Little Hope Was Arson is the riveting documentary about a wave of church burnings that swept through East Texas in 2010. Looking at the shocked community, meditative pastors, and the suspects who would take responsibility for the flames, filmmakers Theo Love and Bryan Storkel sit down with BYOD to share their film with clips, the trailer, and penetrating insight on the world’s only documentary talk show.
Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Tuesdays at noon on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.
BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
“Little Hope Was Arson” – January 2010: In the buckle of the Bible Belt,10 churches burn to the ground in just over a month igniting the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history. No stone is left unturned and even Satan himself is considered a suspect in this gripping investigation of a community terrorized from the inside-out. Families are torn apart and communities of faith struggle with forgiveness and justice in this incredible true story.
Theo Love is an international storyteller. Growing up as an American in Southeast Asia gave him a curiosity for culture and characters that don’t quite fit in. After traveling the globe documenting everything from villages in Tanzania to urban areas of London, Love landed in Los Angeles and launched his career as a director. In addition to his work in the documentary field, Theo is an award winning short filmmaker and is planning his next jump into narrative features.
Bryan Storkel is an award winning documentary filmmaker who loves quirky characters and is fascinated by religious topics. His first documentary, “Strictly Background,” (a film he shot and edited), is a character driven film following professional “extras” in Hollywood. It’s a dynamic exploration into the pursuit of stardom and the desire to stand out. Storkel’s follow up film, “HOLY ROLLERS: The True Story of Card Counting Christians,” played at over 40 festivals and won 10 Best Documentary Awards. The film focuses on a group of pastors who run the largest organized gambling team in the country, taking millions from casinos. His most recent film, “Fight Church” (releasing in 2014) is a feature documentary about the confluence of Christianity and Mixed Martial Arts. The film follows several cagefighting pastors in a quest to reconcile their faith with a sport that some consider violent and barbaric.
00:00 – Ondi introduces director Theo Love and executive producer Bryan Storkel
01:20 : Theo explains why he decided to make the film.
02:59 – Little Hope Was Arson Clip; Arson montage
06:27 – Nate Larson, DP
07:40 – Theo and Nate talk about the films premise.
08:30 – Theo growing up Christian in Southeast Asia, with missionary parents. How this developed into his interest in the Arson story/organized religion.
10:35 – Little Hope Was Arson Clip; what arson’s meant to churchgoers.
15:16 – Bryan joins documentary team as executive producer. Helps Theo get interviews with the arsonists in Texas Prison.
19:01 – Ondi and Bryan talk about getting arrested or almost arrested during filmmaking.
23:04 – Little Hope Was Arson Clip; Family or Justice
24:37 –Theo talks about how the film is about the families that people are born into as well as the ones they create for themselves.
26:59 – Little Hope Was Arson Clip; intimate interviews
31:15 – Theo discusses his views of the arsons and how it connected with his religious beliefs.
34:44 – Growing up Christian, Bryan explains how this has developed into an interest in different facets of religion, which is why he makes documentaries about them.
36:12 – Quote that ends the film has caused a lot of controversy with moviegoers.
39:02 – Little Hope Was Arson trailer