Dirk Eichhorst grew up as a Baptist in the American Midwest. He is the founder and former president of Cumberland Media Ministries Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that specialized in producing promotional videos for Bible camps and other non-profits. He served as Production Manager for L. Plummer Communications in Southfield, Michigan, and as Media Director for The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida. Dirk worked freelance for many years with West Coast Media, Inc. shooting business and broadcast.
Dirk has been a conference speaker on the topics of screenwriting and motion picture directing, served as Membership Chair of West Michigan Film Video Alliance, and is an Accolade Award recipient for Body Balancing by Tim Michaels.
Dirk’s work has taken him across America, to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Dirk completed classes in film production at Columbia College Chicago, holds a General Studies degree from Macomb Community College, an Associates degree in Counterterrorism and a BA in Intelligence Studies, both from American Public University with honors. Dirk enjoys back-country camping with his son Tobias, weight training, model building, and hauling ass in his Ford Mustang.
A personal note from Dirk
Welcome and thank you for visiting my website!
I was thirteen when I began writing my first movie script. I had tagged along with my mom to a violin workshop where my brother was a student learning to play. Amidst the vibes and echoes of practicing strings in the adjacent room, I sat down quietly alone, pulled out my yellow-lined notepad—wrote Scene One at the top of the page—and started writing. I had no idea what I was doing.
That script was a leap into a career of writing, directing, and producing videos that lasted for nearly 30 years. Recently I retired from that field, having started out by launching my own company, then serving as a production manager for a small television station, then leading as a media director for a theme park, and finally working freelance for business and broadcast.
I attended film school at Columbia College Chicago, where I incorporated my production company and wrote the screenplay for my first feature, Dream Story. I’ve written and directed hundreds of videos for non-profit organizations, earning a solid reputation for professionalism, and was a pioneer in the burgeoning digital video era. I was once a leading voice as a board member for the West Michigan Film Video Alliance.
I’ve worked on projects from indie films to promotional videos, documentaries to web media, and fitness videos to TV commercials, met inspiring and passionate people, and traveled to some of the world’s most striking places. Much of that work involved scheduling, managing crews, designing and building sets, shooting footage and editing, all of which I enjoyed immensely.
I’ve had some rousing successes, many satisfying outcomes, and a few dismal failures. I’ve adapted books into screenplays, written magazine articles, developed web content, and edited books for small press. I am fortunate to have earned a living doing what I love, sometimes in situations that paid nicely, and at other times, when I wondered when I’d get my next paycheck.
I entered a new season of my creative life several years ago with my first novel, “The Tempest In Glass”. It has been a challenge learning the ins and outs of writing in a new medium; to apply and revise story principles I learned in my scriptwriting days. The manuscript is complete and now available in a l.imited first Edition. Concurrently, I am shopping the book to literary agents with the hope of gaining representation and securing a book deal for wider distribution. Here’s a link to the 1-minute video teaser.
Thanks again for visiting.
Dirk’s Favorite Projects, Books, & Hobbies
Perhaps the stand-out project of my career was something I directed in the mid 2000s for The Scriptorium: Center for Biblical Antiquities. Located on the property of The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida, The Scriptorium is an elaborate museum housing The Van Kampen Collection, one of the largest private collections of ancient biblical scrolls, manuscripts, and artifacts in the world. In my time with The Scriptorium, I had a chance to work with some brilliant scholars and doctors of theology. I gained a deep appreciation and understanding for the historicity of the artifacts and their contribution to the Christian faith and to the academic community. In a quest to untangle matters of my own personal faith, I was also asking an abundance of questions myself. You could say the concept for the project developed over several years, culminating in a 2-hour documentary about the Scriptorium and its unique collection, which debuted in 2006 in the park’s gift shops, and was subsequently broadcast in a 60-minute version on various cable networks. (The Collection was highlighted in the December 2018 cover story in National Geographic Magazine: “Inside the cloak-and-dagger search for sacred texts.”)
My favorite novels include Dr. No by Ian Fleming, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Far Side of the World by Patrick O’Brian, Candide by Voltaire, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard, A Painted House by John Grisham, The Log From The Sea Of Cortez by John Steinbeck, The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I also draw influence from the Screenplays of screenwriter William Goldman, and the lyrics of celebrated Canadian folksinger Gordon Lightfoot.
My son Tobias and I like to go back-country hiking and camping. We’ve collected lots of cool gear over the years like a tent, cooking gear, lantern, glow sticks, camp chairs, water filter, and more—everything we need to enjoy time in the woods, rivers, and mountains. This is the trailhead for the Manistee River Trail in West Michigan. We’ve also been to the Smoky Mountains, South Manitou Island, and this year we’ll be heading to Utah and Arizona. My hat is an exact replica (made by The Penman Hat Company) of the famous fedora worn by Harrison Ford in Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
The most famous spaceship in the world—the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. This one’s my pride and joy. I built this from a kit, then custom mixed all the paints to match the ship as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. Internally, I installed a fluorescent circline tube to serve as the bright-white engine light, and outfitted the cockpit with over 80 fiber optic lights. In the not-too-distant future, I plan to launch a new website—DSE MODELS—that will feature my best and favorite works, including behind-the-scenes bench work.
Ever since I was 19, I have enjoyed training with free weights. It was kind of my sport, because I was never that good at team sports. These days, in spring & summer, I average 5 days a week in the gym, jogging, and biking. The gym is like my second home, and it feels great to know I’m doing my best to take care of myself. I learned a lot from Master Fitness Trainer Tim Michaels and workout coach Kelsey Sanders.
Yes, I do love my car, a 2018 Ford Mustang premium that I like to keep crystal-clean inside and out, which is not always accomplished in the messy Michigan winters! I’m proud to own it and it’s an absolute joy to drive. Prior to this I had a 2006 Mustang in windveil blue that I had for 9 wonderful years.
“The Tempest In Glass” is the debut novel of writer-director Dirk Eichhorst. The book is still in its early launch phase. According to readers and reviewers, “The Tempest In Glass” is one of the best new fiction books of 2022, a spiritual adventure book with elements of mystery-thriller and speculative fiction. It may also be considered new Christian fiction with a sharp edge.