Ian McCormack, Bruce MacDonald, Jack Halloran, Rachel Hendrix (The Perfect Wave)


bruce macdonald

jack halloran

rachel hendrix

The faith based film The Perfect Wave (starring Scott Eastwood, Rachel Hendrix, Jack Halloran, Cheryl Ladd, Patrick Lyster, Diana Vickers and Nikolai Mynhardt) released on DVD a few days ago. I had the privilege of interviewing the director of the film Bruce MacDonald, Ian McCormack, who’s life the film is based upon, as well as actors Rachel Hendrix and Jack Halloran. Here we talk about the directing process of the film, as well as what drives these people to show the love of Jesus Christ every day. And we also delve into future projects from Jack, Rachel and Bruce!

1. Congratulations on the release of The Perfect Wave on DVD/Blu-Ray/digital download/on demand on September 16th. I’ve watched the film and it is a very emotive, heartfelt and profound story. How does it feel to have your personal life/testimony played out in a movie? Ian McCormack

Strange in some ways to see others portray your life story but also a privilege to see such amazing actresses like Cheryl Ladd play my mother soooo well.

2. Usually if a movie is based on true events, the actors and directors involved may have some artistic licence if they want to dramatise the movie and make it appeal to a wider range of audiences. Have you yourself seen the movie and did you, through the production of the movie, have any active input into how Scott Eastwood portrayed you on screen and how him and other cast members were chosen for their roles in the film? Ian McCormack

In the movie they did take artistic licence … I did have some input into the movie esp. in how my mother was portrayed & the scene in the church when I was confirmed as a small boy :} & how my mother told me that she had heard God speak to her when my grandmother died. I had a small input into Scott as I was only on the filming set for one day but he did a fabulous job. As for Cheryl Ladd I have had an amazing time getting to know her. She is a wonderful born again Christian who loves the Lord. I have the upmost of respect for her. And also for Rachael Hendrix who loves the Lord with all her heart.

3. When you share your life story with people that you meet, what do you hope people would encounter when they hear it? Have you ever kept in contact with the people that you surfed with during the time of your accident, and have they been as impacted by your experience as you have? Ian McCormack

I hope that each person I meet comes to know the Lord in their life time. I try and share how much God loves them & can forgive them of all their sins.

As for the people back in Mauritius I have been back there & some of them have given their lives to the Lord. Here is a link off my web page where I interview the actual fishermen who I dived with that night http://www.aglimpseofeternity.org/recent-interviews-in-mauritius/ plus other local Mauritians who know about the box jellyfish.

4. As a promotion for the film, you have partnered with the YouVersion Bible app to launch the devotional “Back from the Dead: Kickstart Your Spiritual Future” that individuals can delve into and undertake a 21 day experience. Can you explain a bit more about your heart behind this project and how would people who are interested in undertaking this devotional plan have access to this? Ian McCormack

I personally didn’t write this app but the director Bruce MacDonald was actively involved in it. I pray many people use it to get closer to the Lord.

5. As your feature debut, how was your first directing experience? What have you learnt about being behind the camera and can you briefly tell us about other films that you may have on the horizon in the future? Bruce MacDonald

I loved the experience, it’s challenging yet fulfilling. Next time round, I will shoot more options, as empowering yourself and the project in post production can be very helpful.  I would have loved some variations for the ending of our film, even just to look at and test, and once you’ve completed shooting that’s it 🙂

6. How did you become involved with the making of this project? Did you ever hear about Ian’s experience before signing onto directing the movie? How has Ian’s experience influenced you as a director and a person? Did your personal views on Ian and his faith journey influence how the movie was portrayed, and in particular, how Scott Eastwood acted as Ian? Bruce MacDonald

I found the story and developed it, so played the dual role of producer/director.

I heard Ian’s story when I was 23 years old, and some 25 years later, God moved me to tell his story, — amazing how life works!!!

When I first heard Ian’s story, I was impacted by here was someone who has stood before the risen saviour, and given a second a chance, something I think almost anyone can relate to – we all need second chances!!! I was a surfer and love God, so his story resonated with me.

Scott is not a believer, but is a surfer, and understood the journey that Ian set off on, he related to searching for the perfect wave, as he has done it, but the Spiritual, Christian aspect was foreign to him, so we worked slowly on these scenes, and Scott trusted me, and I trusted God.

7. To me, my take home message from The Perfect Wave is that God’s love is boundless and everywhere, never giving up on us even during our own trials and difficult circumstances. The story reminds me of the parable of the prodigal son in the gospel of Luke, as in this movie, Ian left, and his brother stayed behind. It is what drew me into the film- that you don’t necessarily have to be a Christian to relate to Ian- who was rebellious at the beginning of the film but throughout the movie was able to find himself and be a better person. What does the movie mean to you personally? If people don’t want to watch the movie because of its Christian message, what would you say to them? Bruce MacDonald

I’d say we all searching for something, and this story revolves around a young man who is searching for the meaning of life, and on his journey, we take viewers/audiences to breathtaking destinations, and some great surfing is showcased, and then of coarse there is a love story for the gals, so if you don’t like surfing, and you don’t believe in God, there is the love story…

8. The Perfect Wave has received many glowing accolades this past year. It has won second place for the Best Feature Film at the International Christian Film Festival, and also first place for the Best Cinematography at the 2014 PanPacific Film Festival. Yet with all the acclaim, there comes other reviews that may be less than appealing. What it is that motivates you as a film maker and a director, and in particular with this movie and story, what part of Ian’s story moved and impacted you to create this movie? Do reviews of previous movies impact you in your decision of which movie to be involved with in the future? Why/why not? Bruce MacDonald

And we have been nominated at the SAN DIEGO film festival which is not a Christian film festival, which is a real feather for the film, and that’s really where I wish the film to be acknowledged, so that’s a biggie, and I’m stoked about this, and then we have also just won best film at the Kingdomwood festival as well.

Reviews are reviews, and some are good and some are as you say less appealing, but on the whole we have seen 90% positive reviews, which is amazing, as Christian films seem to evoke a mixed bag of reviews. I do take note of reviews, as a good review is something you don’t necessarily learn from, you learn from the bad comments, as they say what you don’t want to hear, and should be taken note of, learnt from, and I’ve learnt loads and loads. My heart is to evangelise, and when Ian stood before Jesus, and behind him saw thousands and thousands, and Jesus said ’those are the ones who won’t step into a church, those are the ones I wish your story to be shared with’ – this was a big motivating factor.

9. As an actor and surfing coach who has studied real estate, opened up 7 restaurants (that are still operational today), as well as being a business consultant for new businesses, life must be pretty busy for you right now. How do you manage to balance everything that life throws at you? Jack Halloran

One day at a time. Trusting God is my guide and knowing that HIS plans for me are better than mine.

10. What was your experience in the movie, as you played the best friend of Ian McCormack? What did you learn from your acting experience, either professionally or personally? Jack Halloran

Well, I really enjoyed working with Scott. It was a lot of fun. I would love to do more films. I grew up as an actor and I feel as though it was a welcoming back to a lost love. I love acting. I also think I grew a lot. You are always learning more about life and yourself. Acting has to do with self discovery. That was what this film is all about. It was an amazing opportunity, and I am very grateful for it.

11. The production of the movie required the cast and crew to shoot at various locations like New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Bali. Which country was your favourite to visit during the time of filming? What can you take away from the movie both in a thematic sense and as an enjoyable experience? Jack Halloran

I love to travel. Seeing the coastline of South Africa was amazing and I fell in love with Bali too. Humble people, slow lives, yet so much to learn. I really am blessed. Life is short, so enjoy it. You never know what the day might bring so be grateful. Love is a gift so receive it. There is more of it than you can handle so let it spill over into your relationships. Love is to be received and to be given, so I think we should do just that. Spread the good news.

12. If someone were to ask you what the best part of acting in a surfing movie that took you around the world, what would you say? What’s next on the horizon for you- another movie, back to surfing, or another business venture? Jack Halloran

I have been humbled by this experience. I am grateful for it and I would love to do more work like this in the future. We will see. Only God knows, but I would love to act in more films. I love acting, surfing and working with people. I helped out on the production side of this project a bit and I enjoyed that side too. I love to learn and when it benefits other people it is a real privilege to be part of changing someone else’s life. Films do that. They inspire us, they make us feel courageous, laugh, cry or question things. I am all for that and I love to encourage others. Especially when it comes to dreaming.

I also in the process of starting my own production company called Salt & Light. I would love to create better content for such a content hungry world. Better stories filled with LOVE and TRUTH. I think we need more of that in the world.

13. Your previous role as Hannah in October Baby showed us a vulnerable young woman struggling with the knowledge that she was adopted. Contrast this to your current role as Annabel, who is more free-spirited and less grounded in herself, how were both these acting experiences similar and different? What could you as a person learn from both Hannah and Annabel? Rachel Hendrix

I feel like both characters were searching for meaning and purpose in their own way. Portraying Hannah and portraying Annabel were two totally different experiences and I enjoyed exploring and becoming both women. I think we could all learn that we, as human beings, are all on a journey in some way to find our purpose.

14. What part of the character of Annabel were you drawn to when you first auditioned for the role? How was your experience working with Scott Eastwood, and did you ever meet Ian (who Scott was portraying)? Rachel Hendrix

The audition process was easy because there as no audition! I was offered the part after Scott was cast to play Ian, and I knew it was something I wanted to do. Fortunately, Ian made it to SA on the first day of shooting and I was able to meet him briefly. What an astounding guy!

15. Both October Baby and The Perfect Wave have a strong faith message. How has each of these movies influenced you as an actress and a person (either through their faith content, or their relatable characters or any other facet of the movies)? Rachel Hendrix

Telling stories is such a wonderful way to spend your time. I am blessed to have been able to work on many films that encompass that power and inspiration.

16. There has been/will be quite an amount of Christian/faith based movies released/to release in 2014 so far- Noah, Mom’s Night Out, Heaven is For Real, God’s Not Dead, The Song (releasing at the end of September), Left Behind (October) and Exodus: God’s and Kings (December) to name a few. What do you believe The Perfect Wave has that makes it unique and stand out amongst the other movies I have just aforementioned? Have any of these movies impacted you this year, and have shaped you as a person as you relate to your family, friends and co-workers on film sets? Rachel Hendrix

The Perfect Wave’s story and cinematography alone are enough to make it worth watching. I couldn’t believe how incredible the footage was and I think the “pictures” are what make it unique. Also, being that it’s a true story and Ian is still alive today to tell it, it has a uniqueness that few others can touch.

17. The Perfect Wave is actually one of my favourite faith-based movies of the year so far. As the DVD release date draws closer, what is one thing you believe will be instrumental to the film being a big success and impacting in the lives of people who watch it? Ian, Bruce, Jack, Rachel

Ian McCormack: The relatively of a praying mother who has never given up on her prodigal son. The immense love God has for each one of us & that eternity is very real … there is a heaven & there is a hell.

Bruce MacDonald: I think we a cross-over film, I believe as far as Christian media is concerned, we have stepped out and made a film that can be enjoyed by everyone, and I think that will be a big part of the films success. Christians can buy it for friends, and use the film as an evangelical tool, and we will see lives impacted across the globe, of that I am sure 🙂

Jack Halloran: One life that changes. If just one person opens their heart to this message then it was successful. This film was about obedience for Bruce. God asked him to make a film for God’s glory. I believe he did just that.

Rachel Hendrix: I’m glad to hear that. It’s important that people give it a chance and open their hearts to hearing what Ian encountered because afterall, it is his experience. He’s invited us to be a part of that.

18. I know the movie is a tad on the short side- 90 minutes or something like that. Was the movie length intentional? Will there be any deleted scenes on the DVD that extend and expand on some storylines and plot points in the movie? Ian, Bruce, Jack, Rachel

Ian McCormack: I wish we had more time & money to develop the story esp. the heavenly realm of seeing the Glory of God & the new heavens & the new earth … God knows … some time less is more :}

But those who are interested in more could check out my web site www.aglimpseofeternity.org if they want to know more of what really happened :}

Bruce MacDonald: 90 minutes is a full feature – I felt that making it tight, meant we never got boring, and I’ve watched so many long winded films, that I’ve vowed not to make that mistake myself.

Jack Halloran: I think Bruce did a great job, the extra behind the sceens with the DVD are fun and take you into the film making process. I really enjoyed it.

Rachel Hendrix: I hope the DVD has some extra stuff on it! Everything in the post-production process is intentional, I would say, so the length falls into that category. It’s good that the audience is left wanting more! That’s a good sign

19. Who are each of your role models/mentors, and who has impacted you in your lives, either personally or professionally? Have the influences of your role models enhanced and impacted your careers as a speaker, director, surf coach/business consultant, and actress respectively? Ian, Bruce, Jack, Rachel

Ian McCormack: Jill Austin from the USA has had perhaps the most impact on my life. She is now with the Lord but her web site is still run by a very good friend Linda Valen the web site is www.masterpotter.com

Bruce MacDonald: My pastor is a great role model, he is a man of God, he has great humility, and that’s what God is looking for.

Great leaders need to see what Jesus did, he was a servant, yet the most powerful leader of all time….so a better role model we cannot find, but in the work place, it’s hard to find role models, so I just prayed daily and hoped God would guide me, and that he did 🙂

We had intercessors on set, and they made a massive difference, we were covered in prayer at all times, and the hedge of protection they prayed, was effective.

As far as Christians are concerned, Cheryl shone; she really lives her faith, and was an inspiration to have around. She loves people; she gives of herself, and was a great example. I think she is such a brilliant person, and an amazing actress…

Jack Halloran: Sure, well I think that starts with Jesus, but I have a few others too. Mark Batterson is not only my pastor, but a friend. I talk with regularly.  He is a better man than you would know. He is humble, honest and generous. In addition to running a growing church in Washington DC, National Community Church, he also is a husband, father and NY times best selling author. In his new book, The Grave Robber, he mentions how he and I and Bruce and The Perfect Wave all came to be. It’s a great story.

Bruce has both been a mentor and friend to me as well. He had me down in Cape Town working with his company The Fabulous Boomtown Boys for the last six months and traveling and speaking in multiple countries in front of hundreds of thousands of people. As a father, husband and friend he has taught me a lot and we have seen each other grow spiritually.  As a producer and director he has shared with me his world and inspired to go for it in the film industry. He has been a great friend and mentor. Last, but not least, Des Sawyer. He is a legendary surfboard shaper, husband, father and friend. He hosted me in South Africa for a year to live with his family and that is really when I first learned to surf and walk in the spirit. He is an amazing man and friend. Thank you to all of you!

Rachel Hendrix: I have major respect for anyone in this industry with the courage and integrity to stick to their convictions and use it to their advantage. I certainly have people in my life that have been instrumental in my success, and it’s only because they cared enough to invest time and energy into growing me forward.

20. Is there anything else that you would like to add that hasn’t been covered in this interview yet, such as what you guys do in your free time, when you are not working? Are there any parting words and encouragements that will impact the readers of this interview? How can people stay connected with you via social media? Ian, Bruce, Jack, Rachel

Ian McCormack: I have my own web page www.aglimpseofeternity.org & our own church web site www.kingsgate.org.uk on these web site are free pod casts , videos etc … I pray that if any one is ever in London England to please come visit our church .

{Isaiah 60: 1 – 5}

Richest Blessings

Ian McCormack

Bruce MacDonald: Being surfers, whenever there was a gap, we surfed, and that element of fun, really gels people together…. In fact I introduced Scott and Jack, our two leading cast to each other out in the waves)…

Encouragement – well :)) trust God with all your heart and expect miracles, we certainly saw them!!!

Jack Halloran: I am thankful for this opportunity and platform to share the love and grace of an amazing God.

Jack Halloran on FB

www.jackhalloran.com for my website

IMDB for my acting career

Thank you!

One love,


Rachel Hendrix: My free time is definitely filled to the brim with creative projects, exercise, time with close friends, exploration, etcetera. I love being outside and find nature an absolute necessity in this industry. To find out about what I’m up to, you can visit me on twitter at racheldrix, instagram @racheldrix and my facebook page, Rachel Hendrix.

The Perfect Wave is available on DVD now! Be sure to check it out, and read our review of the movie here! Be sure to let us know what you think of the review and the movie!

2 thoughts on “Ian McCormack, Bruce MacDonald, Jack Halloran, Rachel Hendrix (The Perfect Wave)”

  1. We bought the DVD the day it came out.
    We loved the movie and especially Ian McCormack’s testimony. As soon as we watched Ian’s testimony on the 700 Club and he talked about the movie, it’s all we could think about until we got to watch The Perfect Wave!

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