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Scratching the Surface: New Documentary on Porn Addiction

Last Updated: August 5, 2021

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Scratching-the-Surface-1In February I had the privilege of sitting in on the filming of a new documentary, Scratching the Surface (STS). The director, Francois Driessen, drove from London, Ontario, to our headquarters and interviewed about a dozen people.

STS is a fresh look at the subject of pornography and its influence on individuals, families, and culture.

Francois has decided to release the interviews in a most interesting way: he will be putting some of the raw interview footage online for free, taking comments from anyone who sees the clips, and using the comments to edit the final cut of the documentary.

I had a chance to interview Francois recently about the Scratching the Surface:

Francois, what is Scratching the Surface? Why are you creating it?

It’s a documentary that looks at pornography and the world that surrounds it. As well as it’s effects and its prevalence in the church.

We’re creating this since we just finished an expressive film called WILLFUL ENTRAPMENT that explores the addictive properties of pornography. As we were getting ready to release it, we realized that the church was not in a state to engage with the topic at all and that porn was running much deeper than I could ever imagine. It was like we scratched the surface and then found the whole world to be infected underneath. We realized that we needed to bring people more than an epiphany of the dangers of porn – but actual tools to deal with the problem. And those solutions come in the form of people that can communicate truth on the many intricate aspects of this problem. Scratching the surface aims to connect the audience with these people.

You are releasing the video interviews one by one online for people to submit their comments. Why are you making the documentary this way?

Two reasons.

One: As a filmmaker, this collaborative editing process allows me to engage the audience in a dialogue vs. one way communication. I get to listen before I speak and this way we can tailor the doc to address the fears and needs of people. The added value to this is that it will also allow people to interact with each other on these topics.

Two: There simply is not enough time in a feature-length documentary to include all the information that the interviewees were bringing to the table. And all of it is important. The issue of pornography runs so deep and in so many layers that condensed versions of what they have to say might end up causing this to merely stay on the surface. We really need to go deeper than that, so we want to give people access to all of it. And give them access immediately without having to wait for the production cycle to complete.

Who can we expect to see in these interviews?

We connected with key champions on ground zero of the battleground against porn (and there are many more we have not connected with yet), as well as people sharing their testimonies who were fairly new to their journey of freedom. It really is a wide gamut of people from all different walks and backgrounds. From brain scientists, to pastors, to female ex-addicts and so forth. There’s a list at STSdoc.com with the first wave of interviews and that will grow as our journey continues.

What has been your favorite part of the filming and editing so far, Francois?

Seeing people come together and interacting even before we’ve cut a single frame! When we rendezvoused with a bunch of you guys at Covenant Eyes headquarters in Michigan, we stacked the interviews together, and in the process key people and ministries sparked friendships that have never collaborated before. So even the process we followed for shooting brought people together on the topic. It was amazing to see that what we felt called to do was happening right before our eyes even without us even rolling the first camera! That’s God’s hands at work building His church. That’s exciting because it is much bigger than ourselves.

  • Comments on: Scratching the Surface: New Documentary on Porn Addiction
    1. Graham on

      This interview is excellent. Pornography is just so gross, and yet it is so possible to be ‘drawn’ into light brushes with it. I have found myself longing for the truths that neutralise the lies that draw you into brushes with it. There needs to be a lot more honesty among men about this insidious evil, and a lot more aggressive truth being shared to dis empower it. That is how I found covenanteyes, and I thank God for the truths that I found that have helped me be a real man and resist the lies of pornographic sexuality, to find truth. I am a healthy guy, and all guys struggle with this at some point in there lives and especially now with the prevalence of material and ease of it on the internet. I am recently married and think the understanding of your own sexual needs and the lies about porn meeting them, and the truths about the woman involved as human beings not commodities is really needed.
      Awesome interview. Look forward to the movie.

      Reply

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