Joshua Ling 0:00
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Joshua Ling 0:57
today on poets we speak with Benjamin Curlee about the home work life balance of Atlanta and now Hollywood is moving there. And an artisans craftsmen ship mindset in the arts. You run our entering the walls Oh, this is Paul What’s up
Benjamin Curlee 1:29
Yeah, So how you been?
Joshua Ling 1:32
A bad not bad. Braves won the World Series. That was really great.
Benjamin Curlee 1:37
Yes, I have not gone back to watch that yet.
Joshua Ling 1:42
Not not even didn’t get to watch any of it.
Benjamin Curlee 1:44
I watched the the one that they played here. That truest? And just before. Okay, and then. That was a disappointment. You know, I was actually camping when they played the last game.
Joshua Ling 2:00
Ah, okay, gotcha. You’re out in the middle of nowhere, correct? Yeah, gotcha. Gotcha. Yeah, a lot of my narrative friends get sick of me talking about the Braves. But there’s just so much story that went into this year. With that. It’s just like, it’s all narrative, like baseball is so incredibly narrative. It’s ridiculous. Mm hmm. But, yeah, so I know who you are. And we could just talk for hours because we do on phone calls every now and then. We do. Yes. But and and I can give a little bit of background before we talk about you in depth. But Benjamin and I have known each other for a really long time we met because a friend of ours, a mutual friend who will also be on the podcast. Hopefully, I think I’m recording with him next week. We started the three of us sort of story to screen movie review podcast. That was really fun. We did that for a while. And Benjamin and I grew closer and closer and we became co workers for a while we’re still kind of co workers. I do freelance for the company he’s employed by and so yeah, I mean, there’s just all kinds of connections we’ve had over the years. I guess that’s a good introduction. You want to tell people what you do what? You know, I’m a bard. What are you?
Benjamin Curlee 3:26
Yeah, yeah. So Ah, man, you know, that’s one of those things. It’s like, I remember at 18 having like this major crisis about what you know, what am i What’s more my passions? What am I supposed to do when I become adult? And it’s like, okay, you know, want to go back and slap myself it wasn’t that big a deal. Okay. The world isn’t going to change just because you turn 18 But it’s your fault like it I’m so very similar to you. I am a multimedia multi hat wearing individual specialties being video and design. So yeah, but my hand is in just a little bit of everything because that’s that’s freelance world.
Joshua Ling 4:16
My do a cut here at it. I’m just going to move this guy over here. And yes, it’ll be a different angle. I don’t care. I’m no. Or at least as close to you as I can. Well, how’s how’s this eye angle? Tip? Not terrible.
Benjamin Curlee 4:35
No, it looks good. It’s better.
Joshua Ling 4:36
Benjamin Curlee 4:37
How’s how’s my audio coming through by the way? I picked up this mic because Okay, so my XLR mic died on me. Last week.
Joshua Ling 4:47
This is the geek talk everybody. Yes,
Benjamin Curlee 4:50
I well. I spilled my drink on it. So it’s kind of my fault. Okay, the XLR mic is fine. It’s the it’s the US USB audio interface that’s broken. So I had to run out to Best Buy and go pick up a mic today. So I haven’t had chance to really play with it yet. So I hope it’s sounding good.
Joshua Ling 5:12
So back to what you were saying about your big, you know, yeah, rice this and everything. Yeah, considering like, it’s very obvious you’re much more into like, the details of the than the big picture like, see, I’ll be a little scary.
Benjamin Curlee 5:31
Well, that see, okay, so I am a details person. And actually, yeah, actually, just earlier today, we were building out a quote. And for for a potential client, we were building out the gear list for a studio, and I was just, you know, geeking out browsing b&h. It’s like, okay, this camera with this lens without give us that look. And so that is my specialty. I love that. I thrive on that. Yeah, my background I started out is a HVAC technician. With the the control side of it, not the not the mechanical side working for my dad. And I did that for just, I think just shy of a decade. The last four years of that time, at least four years, I was doing a lot of my own video stuff, basically just making those short films, satire pieces. Occasionally, a paid commercial, but not very much. But basically, I was I was trying to learn my craft as best I could. Meanwhile, I was harassing a local production company, local Christian production company
Joshua Ling 6:48
to hire me named drop them.
Benjamin Curlee 6:50
Oh, why not? Yeah. So if for anyone who’s familiar with wretched TV with Todd Friel. They, they were just up the road for me about about 30 minutes away, and I, I harassed them for years until they finally had an opening. And yeah, that was that was the big, giant foot in the door to completely change my industry, and change the whole trajectory of what I do. So it was really a prayer come true.
Joshua Ling 7:21
Yeah. And since then, you’ve worked on just about every kind of multimedia job you possibly can. Yeah, you are the fixer, the detailed guy, you’re, you know, in the weeds, taking care of things. And lately, you’ve been doing some conferences and things of that nature, making sure they’re live streaming. You work with Adrian renqiu. I’m hopefully going to have at some point I haven’t asked him yet, but hopefully gonna have some point on this. This podcast also worked at wretched. And, you know, so many guys have come out of Richard and moved on to some amazing things. There’s some amazing guys working there now. It’s just seems to have been a very fertile ground for creators. Wretched.
Benjamin Curlee 8:06
Yeah, wretched is a Richard is a forge. And you either come back come out of it on the other side, stronger and more refined. Or you get tossed to the side. That’s that’s the culture that is wretched. Yep. For good or bad. That’s what it
Joshua Ling 8:25
is. Yep. So there’s a couple other guys that used to be on white with wretched that I’d love to get on the show to chocolate Knox and Marcus Pittman. You guys probably some of you guys who listen know about them. I’m hoping to get them on at some point I haven’t asked yet. But you know, I usually ask and people say yes, and then I schedule it and then go from there. It’s yeah, I don’t really work very far out. It’s just kind of like, let’s go. Um, but yeah, so anyway. So you’ve been in this for a while now what? We’re almost we got to be 15 plus now right for you.
Benjamin Curlee 9:04
Okay, so if we count if we count the years that I was basically just doing it in my free time. Mm hmm.
Joshua Ling 9:13
Which I do.
Benjamin Curlee 9:14
Yeah, then we are probably no we’re not we’re not that many. I would say we’re approaching nine maybe 10 years
Joshua Ling 9:21
really only that long? Yes. I always forget you’re so much younger than me.
Benjamin Curlee 9:25
I know I know cuz I was at wretched for three and a half years and then I’ve been working freelance now for three approaching three approaching three. Yes. I got it on top of the on top of the four years so yeah,
Joshua Ling 9:41
you’ve learned so much more than me in such a shorter I’m like jealous because I’m still figuring stuff out that you’re like way ahead of me on
Benjamin Curlee 9:51
hey, I love problem solving. And actually that’s, that’s yeah, I love problem solving. He’s a puzzle or the details. Yeah. Listen, listen, that paired with my laziness, I will spend a day finding an easier way to do something rather than just sitting down and doing it for 20. That’s me,
Joshua Ling 10:14
well, there you go, especially when we don’t have the money to do it right, exactly. The easy way. Find the workaround crazy way. So, so your MacGyver, your and your wizard, making the signal go from one end to the other. I liken it to plumbing and a lot of people think I’m crazy. Like it’s No, honestly plumbing is more complicated to me thinking about it, like I’m sure I could figure it out. But the idea of getting a signal from one end to the other has always been whoops, dropping stuff. Uh, always been really important to me. Just because you know, the getting the gospel out getting not just the gospel, but good stories and edifying people. It’s it’s such a powerful thing to be able to communicate. And, you know, being a veteran in this war, I actually wanted to start this podcast with you poets at war. Right? As a as a co anchor, but you’ve been too busy. That’s always open.
Benjamin Curlee 11:19
laughs I am glad that is living beyond me, though. Because if it was on me, then yeah.
Joshua Ling 11:25
But being a veteran in the war, what has been like, the most important parts to the actual culture? Were fair, within all those details, what have been the things that have allowed you, you know, the principles and and even the details and moments that have allowed you to really work at a higher level? And, and actually, you know, gain ground in the war, so to speak?
Benjamin Curlee 11:54
Yeah, yeah. Um, when you work in the arts, you like to philosophise, and make a lot of things theoretical that you honestly shouldn’t. So going back to your plumbing,
Benjamin Curlee 12:18
Benjamin Curlee 12:21
people hire a plumber, or you would hire a plumber, because he’s a good plumber, you wouldn’t hire a plumber, because he’s a Christian plumber, and a Christian plumber is not going to do necessarily different work than a secular plumber, right, he’s gonna do a good job is gonna, his his ethics will be different. But as far as his technique and the clients he takes on, really no difference. And so applying that here, because when it comes to Christians in media, we like to glorify the art, so to speak, rather than treating the art like a craft. And it’s like, okay, yeah, I’m bringing skills to the table here, much like any other craft, and it is a it’s a skill that, in many ways, is intangible, at least as far as what I produce, but it still has real world value to people. And I have to approach it from that perspective as more of a as a craftsman rather than an artist, so to speak, and wrapping my head around that I think has really helped clarify the type of work that I do and how I approach it. And honestly, I don’t know I want I want to I used to walk around in some of the the Christian film circuits and I would love to go back and just give a lecture on why they need to stop hyper focusing on the details of well okay you know, you can you can allow your actress to kiss but only in these circumstances and they shouldn’t say these words like it’s it’s not it’s not that cut and dry and it’s not that philosophical.
Joshua Ling 14:23
Yeah, yeah, the I think that’s one way we have you know, diverged and come back on each other over the years there is a side of you that is an artist as well hence why being on boats at war, but there’s the artist in mentality which is kind of in between to you know, in between a someone who does a craft and someone who’s an artist, I tend to be more on the artist side I think, even though I’m technically sound I can do technically great stuff. My heart is in creating something out of my heart out of myself. And I think that actually comes from Surprisingly, even though like I have big emotions and feelings that really actually I think more than anything comes out of, well. It’s more of like, thinking in terms of resources, my mind, so long as I don’t, you know, go crazy, is unlimited as far as imagination can go, I can think of stories and make stuff up, you know, as long as I can, you know, and that is something that is a well, that does not run dry unless I run dry, which then I’ll have bigger issues. Yeah. point being that, you know, I’m thinking, you know, long term for my kids and all that kind of stuff, I want them to have something, you know, and the best thing that I think I can give them on both a moral level, you know, we’re talking in our industry, moral kind of level. And then also in a eventual monetary level, as I’ve had faith, that this will come about giving them intellectual property, because it is actual property that they will be taking on, regardless of whether it’s, you know, big in my time, or they can make it big in theirs, you know. So it’s kind of like crypto that way, you never know where the value is gonna go. But you got to kind of stake your claim and go from there, you know, it’s not just crypto, that’s any kind of investment of time, talent, etc. So, what do you think was the draw for you into, you know, the the technical aspect playing with, you know, your cameras and toys and things like that, like, what, what really brought you into that world and made you want to pursue a career out of filmmaking and all the other crazy things that surround it these days?
Benjamin Curlee 16:53
Yeah, I think one of the things that solidified the value of good storytelling, or just storytelling in my mind was the time that I put together I can’t even remember the name of the programme. Now, it was similar to iMovie. But it was for Windows, and it wasn’t Windows Movie Maker, but it was, it was along those lines, really basic level. I was basically putting together slideshows with music, but I had text on top of it. And I decided to basically go through the story of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, pulling out key things and then tying together and I had a really fun time making it and I pulled a piece of music from Lord of the Rings, I forget the name of the track now. But put that all together. And one Thanksgiving, I think my relatives were over and I had my granddad watch it. And he’s watching it. And he’s there’s no narration or anything. He’s just he’s reading texts as the music plays and gets to the end, he’s got tears in his eyes. And I just watching him move by that watching him move by the narrative of the Bible, just thrown into a three minute piece. Combined with the music, it’s like, it’s, it’s storytelling allows us to engage our emotions in a different way. And so that’s why I would say that’s probably a defining moment in when when I realised that there is actual value here in pursuing this as a craft. Not it’s not just something fun that I do and, you know, show to friends. Right?
Joshua Ling 18:44
Right. Yeah. The any chance you still have that video lying around somewhere?
Benjamin Curlee 18:50
Ah, there, huh? There is a chance there’s a chance I’ve got some I’ve got some hard drives sitting on the shelf. It might be there somewhere.
Joshua Ling 18:58
Well, if you find it, I will link it in the show notes eventually. Okay.
Benjamin Curlee 19:03
I mean, it’s it’s got copyrighted music
Joshua Ling 19:08
we’ll put it on Dropbox somewhere and people can there we go. Anyway. Um, well figure it out. So yeah, sure. Details, good old copyrights anyway, or we could re edit it with you know, some royalty free Well, no,
Benjamin Curlee 19:25
that’s yeah, that’s what it’s, that’s that honestly, that video is one that one day I want to come back to and remake again with the skills that I have now. That’d be um, so I don’t know. I just don’t have time to pursue that project at present, but one day,
Joshua Ling 19:41
yeah. When I first started making videos, it was because of I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this. I may have but considering how much we’ve talked over the years, but I was I am and still was more so than I am now but still huge pro wrestling. band you know, and sting who’s a Christian really great guy. He’s still in the wrestling business. He was my favourite growing up. And I just wanted to make some music video tribute type thing for him and my first one was to the song bring it on by Steven Curtis Chapman. A little known be sidetrack. You’re nodding like you really do know that song.
Benjamin Curlee 20:29
I forget exactly which one but Stephen Chris Chapman. He’s He’s, he’s a classic. Oh, yeah. So I think I’ve heard most of his Yeah,
Joshua Ling 20:38
that one’s on the declaration album. But anyway, he, I, I had no clue. So this, this is this gives you a little bit of an idea here. I had to have been 2006 2007, something like that. I had windows moviemaker on XP, Windows XP. And I was just learning how to use it. And I could not for the life of me figure out how to mute video clips. So what I did instead, in the sales to your thing about like being lazy or finding a way around things or whatever else. I found two programmes one, and this is sorry, for the technical side, folks, just I think you’ll I think you’ll laugh anyway, I think you’ll kind of get where I’m going. Basically, I used one programme, which is a video game tool, rad video tools to break it out into into break these clips on out into individual frames. And then recompile them with another piece of software, which I cannot remember the name of into animated GIFs which I then pulled back into Windows. They were in slow motion, but it workers the frame rate was off. And yeah, because the frame rate was off. Yes, yes. So Well, I found a way to mute those videos. Because animated GIFs don’t have sound god darn it.
Benjamin Curlee 22:18
But it’s Jeff. But anyway, no.
Joshua Ling 22:22
Anyway, but it’s Smuckers now. So yeah, but I know we had talked a little bit. You’ve listened to one or two episodes of the show now.
Benjamin Curlee 22:39
Joshua Ling 22:41
I gotta ask you. What are your overall thoughts? What can I improve on because you’re Mr. details here? I’m Mr. Big picture. I got a great concept. I got a great theme song. But come on, man. Help me out. What do I need? Oh,
Benjamin Curlee 22:54
no. All right. So so be brutal. I haven’t listened to enough to be able to do that. Well.
Joshua Ling 23:00
Benjamin Curlee 23:02
I really, okay. So when we were first talking about creating this podcast, you were going off on how on the introduction, basically that old news cat or was word as a thing, right? Yes, yes. That right there. Yes. And I wasn’t fully convinced. Like I was like, Okay, sounds cool. And now that I’ve heard it, it’s like, Oh, I love it. I love it. It’s a key characteristic to the show.
Joshua Ling 23:30
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, the drums really nail it and everything else. Yeah. But go ahead. And
Benjamin Curlee 23:37
honestly, I don’t have much I really don’t have any criticisms. Um, and I, I think I think that’s something I’ve had to train myself in, in being less harsh about things. Because I’ve had to let go of a lot of projects that were nowhere near as polished as I wanted them to be. But I’m, I’m learning to cope with that. So. Yep, there is always Yeah, no, we’re always we are always improving. Yes, yes. And the only the only time I think I need to speak up to a problem is when we repeat the same problem twice. It’s like okay, we’re missing something. Otherwise, I’ll assume everyone else sees it and is improving.
Joshua Ling 24:27
So what is the hardest thing that you do
Benjamin Curlee 24:34
balancing being a dad
Benjamin Curlee 24:39
Joshua Ling 24:41
well besides that, yeah, I actually in your job, but it was yeah, no in my job Maggie that if you want yeah, I want to I want to hear what’s the hardest actual task that you perform in your job? Yes.
Benjamin Curlee 24:55
Mmm hmm. Managing managing people. Hmm. So I am, I can’t seem to wrap my head around. And this is something that I’m, I’m becoming more and more aware of and I need as, as the company tries to grow and bring on more people, like,
Joshua Ling 25:18
younger child media, give them business so I can come back on full time. Yes.
Benjamin Curlee 25:23
Yeah, no. So so as as the the need comes about, I anticipate that I’m going to need to move into a more managerial role. Because the more experience but with the company along, you know, just that’s just the natural way life, but learning how to balance managing people and giving them feedback, especially remotely is really hard. Yeah, really hard talking people through. Yeah, so I’m sure a lot of people are already aware of that having been through a pandemic, where so many people work from home. But yeah, giving you that back and forth. It theoretically, it shouldn’t be that hard. Because it’s like, alright, just share your screen and Okay, click that and do this. But it’s, it’s not that simple. Because there’s this craft is both an art and a science. I can tell people Oh, okay, cut, you know, cut that exactly two frames prior. Um, or your your audio is clipping, look at those metres there and a little things like that I can, I can tell them, I can give them those rules. That’s the science part. It’s that it’s that art side that it’s really hard to convey, especially when you’re doing dealing with latency and whatnot on the internet. I can’t, it’s hard to teach them what it feels like. As far as like the beats go the edit the cuts and how it paces with the music. And so it’s like, it’s something that you FEEL, and that’s how you start crafting your own style, honestly. Right. That’s how you you know, you can recognise an editor based on his work because of just how it feels.
Joshua Ling 27:10
I gotcha. Yeah. Yeah. No, I totally, I totally understand that. Getting back to the the family work life balance. This is something you and I have had a lot of conversation about. One of the things that we’ve done in here, and I’m not going to do tour right now, I’ll do one off air for you. But I have my own office for the first time. How’s that? Oh, fully, actually, this room is only my office for the door. Yeah, well, for a little while, it was also where Peter and Mama slept. And everything until like, couple days ago. And so they now actually have it full time, I can come in here in the middle of the night, if I want to do something, you know, that kind of a thing. I’m not gonna I’m not gonna bother people that way. And so that that’s been a huge change, but worked out really well for her too, because now she’s got a full nursery room with both kids and she loves that. That’s her office. Yeah. But ours are, you know, it’s, it’s been really good since you asked, like, I haven’t nearly put up everything that I want gotten everything together the way I want. But I’m working on it. And I’m working toward trying to my overall goal. And this is this is my sort of, not exactly therapy session, but just getting something off my chest. I already told Casey this but telling someone else is important. Tell him even the listeners is important. And you especially but my big thing at the moment is trying to create systems for my art and essentially creating a workflow that is not going to burn me out. Yes, but But is also going to be as balls to the wall as I can stand it. Yeah. And also, um, allow me to repurpose the initial recording process with as little editing as possible. Being able to repurpose for vertical videos like Tic Toc and landscape and you know for Odyssey and YouTube and the rest I’m considering going back to YouTube for a little while but it relationship so we’ll see we’ll see. But yeah, so basically right now that’s, that’s my biggest thing is just creating my systems but being at home, having a diversified income since y’all took me from full time to part time freelance has been a blessing in and of itself. I’ve had to trust God more. I’ve had to relax more. And I honestly feel better than I ever have with my work life, family balance everything else even though I’m having to really hustle at certain points he always work is actually the hardest for me at this point. Oh, really? Yeah. Even though it’s not like super hard. Behind the Scenes baseball stuff, I don’t think I’m credited in any way whatsoever whatsoever. But you know, I work on founder stuff with you. Yeah, I don’t I don’t mind saying that. You guys. Work on it subcontracted under Chuck Knox, I believe Yes. Correct. Yeah. Okay. So y’all are subcontracted to them subcontracted under that. So you know, this is the way this works. But honestly, the biggest, most annoying thing and this is actually the hardest part of my job. Going into that is I’m doing what doing the B roll isn’t hard. I’m actually picking out the B roll and giving you a one cut so you can then edit it for final. My issue is my my machines and my internet not keeping up with my crease. And that is the worst of the situations. Unfortunately. Augusta is horrible for internet. I have two hot spots that I run off of. And I don’t have the money to tie them together right now with Speedify. Um, so I’m just you know, Lincoln. It’s working very well tonight. But um, yeah, anyway, getting back to your thing I want to know about your work life balance, you know that I said my part I want? Yeah, no,
Benjamin Curlee 31:46
I it goes back and forth. This summer was really hard on the family. Before the summer started. We had we had a nice routine, nice schedule. We knew when I would get off and when I could help the family. And then the summer came around. And I did so much travelling and our schedules just went all over the place. So we’re trying to resettle that. And it’s difficult. But I would say the the hardest part is it’s it’s it’s twofold. I need to focus. Because my ability to focus directly results directly impacts my ability to work and provide for my family. So it is incredibly important that I’m able to focus. At the same time, I have to pull back and remember, nope, my family needs me to I need to be there for them. So I’ve got to find that balance between when do I need to tell them? Okay, guys, y’all are disrupting me, or stepping out and saying, Hey, guys, what’s going on? Let me help. And finding that balance. And I usually tend to err on the side of as men our work is, you know, our identity is wrapped up in our work. And so I tend to err on the side of you guys are disrupting me stop, I need to provide for you. So shut up. And that’s, you know, that’s wrong. That’s a wrong attitude. That’s wrong way to approach it. I mean, there’s, there are times that yes, they are disrupting me and they need to, they need to be more mindful. But I also need to model the gospel to them in that in my providing for them. And that’s difficult. That’s that’s where that’s where theology comes to the day to day and yeah,
Benjamin Curlee 33:42
you know what?
Joshua Ling 33:45
Every time I hear you talk about that, it brings me back to a story not a personal story or anything it says a very well known well pull up story, I’m sure you’re extremely familiar with it. It’s called Monsters Inc. It is the absolute best movie about the homework life balance. It is the absolute best allegory to having what what what it is like having a child disrupt your workplace. And, you know, that just goes back to you know, you’ve got that detail, you’ve got what you do, but I know you well enough to know like a you know how to put the artist aside and knuckle down and get to business. But you’ve got an artist and cool stuff too. Yeah. And and that’s, that’s one of those things where I see you know, I think that and this is just me spitballing but I have found when I I find that it’s actually a three fold balance. In my life more so. And that helps me from going to one side or the other too much. And no, the third isn’t God in some kind of cheesy goofy way, it’s actually it’s actually the like the family, the artist and the workmen. Hmm. And if I’m not doing something that excites me, you know, in a, in a storytelling kind of way, I have to pause, step back before I start going crazy, and just start putting something down, whatever it is. And
Benjamin Curlee 35:39
well, I mean, yeah, not not to be not to be humanistic, and how we think about things, but you can’t pour out of an empty bucket. Right? You’ve got to be. And this, this applies to both your creative and your spiritual well being, you’ve got to be feeding yourself and your physical, you’ve got to be feeding yourself and taking care of yourself so that you can pour into other people. And then other things.
Joshua Ling 36:06
Yeah, and there are times when you need to take a break. But I’m not even advocating for taking a break, what I’m actually advocating for is turning to the thing your heart wants, and actually pursuing it. And I’m talking specifically about something you do, I’m not even talking about, like, you know, like you were telling me earlier, like sitting down and video gaming, and that kind of thing. Like that can be part of it, depending on how you want to do it. But think of something productive, that is the greatest thing that you want, you know, something you really want to accomplish. That’s actually like inside your heart and inside your soul. It could be, you know, go in and build in the shed. You know what I’m saying? It can be any of those things. And if you’re doing one of those kinds of projects, especially as a man and and you’re making sure it gets done as to the best of your ability. I find the other work gets so much easier.
Benjamin Curlee 37:07
Yeah, yes. Because Because you’re fulfilled, right? Because you’re being creatively fulfilled.
Joshua Ling 37:13
That part of the curse, I’m completely convinced is the fact that it’s twofold one that we cannot appreciate all of the work that we do, because we’re messed up. And then also because the work itself has been messed up because there’s so much maintenance, to just keeping things alive in a in a vain way. Because we know it’s all gonna die eventually. Anyway.
Benjamin Curlee 37:38
Sure. Well, and and well, yeah. And yeah, don’t get me started. Because that was that was probably the most heartbreaking thing about my work as a service technician was fixing something and knowing that three months down the road, I will be fixing that exact same thing again, like soul crushing. Yeah.
Joshua Ling 37:56
Well, I mean, you want to talk about that kind of soul crushing talk about working out? You know, as much as I love to play Publix. You know, I worked at Publix for five years as a as a front service clerk, but I did a million other things too. And it’s just one of those things where to pass the time I was I was you know, we get a total between 1776 minutes a day and I tried to name the president and and just say it out loud. And people go What, no, just do little goofy things like that in order to like, break their rhythm, break them out of their rhythm to have an actual conversation that might have some significance in the future. That’s how desperate Oh, wait,
Benjamin Curlee 38:35
yeah, when you when you are the small cog in a giant machine, you don’t get to see that full pipeline. Like you don’t get to step back and say, okay, these, you know, the running the story is bringing in groceries or bringing in produce that then feed this family and I’m seeing that family become you don’t see that big picture. You don’t get
Joshua Ling 38:55
to write exactly, yeah, it’s it’s, it’s really crazy. Like to think about to know so much about story and how the universe works through story how God has woven His Word, His story throughout the entire universe. And then to be sitting there, you know, switching flips on widgets all day long. Just and sometimes that’s necessary, and it’s because of the curse. But that’s something that we’re warring against constantly. And that’s, you know, one of the things I think you listen to James O Ferens podcast probably on. He talked about Christian transhumanism and that sort of thing. This is where technology, you know, us being in the AV field, we’re have a specific part of that technology, you know, whatever. But like when it comes to building things to help people deal with the curse, you know, and Christ is actually allowing us do that over over the centuries and build buildings to His glory. That’s something that you know, far too many people get suspicious of. And, you know, they get they get wearied by the technology. And I just want to say like, anything that’s gonna allow me to spend more time with my children to write more stories for the hundreds of years, hopefully, my stories last after me, you know, anything that I can do to just and it’s not me laying down me, it’s me using the voice that God gave me to have an impact on the people in the future. You know, even if they never know my name. Um, that’s, that’s something everyone wants. And I feel like artists types, and even some artists and types, there’s so much more aware of it. Then then someone else who just, they’re happy, they’re cared for, you know, etc. And that’s nothing against them. I love those people. They’re great. They’re wonderful. Yeah, my wife is one most of the time and she tells me calm down. Very, very,
Benjamin Curlee 41:15
I don’t know how many times my wife has turned to me and said, Man, I wish you could just, you know, do a nine to five and then clock out and then be home.
Joshua Ling 41:25
Speaking of the wife. Hey, he says, Hey. You’re trying to serve.
Unknown Speaker 41:33
Here? Oh, sleeping baby. Behind. Yes. Oh, he’s
Benjamin Curlee 41:38
getting so big. I need to bring the family up there. We need to see all Yeah, you do.
Joshua Ling 41:46
Yeah, you really do. Yeah. Come on over. And he says he needs to come. Come see us soon. Come see the house. You haven’t seen the new house.
Benjamin Curlee 41:53
So now? I know. Yeah.
Joshua Ling 41:57
We could take what? Oh, yeah, we could. Yeah. The pictures Y’all said you would do at some point. To come here. Yeah.
Benjamin Curlee 42:05
Yes. That’d be great.
Benjamin Curlee 42:08
Almost in her.
Joshua Ling 42:14
Right, she said last pictures. We took her in front of the bus because that’s where we thought we’d be living. And so now we can be here. So she’s all happy romantic about that. See, that’s the thing. She has romantic notions. But she’s not particularly artistry. Like she does do some artsy things. But like, she’s not consumed with it. Like some.
Benjamin Curlee 42:37
Joshua Ling 42:39
She said I used to be then I had kids. Kids are her art.
Benjamin Curlee 42:45
Yes. Yes. I wish. I wish more moms recognise that. Definitely more much more dads recognise that too. Right. Yeah,
Joshua Ling 42:56
that’s, you know, and that’s one of those things that I tell people all the time, my daughter at, you know, something like, I mean, as soon as she could have, you know, formed full sentences, basically, three broke down Beauty and the Beast and three act structure. Like in front of me, she’s like, Beast, you know, Beast was bad. Belle came, help them feel better, you know, whatever it was, yeah, she did it in like three sentences. A three act breakdown of Beauty and the Beast, just telling me the story. And I’m like, Girl, you’ve got instinct. She just has it in her mind. She’s gonna help me with my stories. And one day take them and I didn’t even put that idea in her head. You know? But I do think she’s going to be my Christopher Tolkien. So, anytime I’m working, it’s it’s already bigger than just me. You know, I don’t tell them all my stories yet. But she knows some of the characters and she asked to hear those stories sometimes. And you know, they’re, they’re special to her, you know? Yeah. And and they’re gonna continue to be as she grows older, and even if they’re just for her, you know, it’s gonna have an impact, but she wants to give them to other people. She tells other people my stories already so that’s exciting. Um,
Benjamin Curlee 44:15
but yeah, that’s along the same lines of something that I remember listening to Nate Wilson speak and if you need
Joshua Ling 44:23
I want I want him he’s gonna be one of the harder ones to get actual Absolutely. Okay, for real though. I might as well hold on one second screen share. We’re gonna go desktop one. Yep. And share and let me know if you can see it. It says screen share. Yeah, I can see it. Cool. Let’s go to my and I think this is put in the recording if it’s not all figure something out. Um, let’s move that down. Let’s go to my daily to do list and ignore the craziness that is my to do list. Thankfully, I already have it zoomed in to big levels so people can see this on low resolution. Once it loads, loading, loading, cut all this talking. It’s ridiculous. Joshua, what is your problem? Oh, come on filler words. dead air is a deejays worst enemy. And you know that I was a DJ. So slash still am in some ways. Do you ever stop being a DJ? That’s that’s yet another philosophical question.
Benjamin Curlee 45:36
I don’t think so. I don’t think so. No, no, no, not not judging wise. You have friends who are meeting Airaid Yeah, not not judging, by the way. Just thinking about working with Todd Friel. It’s like his tendency to be a comedian and to tell puns or whatnot. It just, it never went away. It’s all kind of sticks with you.
Joshua Ling 45:59
Yep. Okay. So I actually I wanted to show you this. I actually skipped originally listed these out in I need to take that one off, because I don’t have her scheduled. But I did. But then we got tired. The I actually have everyone kind of going downward from like, easiest to get on the podcast down to like hardest to get. And Andy Wilson’s right here before. So I knew he was pretty far down.
Joshua Ling 46:36
Yeah, but yeah, but yeah, so
Joshua Ling 46:38
but he’s on. He’s on the list.
Joshua Ling 46:41
Also, look who’s not so far down. He’s one of the first bigger names I’m looking at. Bring it on. But
Benjamin Curlee 46:48
yes, not to be good.
Joshua Ling 46:50
Or to be good. Anyway. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, I think it’s, it’s doable. Like, go ahead. So
Benjamin Curlee 46:56
yeah, so one of the things that Nate Wilson said in his talk was, it was directed at mothers, but it was I forget the exact wording, but in basically, don’t forget that you are raising an eternal soul. Right? Like that’s, that’s your chief responsibility. And you are you have no idea the impact that you as the mother are having on this eternal soul. Right. And so applying that to storytelling here, like you are impacting eternal soul, through your storytelling, and we know that storytelling impacts a culture. It shapes worldviews. Yeah, it otherwise Hollywood wouldn’t be doing it.
Joshua Ling 47:45
Yeah. Well, they’re they’re starting to give up in many ways. And this is this kind of a, I talked about this with Chad Lewis on the previous podcast, but to me, at least I think I did. But to me, the idea is right now, this is the way I see the battlefield. This is the the war, okay. We’ve got this crazy war that has been raging on for years and years and years in the political sphere. That’s like, the frontlines. That’s where everything is going. That’s where everyone’s throwing their money and their troops and everything else. And it’s just one giant Mosh
Joshua Ling 48:19
that’s the perceived
Joshua Ling 48:21
frontlines. Yeah, right. Right. Right. Okay. Well, it’s there people, you know, not literally, but in the terms that we’re using the metaphors, this is a bloodbath. This is the blood pit, this is the crazy spot where everyone’s living and dying. So Hollywood, probably 150 ish years ago, decided, oh, that floodplain over there. You know, let’s go build on that floodplain and do some crazy things with it. And there, they got flooded out. COVID flooded them out. And they did that to evacuate people from other areas that also got rained on but they essentially, you know, created a massive flood on that area and Hollywood has suffered as a result. But the fact is, that mushy, swampy floodplain is now wide open for business. Oh, absolutely. And, in a sense, everyone’s migrating over to Atlanta at the same time, which is absolutely crazy and bonkers.
Benjamin Curlee 49:30
Terrifying to because they bring with them, but he does but
Joshua Ling 49:34
at the same time, Atlanta has never ever, ever, ever been able to escape what Flannery O’Connor calls The Haunting of God. It’s not that the South is Christ centred, it’s that it’s Christ haunted is the way she put it. And so the it’s it’s it’s a weird flash and it’s not going to result in just Hollywood again. On the other side, it’s just the South is too steeped in its Christianese culture. Not as Christian culture, it’s Christianese culture. Oh, yes, yeah. To not have a severe impact on Hollywood. So we’ve got the situation where the flood plain of storytelling of narrative is wide open, because the snake is eating its own tail trying to make every movie that they’re doing the same thing Christians are doing, and it’s starting to slow down in that industry, but essentially, like, you know, make it as Christian as possible or make it as woke as possible, right.
Benjamin Curlee 50:48
Yeah. What Yeah, I mean, the wokeness is a result of Hollywood shaping worldviews, and not under and then under estimating the power of that storytelling. So they for years and years, for generations now they’ve been telling people you are the master of your own destiny, you are the ultimate moral compass, you you know, all so many things. And so they are now approaching their workplace, the church, their families with this, basically at the forefront of their mind. And, and some of them are going back to Hollywood and approaching the executives there. And oh, oh, yeah. Okay, we’re being pretty hypocritical over here, apparently.
Joshua Ling 51:48
It’s, it is fascinating how wide open the playing field is for good stories. As saturated as the market is as how even as how difficult it is to get discovered on a broad spectrum. I’m, I’m I’m seeing more and more. The fact is, if you can make a good story, and get past the first initial woke mob,
Benjamin Curlee 52:18
you’re golden. Yeah. Well, the internet is the new Romans road. Mm hmm. And it is enabling people of all persuasions to reach corners of the world that they never would have otherwise. I’m convinced that that’s why we have a resurgence of such crazy conspiracy theories. Because suddenly these crazy people can talk to each other and join communities that once upon a time, they would have been isolated and anyone they tried to share their crazy idea with would have said shut up, but it would have never, it would have never gone beyond that. But now we’re able to quit. Yeah.
Joshua Ling 53:00
Do you know about the wives of Snape?
Benjamin Curlee 53:02
No, I do not.
Joshua Ling 53:06
Not exactly conspiracy theory, but there was at least for a little while an organised online cult of women who said they were married to the fictional character Snape and and worshipped Him as their Lord and Saviour. Oh, and then they had a split and then both denominations fell apart. Like not Alan Rickman, not Alan Rickman, snow No. Snape. Yes. Who exists on some ethereal plane?
Benjamin Curlee 53:42
I mean, why not? Why not?
Joshua Ling 53:44
If that can happen my my silly epic poetry about superheroes and fantasy and everything. Like there’s gonna be somebody likes it?
Benjamin Curlee 53:55
Yes. So bring it back to Yes, bring it back to the idea of a Romans road. It’s it’s obscene that Christians would not be there. No, at least to shout at passers by. But at best to go travel that road to find these communities of people who have never heard the gospel. And there are so many different mediums you can use to bring the worldview and gospel truth there. And this gets into the, the the classic, you know, Christian media back and forth of do we do we tell the gospel like explicitly or do we, you know, is are we producing good art if we’re not sharing the gospel and you know, all along you? We could talk about that all day long.
Joshua Ling 54:48
We’re not because we’ve done it for so many years.
Benjamin Curlee 54:52
We’ve done it and yes, but for the Christian to say that technology And these things are evil? No, no, it is the new Romans road. And Christians need to have a presence there. And they need to be explorers of that they need to be pioneers of it. In all honesty. What makes it quote unquote evil is the depravity of man. Man corrupts basically everything he can get his hands on. And so that’s why every new technology is tainted with sin. It’s not the technology itself, so to speak, it’s that it’s that mankind is using it. So anyway, yeah, minor talk tirade there.
Joshua Ling 55:41
But well, in that regard, that’s why it’s so important to trust the Holy Spirit, and actually grow in grace, worship Him, and in turn, trust, the leadings of the Holy Spirit in Scripture and your thought process in the way that God is remaking your mind. To do what you feel called to do. No, and not in some crazy way, just trust the sanctification process that God is putting you through that this is the path that he’s put you on, you know, I, I stress this a lot. My my, you know, a lot of people say they have a life verse or like a favourite Bible verse minus Joshua, one, nine, you know, and it says, Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord will be with you, wherever you
Joshua Ling 56:39
Joshua Ling 56:41
That was specifically to the leader of the of God’s people. A man who is a second, the second to Moses, who had no power in and of themselves, who was completely, you know, without the wizarding power of Moses. And he had to trust God and just walk in as a warrior. And the fact is, God gave promises to Abraham that he fulfilled in Joshua, his people have this covenant promise down through the ages. That includes the promise he made to Joshua, if you are a Christian leader, he is promises to you that he will be with you wherever you go, did not turn to the right or the left, right. Do not turn off and he will be with you wherever you go.
Benjamin Curlee 57:37
And sometimes that means the grave. That’s right.
Joshua Ling 57:41
That’s right. Absolutely. We’re in a battle after all, this is poets that we’re after. All right. Well, these poets are going to be wrapping up here. Stay on, I’m going to talk to you for a few minutes after, hopefully not too long to keep you away from your wife, but you know how it goes.
Benjamin Curlee 58:00
Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah, I enjoy when we get to sit down talk. I do.
Joshua Ling 58:07
Yeah, for real. So not just where can people find you? But if you have anything left to add, go ahead. But also where can people find you?
Benjamin Curlee 58:15
Yeah, okay, so you can find me searching my name, Benjamin, curly, and Curly is spelled cu R L e. So yeah, so English spelling I don’t know there’s not too many people with that spelling. Although I’ve encountered some people lately moving into Atlanta that have the same last name so I Are they really weird I guess I need to do an ancestry search or something and see if they’re they’re related somewhere up the chain. But anyway, yeah, so you can probably Benjamin Curlee calm most social media platforms. Yeah, and then if you want to work with me, check out yonder child. Yonder child.com this website? Yes, we don’t have much there but we do have a button that you can click on to contact us. So we have the bare minimum.
Joshua Ling 59:04
We do the great work of making things pretty.
Benjamin Curlee 59:09
Oh, yes. So yes,
Joshua Ling 59:12
thank you, Benjamin. Everyone, be your families barred Work Hard and Remember, do not turn from the right or the left God will be with you wherever you go. We’ll see you all. Ones Ciao ciao.