Media Maven Series Spotlight: Sharon Wilharm
Woman on a Mission to Showcase You – Sharon Wilharm
We had the opportunity to chat with Sharon Wilharm (1/2 duo of Mainstreet Films & Faith Flix Founder) about faith and film making. A southern belle that means business, Sharon travels the country speaking at and supporting faith-based festivals and conferences. One of her main goals is to interview and bring news about the film industry with a focus on the independent media makers- you! Sharon will be one of the esteemed instructors/speakers at GloryReelz 2016. She’ll be instructing a workshop on Raising the Bar: How to Make a Microbudget Movie Look Like a Million. You don’t want to miss out on this game changing class packed with information and demonstrations. Get to know her here:
How Did Mainstreet Films come about?
Fred has a broadcast communications degree and always had a desire to make movies. I had a degree in education and a background in writing and drama. God put us together and opened the doors for us to combine our talents and share the gospel through film. When we did our first film we lived on Main Street so it seemed like the perfect name. It stuck, and that’s what we’ve been ever since.
You have now moved into public speaking and teaching. What impact do you hope to have on people?
As a young teen, my greatest desire was to be a public speaker. The problem was that I had nothing to say, or to be more precise, I had nothing to say that anyone wanted to hear. Through the years, I was busy teaching, homeschooling, and filmmaking, so speaking was pushed on the back burner until someday. Well, someday has finally come. And even though I came into filmmaking reluctantly, it’s what God is using to provide my voice. I finally have experience and advice that can benefit other people. My goal is to help fellow filmmakers raise the bar and strive for excellence in all they do. I hope that by offering simple little tips and techniques we’ve learned that filmmakers can apply the information and ultimately share the gospel with a larger reach. I also hope to take my platform as a female filmmaker and use it to reach mass audiences as well.
What gives you the most pleasure in the filmmaking process?
I’m all about the personal experience. We can’t always control what happens once the film is complete and leaves our hands, but we can control what happens during the filming process. I try to provide a warm and pleasant experience for everyone involved. I want each and every person involved to feel special and appreciated. I love all the warm and wonderful folks we’ve met as a result of our movie making.
In 2013 we attended the National Religious Broadcasters Convention and I saw how all the media were making a big deal over the big time film producers, but no one had any interest in the smaller films or filmmakers. So I decided to start a blog that would focus on telling the stories of the little guys. What’s funny is that even though it’s grown considerably since those early days, and I’ve done plenty of interviews with the big names, still, my most popular posts are the ones where I share stories of films or film folks that most people don’t know about.
Who has made the greatest impact on you in this business?
Between Faith Flix and our filmmaking, I’ve been blessed to meet so many incredible individuals. We’ve been helped by veteran filmmakers who offered advice and wisdom. We’ve been encouraged by film festival directors who took a chance on our films and validated our hard work. I’ve been challenged by actors who bring to the set a compassion and spiritual depth that’s contagious. Honestly, I think I’ve gained a little something from each individual I’ve been privileged to work with.
This is totally Fred’s department. He handles all the tech stuff. I asked him and he said Providence was shot on the Sony FS7. It shoots 4K and has a beautiful look. It’s a new camera, and to our knowledge, Providence was the first feature shot with it.
What inspired you to make films with no dialogue?
We were trying to avoid cheesy dialogue and decided to take the advice to “show not tell” to the extreme. We kind of stumbled into it, but discovered that we were much better at telling a story visually than with dialogue.
How do you cast for your films?
We put out the word on social media and Faith Flix and actors respond. We’ve been amazed at how actors are willing to come from all over the country to be in our films, and with both The Good Book and Providence, we’ve even had actors from other countries. We never intended to have actors coming from such distances, and it made logistics much more complicated, but wow, what a blessing to have such incredibly talented actors to work with. I pray over every single role and take casting extremely seriously. So many factors come into play, but ultimately it’s all about trusting God to connect us with whoever will best be served by the roles we have to offer.
At the end of the day what would you most like to hear people say about your films?
I would like them to be encouraged and to feel like there’s hope for their future.
To learn more about FaithFlix, Mainstreet Films & Sharon Wilharm visit: