An unauthorized version of Adventist Church-produced film “What Might Have Been” was leaked online last week before its orgionally planned release date of May 16. The film portrays the moments at the 1901 General Conference Session and Ellen White’s 1903 vision regarding that session. It was produced by the General Conference Ministerial Association as a call for the church to finally be part of hastening the second coming through revival and reformation.
"We wanted a worldwide release and the version that was posted wasn't the completed, authorized version,” script writer and Vice President for Advancement for Adventist World Radio Jim Ayer said. “We’re not sure who leaked it. We sent copies around to get feedback, and we sent it to all the division presidents."
Despite the leak, Ayer counted it a blessing, as the official release was bumped up in time for the General Conference 100 Days of Prayer, which begins March 25 and is an initiative encouraging members to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church and the decisions that will be made at the July 2015 General Conference Session in Texas. Ayer said they did not ask that the leaked version be removed from the internet, but instead, the authorized version was released March 20.
Ayer got the idea for the film while at the Revival and Reformation Committee Retreat in December 2014. Director of the North American Division Evangelism Institute Ron Clouzet was speaking Sabbath morning and briefly mentioned the 1901 General Conference Session. This piqued Ayer’s interest.
While speaking with Williams Costa Jr., director of communications at the General Conference, Ayer broke his idea.
“I told Williams Costa, ‘We need to do a film for the 100 Days of Prayer,’” Ayer said. “He told me to write the script, but I didn’t want to write it unless Ted Wilson liked the idea.”
Moments later Wilson walked by and Ayer pitched his idea. Wilson said "write the script" and that evening Ayer began writing.
Within a week of writing the script, Ayer had an approved budget of $47,000 and began filming the second week of January. Ayer noted that if anyone knows about church workings, they would understand that getting funding so quickly is a miracle. President at Light Squared Inc. Terry Cantrell directed the 27-minute film.
“We spent two days filming at the San Fransisco Central Church, which resembles the Dime Tabernacle Church in Battle Creek where the 1901 General Conference took place. Then we spent two days at Elmshaven filming,” Ayer said. "About 70 people were involved in the production of the film."
According to Ayer, the film is scheduled to show Thursday at the General Conference Week of Prayer. View the film below.