‘Holy Ghost’ Uses Kickstarter, Korn Guitarist to Attract Christian Millennials

'Holy Ghost' Uses Kickstarter, Korn Guitarist
Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

Heavy metal and Christianity don’t often mix, yet Brian “Head” Welch, lead guitarist of Korn, is front and center in the new faith-based film “Holy Ghost.”

Welch’s involvement isn’t the only iconoclastic element of the Kickstarter-funded project. The film debuts digitally on Sept. 6 for free to anyone in the world who wants it. In addition to the lack of the price tag, Wanderlust Productions, the company behind “Holy Ghost,” will sponsor a live-streaming concert with Welch and Christian band Jake Hamilton & The Sound at California’s Redding Civic Auditorium.

“Christians unfortunately have been given a bad rap,” said Welch. “I’m excited for real people to be able to talk about faith and not scare people away from it. It’s all about love and meeting God and having our eyes opened.”

Welch has been outspoken in the past about how faith helped him kick his addictions to drugs and alcohol, so his involvement in the making and promotion of “Holy Ghost” was a natural fit.

“It’s like I’ve been shown where to get a billion dollars and it’s like I can share all the money with everybody else,” Welch said. “Celebrities are given a platform and we’ve got to use it for something, because we’re all going to be accountable one day, so it’s important to use it wisely.”

If it works, expect Hollywood to take notice. Religious films such as “Heaven is For Real” and “God’s Not Dead” have stunned box office analysts this year. Arriving with minimal budgets and marketing campaigns, they’ve been able to effectively tap into the faith-based community in a way that enables them to outperform far glossier productions.

“Holy Ghost” is cut from the same cloth. The film primarily consists of interviews with religious figures such as author William P. Young and “Heaven is for Real” producer DeVon Franklin, as well as musicians such as Lenny Kravitz, talking about the ways their faith informs their work or the miracles they say they have witnessed.

Its production is certainly unique, given that the film never relied on a shooting script. Director Darren Wilson said he was interested in letting the film build organically instead of having a rigidly pre-determined structure or set interviews. He ended up with enough footage for two films and a sequel, “Holy Ghost Reborn,” is due out next year.

“I wanted to throw caution to the wind and take a risk,” said Wilson. “It ended up being exhilarating and terrifying.”

Wanderlust CEO Braden Heckman says the company is able to offer the film for free because it was fully funded on Kickstarter and he is confident that audiences will ultimately decide to buy their own copies once they’ve seen the finished product. On Kickstarter, the film raised $360,000 in just 45 days, which Wanderlust claims is the most money raised by a faith-based film in the history of the platform.

To help market the picture, the filmmakers are leaning heavily on a grassroots campaign that will see 650 churches host simulcasts for members of their congregation. It has also built up impressive social media outreach, promoting the film to a network of 230,000 Facebook fans.

“We aren’t betting everything on one night and going, oh how is this going to be profitable?” he said. “It already is profitable, because fans funded the whole thing.”

Part of the goal of the film is to challenge conventional ideas of what it means to be Christian by enlisting the likes of Welch and Kravitz. By distributing the picture digitally and relying on these pop culture figures, “Holy Ghost’s” creative team hopes they will be able to appeal to Millennials.

“‘Holy Ghost’ is about people inviting God into their heart and life and going out into world and not staying in church judging people and how they live and saying ‘prepare for hell,’” said Welch. “We want to show people the real Christ.”

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  1. Right on Jesus! Move in this last hour!!!

  2. Rhonda Ellis says:

    While I understand that being familiar with the Gospel is important the relationship with the Author is even more important. God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, which is the mind of Christ. Religion first has a way of condemning our society and pointing out wrongs. New Testament is a new Covenent and places the love of of God first in the lives of young and old. John 17:17 God’s word is truth. It’s much easier to read the word/truth post personal experience.

  3. Truthinator says:

    Wow. If you do a little homework, you will see that Welch, while well-meaning, is aligned with the emotion-based and Theologically challenged side of Christianity. While I don’t disparage his desire to reach people, I have to caution the process of going out as a supposed evangelist without a Theologically accurate understanding of the Bible. Welch’s associations such as Bill Johnson of Bethel Redding and the questionable Whosoevers leave much to be desired. Young people would do better to be told the Gospel of the Bible instead of following the celebrity status of a metal badboy turned Theologically-lightweight well-meaner. Sorry to rain on your parade but souls are at stake. Thank you.

    • Nicole Langdon says:

      It takes all kinds of His children to reach the still lost!! God bless Brian Welch for being out there doing what he’s doing!!! If we all waited until we were perfect to share Jesus there would be a whole lot of people left unsaved!!! He reaches a whole lot of people who are into hard rock and shows Jesus love comes in many forms !!! He’s had influence on other bands as well as concert goers etc.I was absolutely thrilled to see him out there with Todd White!!! I’m pretty sure Our Father is too!!! God bless bless all the people involved in this and I pray MULTITUDES are touched and brought to God’s Kingdom in Jesus name Amen!! Much love and blessings 💖

      • Truthinator says:

        Uh, Nicole, God doesn’t use false teaching to spread His message. Have you ever cracked a Bible open? Have you listened to what these guys teach? I don’t want to be mean, but I think you need a wake-up call. They are not reaching anyone if they take a message that is not true. They are deceiving the lost not reaching them. Please read up on what they teach and what the Bible teaches. Thanks.

  4. Misty Shepard-Zimmerman says:

    I have been healed by Robby Dawkins, he’s in two of the other films and rumor has it he will be in the next one. I know this is real and the movie is amazing. God bless these guys!

  5. Wil says:

    This movie was incredible. All of Wanderlust’s films (Finger of God, Furious Love, Father of Lights, Holy Ghost) are powerful films that changed how I viewed God, others, and myself… all for the better. I think that no matter what beliefs you personally hold to, you’ll be very thankful you watched Holy Ghost!

  6. Trisha says:

    Thank you for finally giving attention to something positive that can actually change the lives of others. This world has lost hope and so many are going through so much and to see that the Holy Spirit is real and not just a ghost. Positive Media for once. I’m a new follower of Variety!!

  7. Rachel says:

    This movie is INCREDIBLE! We need more and more Christians to live a life one with Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is so much more than a sensation, he is our dearest friend, comforter, strength. This movie finally puts focus on one of the least talked about person in the Church. Way to go Wanderlust!


  9. Ruth Trigg says:

    I am expecting great and wonderful revelations. Can’t wait to see the movie and to be part of this next move of the Holy Spirit. Exciting times!

  10. amw0020 says:

    I am soo excited for this movie!!!! I can’t to be blown away by the goodness of God.

  11. annpower7 says:

    Ii love this movie!!!

  12. Jessica H. says:

    This is really awesome. Holy Ghost was such a great film and it is so inspiring to see people like Welch show everyone what Christianity is supposed to look like. Please post more news like this!!

  13. Mike says:

    Awesome movie the holy spirit is real let’s all praise our father and the Holy ghost.

  14. daniella willis says:

    so good!!! THIS is what GOD is all about… and thats LOVE…it really is that SIMPLE!!

  15. merari says:

    Very glad this is finally done for the world to see. So proud!

  16. M says:

    I saw this documentary and I have to say, it was amazing to see how the Holy Spirit moves through normal people like you and me. Its all about love and allowing him to flow through you as you are in relationship with the Father. So many people think its some mystical thing it really isn’t. The Holy Spirit is real and he lives in us. We just need to take the time to get to know him.

  17. Mavi says:

    I saw this documentary and I have to say, it was amazing to see how the Holy Spirit moves through normal people like you and me. Its all about love and allowing him to flow through you as you are in relationship with the Father. So many people think is some mystical thing it really is’t, the Holy Spirit it real and he lives in you us. We just need to take the time to get to now him.

  18. Diane says:

    We are starving for media and films like this!! Hear us Hollywood! You can do it!

  19. Nicole says:

    God bless you

  20. Bluenoser Dee says:

    Just saw super great world premiere for movie “Holy Ghost” by Darren Wilson. What a joy to see two Korn stars praying with Todd White for healing and salvation for fans before a concert! Go God!

  21. Stacia says:

    Can’t wait

  22. Diane Nowak says:


  23. Simon Horn says:

    Fantastic film! If you have even the slightest bit of faith in your heart take the time to watch this and see how people’s lives are being transformed by the risen spirit of Christ – the Holy Ghost.

  24. D. M. L. says:

    This is so awesome! Jesus loves everybody!

  25. God is good all the time….it has been written that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST IS GOD !!! amen.

  26. Tony Chung says:

    After being completely blown away and inspired by Darren Wilson’s last film, Father of Lights, I am excited for the public release of Holy Ghost. I’ve never heard of a filmmaker who trusted the Holy Spirit to lead the content and pacing of an entire movie. Even his last films took on different directions as the movie progressed. Awesome.

  27. Rachel says:

    Sounds Amazingly Awesome!!!;-)

  28. Beth Bevins says:

    \m/SUPERNATURAL\m/ 🔥💎💫❤️

  29. Megan says:

    Can’t wait to see it!

  30. Jenni Kuester says:

    Can’t wait to see this impact others!!!

  31. ash says:

    Yes!! This is awesome!

  32. Becky Cordova says:

    Brian is such an influence to my kind of people. God Bless you all

  33. Sarah Gates says:

    I can’t wait to see this tomorrow. I so want to see how the Holy Spirit shows its power through filming.

  34. Tammy says:

    Can’t wait to watch this!! If it is anything like the first 3 films, it will be amazing!!

  35. coolbeans59 says:

    I saw the advance screening and LOVED this film. Because it was so good, I organized my church to be one of the 650 churches showing the film. EXCITED!

  36. Loraine Shaw says:

    Darren Wilson does such a great job of telling the story, giving the facts not putting an agenda or bias on his movies. And the fact that the Holy Spirit has orchestrated the process, opened doors, given direction makes these movies so epic and genuine. You dont want to miss them, whether you have been a christian your whole life or you have never been to church they will change your life. Thanks for this article Variety, would love to see more like it!

  37. Lene says:

    So excited about this!

  38. Deymi says:

    I’m so gonna watch this film!
    The other ones “Finger of God”, “Father of lights” and “Furious Love” were films that helped me while i was going through hard times, they also helped me to understand Love.

  39. Michelle Espinoza says:

    I hope this movie will be for Jesus’ honor and glory. It is a blessing when children of God make this kind of excellent projects.
    Saludos y bendiciones desde Mexico :)

  40. Libbie says:

    This is awesome.We’ve been praying for breakthrough in the entertainment Industry, and now it’s happening. We have to pray for more breakthroughs. Thank you for your faithfulness.

  41. Kristi Fryxell says:

    This is awesome!! So many people forget that Jesus walked this earth with us at one time. He wants a personal relation with each one of us and a religion. He still talks to those with this close personal relationship. Come Holy Spirit, we need you!!

  42. Michelle Butler says:

    I love what Welch said because I can relate. Realizing God’s unconditional love brought me through a dark place and now I strive to be a light in the darkness for His glory. I praise God daily for my redemption and salvation! I pray that this movie will reach many that have felt the same way and know that they too can be redeemed by our heavenly father’s grace, mercy and unconditional, everlasting love.

  43. luisa says:

    Praise the Lord and thanks for this movie Holy Spirit.

  44. Nicole fannin says:

    Excited to see this new offering from wanderlust!

  45. Letresa says:

    I’m surprised no one has thought if this before. Very cool!

  46. Leonarda A. Baguisi says:

    Thanks to all the blessings flow,Lord we need your anointing .

  47. laura dampier says:

    Brian prayed for my daughter n law and it changed her life. She has since been saved. Not baptized yet. Working on that one.

  48. Instead of a fictional story that we could never live, this is a story we can all partake in. And it will be wonderful. Do not want to miss this show.

  49. Lynette says:

    Can’t wait to watch to see Holy Ghost. Wanderlust’s previous productions were excellent!

  50. Charlotte says:

    There are no words that can explain how much I love this! Brian Welch has been someone I look up to even before I received Jesus. Even before Brian received him! So this is so unreal and awesome! Wish everyone on the planet could see this, and the previous films Furious love and father of lights etc. They really are life changing.

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