Thomas character that I was attempting to construct. There are also metaphysical ideas drawn from Neal Donald Walsch and from the original Star Wars trilogy.

But this is, after all, a story of Jesus' descent into insanity, and so there are more than a few touches from the character of Vincent Van Gogh from both "Lust for Life" and "Vincent and Theo," as well as the character of Pink from "Pink Floyd: the Wall."

Other characters in the script were equally interesting and challenging to build, most notably Jude and Simon the Rock. Since I was attempting to rescue the character of Judas Iscariot from the stereotypical depictions of him as "villain," and set him up as the protagonist—a sympathetic character for the audience to follow from beginning to end—I knew that drastic measures were required.

There are no direct references to ages of people in any of the gospels. Therefore Judas and all the other followers of Jesus could have been any age at all, from children to old men. I decided: what better way to create a sympathetic character than to make Jude a child? And what better way to convey the angst of this character than to have him be a child who is about to emerge into adulthood himself, and truly discover and define who he will be as an adult?

I created Jude as a teenager, young, idealistic, naïve, and disliked by the others around him—the equivalent of the high school nerd, always getting bullied by the bigger kids. This initial unpopularity would only contribute later to the other characters' hatred of him when he attempts to make things right in the climax.

I also knew that this script was about ideology, and that Jude needed to be someone that Joshua (the Jesus character) would have to convince of a much larger spiritual and philosophical world. I therefore depicted Jude as already having been immersed in Jewish tradition and the Hebrew Bible, providing the perfect yardstick against which Joshua's actions and alternative philosophies could be measured.

And lastly, if Jude were to see Joshua as a teacher and father figure, Jude would need to have had a completely opposite experience with his own father—that is, an unpleasant experience—to make Joshua such an attraction. I therefore made sure that Jude was quite clearly afraid of his own father, both ideologically and physically.

The character of Simon Peter was a challenge. His depiction in the gospels is again fairly dull and nondescript, and I knew that I needed to create him as the antithesis of Jude. So what better way than to solve the problem than by making "Saint Peter" out to be a buffoon and a bully?

"Shimone the Rock" is someone that does not question events in his life, does not truly fathom what Joshua is trying to accomplish ideologically or intellectually, and believes that the way his father treated him is the way he also should behave—to Jude and to everyone. This creates a character that in some ways had a similar background to Jude, but took a completely opposite direction in creating his life. He is therefore the perfect school bully, the college frat boy, the one in the game just because he thinks he should be.

I knew that in writing this piece, the problem of language would come up immediately. In order to get the audience out of the mindset of associating characters or events with traditional religious depictions of the Gospel stories, I wanted to remove all elements of the "preachy" and baroque language style of the King James Bible that people normally associate with Jesus, and instead provide a style that would resonate with a modern audience. But this was still a period piece, and had to be conveyed as such.

Although the gospel texts were written in Ancient Greek—the language of intellectuals at the time—the events described in the texts were not necessarily happening within that intellectual context. Jesus was speaking to poor and most likely uneducated people in the middle of backwater towns and rural communities. His speaking would have been A) in Aramaic, not Hebrew or Greek, and B) incredibly colloquial, for the underprivileged to understand. I needed to find a way of conveying that, albeit with an English equivalent.

Throughout the process of writing dialogue, I was constantly attempting to keep all of the language extremely conversational—not speechy or preachy, but just people talking to one another. It was a fine line, however, between what is "conversational" and what turns into "colloquial." I knew that I did not want to turn this piece into anything with modern contexts, so it required an effort to prevent myself from using modern slang.

In an attempt to make this a fresh experience for the audience, I sought to remove as many words as possible that contained “loaded” associations with modern Christian doctrine. I avoided words like "Heaven," "Hell," "Sin," "Salvation," "Redemption," and even the word "God." I made sure not to use the words “disciple” or “apostle,” as these also had only found meaning in Christian movements decades or centuries later, not during Jesus’ time.

I did need to address the word “Messiah,” just because it was a popular word at the time. But that word meant something very different to 1st-Century Jews—it referred to a *military* savior and hero, not a spiritual one—and I made sure to recontextualize that back to its original meaning, before the Christian movement usurped it for its own very different cosmology.

I also wanted to convey the element of Hebrew poetry in the script, as it was a very essential part of the Jewish culture. Unfortunately, most of the forms and structures of Hebrew poetry have no English equivalent, and are completely untranslatable in this respect. (The "Acrostic," as a friend pointed out, is common in Hebrew poetry, but also unrecognizable in spoken dialogue of a movie script. Most other poetic forms revolve around the repetition of concepts with different wording.)

I had to come up with something in English that works in a similar way thematically. The only thing we have in our language that comes close, in terms of recognizable style and pattern, is verse rhyming. So, despite that there is no real usage of end-verse rhyming in Hebrew form, there are several moments in the story where I utilized rhyme schemes in English in order to convey the same basic playful aspect of language that occurs in Hebrew. (Some might view this as cheating, but I think those moments in the story operate rather well.)

It was essential to find any means possible to force the audience to start from scratch, and view the plot and characters of Scapegoat with fresh eyes—and ears. Just as with the language issues above, it was important to unplug the associations that a modern audience might have with specific names in Christian lore. But I did not want to *change* any names, I just wanted to give them more of an historical spin. I also had to be consistent: I could not use an English version of one name, then a Greek version of another, then a Hebrew version of yet another. So I had to examine the way that certain names have been filtered down into modern times, and determine what their origins had been.

Most of the names we associate with New Testament characters—Jesus, Judas, James, Mary, for example—are Anglicized versions of Greek names. But all of these names in Greek are of course Hellenizations of their original Hebrew or Aramaic names—so they are therefore translations of translations, they’ve gone through two sets of alterations. Ironically in English, we have Anglicized versions of these Hebrew and Aramaic names already, when they are taken directly from the Old Testament. Compare the four examples above to Joshua, Jude, Jacob, and Miriam, for example.

In order to seek consistency, therefore, I used the Anglicized Aramaic names almost exclusively, thus bypassing the Greek translation-of-a-translation middleman. Occasionally, some characters refer to their original Hebrew names, but only in appropriate context, and often for the sake of formality, or for mock formality, the way that we would refer to a person with their full long name under unusual circumstances. (For example, I personally hate being called Christopher! When someone uses my full name, it sounds like I did something bad, or am on the verge of punishment.)

The name "Jesus" is derived from the ancient Greek "Iesus," pronounced "Yeh-sus." (The suffix of ­s or ­os is commonly used in the Greek language to connote the subject of a sentence. Noun endings in Greek are tied with case, but that is another subject...) “Iesus” is derived from the Aramaic "Yeshua.” There is not “sh” sound in Ancient Greek, so they had to adapt with the “S” as a similar sound. The Aramaic “Yeshua” is in itself a contraction of the fuller Hebrew "Yehoshua," which basically means "the Lord saves," or "the Lord helps."

There are two other characters from the Old Testament / Hebrew Bible named Yehoshua, and we know those characters both as "Joshua” in English translations. (One is the Joshua associated with the fall of Jericho, the other during the time of Ezra & Nehemiah.) I felt that “Joshua” was, then, the closest Anglicized name for Jesus that I could use, and that is what it became in the screenplay.

Similarly, "James" is from the Greek "Iacomus," which is from the Aramaic and Hebrew "Yakov." But other "Yakovs" from the Old Testament are already more commonly known as "Jacob." "Mary" is from the Greek "Marias," which is from the Aramaic/Hebrew "Mar-yam," which we already know in English as "Miriam.” Some English names are the same both translating through the Greek and translating directly from Aramaic or Hebrew to English: "John" is from the Greek "Ioannen," which is from the Aramaic/Hebrew "Yochanan," and the Old Testament characters named this are already known to us as "John." "Simon" is the same case, from the Hebrew "Shimone."

In the Case of Simon Peter, I had some work to do. After all, Shimone was his true Hebrew name, and "Peter" was a nickname. "Peter," from the Greek "Petrus," literally means "Rock." And is perhaps the English equivalent of calling a guy "Rocky." But (despite some character similarities) I did not want modern associations with the Sylvester Stallone character, nor did I want a modern colloquial nickname such as "Rocky" in this film either. So instead I stuck with the literal translation, which would be "Simon the Rock."

Our main character, of course, is the person known to us through the Greek texts as "Judas," but this is a hellenization of the Aramaic "Yudah" or Hebrew "Yehudah," and so the English equivalent of these Aramaic/Hebrew names is "Jude."

Although most people do not realize it, we in the 21st century actually have no clear record of the details of crucifixion methods used by the Romans two millennia ago. This is fairly odd, since we have such detailed record of just about everything else that the Romans did; they were excellent record keepers.

All of our visual depictions and representations of crucifixion are loosely based on what is written in the Gospels. Even most of this data seems to be unlikely, if not downright impossible. Nails through the palms, for example, would never hold up the weight of a human being, and the tendons & ligaments that bind the metacarpal region of the hand together would tear instantly under such a weight. It has been determined then, more logically, that nails were placed through the forearm, at the base of the wrist, between the radius and ulna.

Since crucifixion was a severe political punishment which allowed no actual burial, there is hardly any evidence of it in our archaeological record. Several years ago there was an excavation of one burial site which did reveal a crucifixion victim buried within—our only archaeological example! This find yielded that (at least in this victim's case) a nail was driven through the back of the anklebone of one of the feet.

This discovery has led some scholars to conjecture that the ankles were either A) nailed to the sides of the upright beam, B) nailed to the front of the beam with the victim´s legs and lower body twisted sideways, or C) for there to be a small supporting block of wood protruding from the upright beam, where the ankle was then nailed to. This is all conjecture, and no one knows for sure, but in the process of writing this script, I have formed some of my own opinions.

I personally doubt that the Romans would have taken the time to attach extra blocks of wood to the upright beams. It is unnecessary and takes more time, and would seem more logical that they would have avoided this extra procedure. In addition, twisting the lower body puts more of a strain on the diaphragm to breathe, therefore making the crucifixion process more painful. (After all, crucifixion is a death by asphyxiation, as the diaphragm cannot continue to do its work if the arms are raised up.)

There have been some rare depictions of crosses as being in the shape of a capital letter "T," rather than a traditional lower case "t" shape, and I tend to think that this would be far easier, more efficient, and more repeatable for the Romans to construct. Therefore, the upright beams could already be in place in the ground, and the victims would carry their top "cross beams" rather than the entire cross. This is the proposed method of crucifixion I’ve relied on when writing Scapegoat.

There is yet another aspect of traditional depictions of crucifixion that seems illogical and would have been inefficient for the Romans to conduct regular death sentences in this manner. I am referring to the height of the cross: most typical depictions of crosses show them as very high, and some would argue that it would allow other passers-by to see them from very far away. But it would have been incredibly time-consuming and labor-intensive for Roman soldiers to bring ladders and ropes and a variety of tools to the site in order to lift victims high above normal walking height. In addition, if these crucifixes were featured at the entrances to cities, where people were walking within several feet of the victims, placing them high up in the air would be unnecessary. In fact, if kept low and at such close range, crucifixion would appear much more gruesome at eye level than raised up an extra ten feet in the air.

So I believe (and I have described it in the screenplay and depicted it in painting #10 on the pre-production art page) that it would have made far more sense for Romans to conduct crucifixions only 5 or 6 feet from the ground. It would be far more efficient as a process, and far more effective as a warning to others. And with the legs of the victim bent at a sharp angle and nailed to the upright beam, crucifying victims at normal human height would not mean that they would have an easier way of escaping...

Again, this is my own conjecture, but I feel that it is based on sound logic, and the traditional depictions of crucifixion tend to overlook the important factors presented here.

The Scapegoat screenplay depicts a world view and cosmology that is clearly not Christian, and perhaps may be viewed as atheist, and yet within the story is also a very profound sense of both spirituality and metaphysics. This is not accidental, and I was drawing from many philosophies, religions and perspectives when I wrote the story.

There is a decidedly Eastern slant to all of this (especially as the "Wise men from the East" are, in this interpretation, Buddhist monks!), and I have incorporated a fair amount of what would be considered modern spirituality into the story. Elements of this narrative are clearly filtering down from sources such as the Star Wars films as well as ideas from modern authors such as Neale Donald Walsch, Thich Nhat Hanh, Stewart Wilde, Deepak Chopra, Ram Dass, Wayne Dyer, and Richard Bach.

Does that imply that I believe that this is how things happened? Does that mean that I believe my version of the Jesus story is the "historical" version? Absolutely not. The more one learns about Christianity, the more one realizes how little we can ever actually know. Most likely, ALL of it is wrong...

I am picking and choosing elements—both modern and ancient—from my environment and culture, in order to tell a story that I believe is important to tell, and that will resonate with others in modern times, and be relevant to modern problems and issues. As much as I may have relied on historical research, achieving this resonance and relevance is more important to me when telling this story.

The authors of the Gospels, by the way, were doing the same thing—picking and choosing elements of fact and fiction (thereby ignoring other elements of the same) to build what they thought were compelling stories. There is plenty of evidence of this "stitch-work" of sources in the Gospel texts. Unlike these ancient writers, however, I do not have an agenda to convince anyone of specific historical events or spiritual beliefs. I am just telling a story.

The spiritual philosophies that run through the screenplay may be taken by the audience as literal or metaphorical, and it makes no difference to me. I believe strongly that all religions, perspectives, philosophies and opinions must be taken with a proverbial grain of salt, and an audience is doomed unless it does. This is perhaps one of the most frightening things about the Fundamentalist Christian movement: inherent within their philosophy is the need to believe certain historical events as capital T "True," when personal relevance and resonance should be far more important than historical fact.

As a storyteller, I do not particularly care one way or another how things in the past may have happened or not happened. In this context, it really does not matter to me who the true historical Jesus was. What matters to me is that we have stories, teachings, and other sources of wisdom accessible to us in our modern culture that aid us in achieving our greatest potential in the world, both individually and collectively.

I hope that, in my own small way, I am contributing to such positive forces through this screenplay and eventually the film, by creating work that inspires awareness on all levels, and expands people's perceptions as well as their understanding of their own historical and cultural heritage.

About the Author

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Chris Julian is a freelance video editor, visual effects artist, and camera operator in Seattle, WA. He also has taught video editing and other filmmaking skills and film history at various local colleges and schools.

While shooting and editing for other productions, he pursues film & video projects of his own, most notably the full-length film Invisible Ink, and the Scapegoat film project. Other projects include the short film Diabolos, and feature-length scripts Kiddo Kyle, The Bunker (both with Garrett Fisher) and Guardians of Letters (not to be confused with the book by Kimberly Haines-Eitzen of the same name).

He is also a musician and singer/songwriter as well as painter, sculptor and woodworker. For leisure, he is an avid swimmer.Samples of Christopher Julian's contract editing work and personal filmmaking projects can be found at