Scratching The Surface: A Documentary About The Effects Of Pornography

Luke Gilkerson runs the blog at Covenant Eyes. i have had the privilege of getting to know him recently. Luke interviewed Francois Driessen, a filmmaker who is directing Scratching the Surface, a documentary about the damaging effects of pornography. Luke’s interview with Driessen is republished here by permission. Also as part of the project, Driessen is releasing interviews associated with the film and looking for response from viewers.

Click here for the interview with Noel Bouché, Vice President of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families.

Click here to give your opinions about this interview on the STS blog.

Gilkerson’s interview with Driessen is below.

Francois, what is Scratching the Surface? Why are you creating it?

It’s a documentary that looks at pornography and the world that surrounds it. As well as it’s effects and its prevalence in the church.

We’re creating this since we just finished an expressive film called WILLFUL ENTRAPMENT that explores the addictive properties of pornography. As we were getting ready to release it, we realized that the church was not in a state to engage with the topic at all and that porn was running much deeper than I could ever imagine. It was like we scratched the surface and then found the whole world to be infected underneath. We realized that we needed to bring people more than an epiphany of the dangers of porn – but actual tools to deal with the problem. And those solutions come in the form of people that can communicate truth on the many intricate aspects of this problem. Scratching the surface aims to connect the audience with these people.

You are releasing the video interviews one by one online for people to submit their comments. Why are you making the documentary this way?

Two reasons.

One: As a filmmaker, this collaborative editing process allows me to engage the audience in a dialogue vs. one way communication. I get to listen before I speak and this way we can tailor the doc to address the fears and needs of people. The added value to this is that it will also allow people to interact with each other on these topics.

Two: There simply is not enough time in a feature-length documentary to include all the information that the interviewees were bringing to the table. And all of it is important. The issue of pornography runs so deep and in so many layers that condensed versions of what they have to say might end up causing this to merely stay on the surface. We really need to go deeper than that, so we want to give people access to all of it. And give them access immediately without having to wait for the production cycle to complete.

Who can we expect to see in these interviews?

We connected with key champions on ground zero of the battleground against porn (and there are many more we have not connected with yet), as well as people sharing their testimonies who were fairly new to their journey of freedom. It really is a wide gamut of people from all different walks and backgrounds. From brain scientists, to pastors, to female ex-addicts and so forth. There’s a list at with the first wave of interviews and that will grow as our journey continues.

What has been your favorite part of the filming and editing so far, Francois?

Seeing people come together and interacting even before we’ve cut a single frame! When we rendezvoused with a bunch of you guys at Covenant Eyes headquarters in Michigan, we stacked the interviews together, and in the process key people and ministries sparked friendships that have never collaborated before. So even the process we followed for shooting brought people together on the topic. It was amazing to see that what we felt called to do was happening right before our eyes even without us even rolling the first camera! That’s God’s hands at work building His church. That’s exciting because it is much bigger than ourselves.

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