A black screen. No visual. We hear a sound in the distance. A beat, somewhere between hip-hop and rock.
For just an instant, we see a clip flashing on and off, alternating with the black screen – a young man with the head of a horse flashing as the beat drops along with a heavy synth line. The black screen returns.
White text appears suddenly on a beat.
“Caleb Fretwell – August 22, 2002” in all caps. We see this for two or three short seconds, and the words fade into the black background.
The black screen gives way to a montage of a 15 or 16-year-old young man, probably going into his sophomore year of high school. We realize it is our subject, Fretwell. First, we see our subject surfing in a lake or the ocean. The body of water is then identified as the Pacific near San Diego, CA through text in the lower right corner.
Next, the tableau switches to a clip of the subject, whom the corner text identifies as Fretwell, playing volleyball. This is followed by him playing several other sports, including snowboarding. The beat has reached a steady rhythm now, underlying the montage perfectly.
After the sports clips end, we see video of the underside of a plane as it flies by. Then video taken from an airplane as it flies over a populated countryside. Text in the corner identifies flying as Fretwell’s dream occupation.
The sports videos end and the screen fades to a beige white, upon which black text appears gradually.
“Romans 1:16 (ESV)”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel,”
“for it is the power of God for salvation”
“to everyone who believes,” “to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
A voice-over, whom we assume to be Fretwell, plays along with the percussion line on the audio track as the screen fades to black. “It’s my favorite verse because that’s the type of attitude I really want to have. I want to be unashamed of my faith in Jesus Christ.”
The beat shifts – instead of a heavier, darker, deeper, tone to an upbeat drum line that implies motion, the type of drumline you would expect in a blockbuster train scene. White text now appears on the screen, listing off statistics about Fretwell.
The screen shows a list of Fretwell’s favorite musical artists, including several Christian rappers and rock bands. We note NF, P.O.D., Lecrae, Andy Mineo, KB, Trip Lee, Derek Minor, Tedashii, Social Club Misfits, and Love and Death, as well as others that we don’t fully take in before the screen is replaced by the next list.
His favorite artists are replaced by his favorite books, a shorter inventory, but still full of several good series. We glimpse the Lord of the Rings series, the Dreamreader series, The Homelanders, Mindwar, and the Berinfell Prophecies. Yet again, our reading is cut off by the next list on the video.
It catalogs Fretwell’s favorite movies, and the time is so short this time that we are only able to glimpse Inception, the Jack Reacher series, and the Jason Bourne films before the next list arrives.
The beat slows down to a more leisurely andante, and the next list is quite short. The first entry on the list is English 3: Literature Survey, and we know it is the list of Fretwell’s TPS classes this year. Also on the list are Algebra 2 and U.S. Government and Economics.
The list fades. The only text that remains on the final black screen is “Romans 1:16”, reminding us of Fretwell’s faith in Christ.
The beat ends and is replaced with ambient elevator music to accompany the black screen. You get up and exit the theatre, pondering the verse with which Fretwell has left you and what it means to be unashamed.