Some do, I guess. Most do not.
There’s a line from Ace Ventura in one of his films that goes something like, “If I’m not back in 5 minutes…just wait longer!”
Wait longer. Nobody on this planet wants to hear that. Are you kidding me? If I have to wait 4.5 seconds for my phone to connect to the internet or Google Maps to latch on to my position I begin shaking like that Looper Kid and objects around me begin to levitate and friends duck for cover as the telekenetic storm swells to frenzious levels!
PERKY TEENAGER: “I’m sorry sir, we’re out of coffee and gonna have to cook up a fresh batch. It’ll be just 7 minutes.”
7 minutes. Oh, I may smile and nod politely, but my inner monologue goes something like…
ME: “Rrrrrrrrrrrraaaaawr…HULK SMASH!!!!!!!! 7 minutes are you INSAAAAAAANE!!!!!”
…and then it involves bolts of lightening ejecting from my finger tips, igniting sparks from every light bulb and outlet within a 20 foot radius.
Come to think of it, I could probably stand to switch to decaf.
How about has God ever put a vision in your heart? A Dream for something? An idea for a Feature Film. And your first thought is, “Wow, what a great idea! I could write the script this morning, shoot it this afternoon, have it in theaters by afternoon tea time and be done raking in billions of box office dollars in time for dinner!”
What is the turnaround on your dream? A day? A week? 6 months? A year? 10 years? 40 years? 70? 150? 300 years?
Oh, you think I’m kidding about 300 years. You know God promised Abraham he’d be a great nation whose descendants numbered with the stars and that definitely did not happen in a week. In fact it was 3 generations before Israel was even a thing.
Here’s a scary little fact you need to know about God: God is not afraid to dream multi-generationally. For example, King David envisions a Temple, draws up the plans, gathers all the materials, but his Son Solomon actually builds that Temple.
There are things that God has been lining up for years and even generations to position you for your thing. Whatever that is. And in some cases, it’s to position you to carry and protect the torch and then pass it on to the next person who will be in position for the thing. Humbling, isn’t it?
Here’s what he says about that in Habakkuk 2:2-3…
2 Then the Lord replied:
“Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it.
3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come
and will not delay.”
Did you catch that? “Though it linger, wait for it.”
It’s 2013, my friends. And some of you are tired of waiting. In fact, you may feel like you’ve missed the boat all together and your dream has expired and its time to move on. I know, I’ve thought the same thing. But you know what, God says?
“Though it linger, wait for it.”
I’m talking to you, young filmmaker that wasn’t able to raise the funds you needed through Kickstarter.
I’m talking to you, script writer who placed in all kinds of script contests, but hasn’t sold one yet.
I’m talking to you, actor, who has gone to hundreds of auditions and only gotten the tiniest little bit parts.
I’m talking to you, producer who had a production deal go south and lost years of work down the toilet.
I’m talking to you, stay at home mom who longs to be filmmaking but is elbows deep in laundry and dirty diapers.
I’m talking to you, comic book artist who works all day and then draws all night, waiting for that big break.
“Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
Who cares if it didn’t happen in 2012? Who cares if it doesn’t happen in 2013? It is coming.
Do you realize that in another time and another place, the work that you’ve done on your project that hasn’t gone anywhere might have launched a multi-million dollar film franchise? The idea you’ve been working on in another time might have been the next Facebook. It’s true. Now is not the right season. But you’re doing the right things! Don’t stop. It will not prove false.
Wait for it. And while you’re waiting, try not to Hulk Smash anything! There’s a reason it’s called “Inner Monologue”.
Are you familiar with the concept?
I haven’t wikipedia’d…wikipeditioned…wikipeed…I haven’t looked up the origins of the “Hollywood Spouse” idea because let’s face it, that sort of thorough source-checking journalism is NOT what we’re about here at Wired4Film. Sounds expensive and takes WAY too much time. We prefer to make up the facts. We’re Gonzo, baby! Like Hunter S. Thompson or Glenn Beck.
I’m fairly certain, and I haven’t prayed about this yet, but I’m 87% positive that the concept of the Hollywood Spouse is the Christian version of the “I’d Hit That!” game. If you’re unfamiliar with the “I’d Hit That” game, it’s where you and your un-saved friends sit around and talk about which Silver Screen goddess you would most like to….cuddle. Probably. I dunno! I don’t play the game myself. I’m a Christian.
And Christians being the bastions of monogamy and marital fidelity and purity that we are…we prefer to think in terms of which Silver Screen Proverbs 31-ish woman we’d most like to cuddle with while reading “Our Daily Bread” and humming Matthew West songs. And she doesn’t have to be a Proverbs 31 babe, yet, we can missionary date her right into the kingdom which is our duty as clearly laid out in scripture to make disciples. Clearly.
Now, in the context of the Hollywood Spouse game, I’ll admit I’m as Mormon as the next Presidential hopeful. I don’t think you have to resign yourself to just one Hollywood Spouse. In fact, I encourage you to select perhaps a top 3. The situation is more akin to our President, Vice President and 3rd person in line for Presidency that I would know if I had paid attention in Social Studies, but I’m pretty sure is the President’s Brother? Or first-born Son?
Hey, and don’t look at me all ecclesiastical like that. I know you’ve considered it. I’m down with our readership. I know “C” from Dover has just replaced her longtime Hollywood Husband Pierce Brosnan with Robert Downey, jr. because Brosnan is “…getting up there in age”. Basically she’s Kevorkian’d Brosnan right off her list. He’s dead to her, over! And I know that “J” from the NC esteems Megan Fox as his Hollywood Spouse. The “Transformer’s” Megan and not the “Jennifer’s Body” Demon Megan cause that’s some next level Exorcist stuff needed there.
See how that works? Your Hollywood Spouse can be movie-specific. Maybe you’d like “Stranger than Fiction” Will Ferrell but not “Talledega Nights” Will Ferrell. A lot of guys would prefer “Book of Eli” Mila Kunis and not “Family Guy” Mila Kunis. A lot of girls would prefer McDreamy Patrick Dempsey. Period. Don’ t see what the fuss is there. My “Bourne Ultimatum” Matt Damon could kick your McDreamy’s box office any time, any where. #mancrush #uselesshashtagscausethisisnotTwitter
So in the spirit of full-disclosure…here are my Top 3 Hollywood Spouse selections:
#1 Audrey Hepburn
Style. Class. Charm. Panache. And as she shows in “How To Steal A Million” (1966) she’s also got a certain cheekiness and bravado to her. What’s not to love? Except she’s not around as much since her death. Can’t Zemeckis do some of his photo-realistic 3D animation razzle dazzle and bring her back for “Polar Express 2″ or “Back to the Future 5″? What about it, James Cameron? She’d be a perfect Avatar in your sequel. I mean, you shoulda dropped her into “Titanic” and given it that authenticity it lacked, but I digress.
#2 Kate Beckinsale
Let’s face facts. End of the World Revelation type stuff is upon us. If we believe the Mayans, could be as soon as next year. Not sure if it’s 12/12/12 or 12/21/12 but I’ll know it when I see it…won’t be sleeping through that one like daylight savings time. Moreover, if we believe Edgar Wright, this could potentially include a Zombie Apocalypse as well. So who better to be your Hollywood Spouse during a World’s End Crisis if not Kate Beckinsale. Yes, there can be a strong case for Angie Jolie. But, I’m a long long time fan of Kate. In fact, I first fell in love with her in “Shooting Fish” (1997). Soooooo, I saw her first…DIBS!!
#3 Rachel McAdams
I wouldn’t kick her outta Sunday School, as the good book says. What I love about Rachel McAdams is that she’s a Chameleon. I mean, I’m not supposed to admit that I saw the “Notebook” cause my man-card could get suspended, but that’s a way different role than her breakout turn in “Mean Girls”. I didn’t even know it was the same person at first. And how cute is she in “Family Stone”? You don’t know whether to buy her coffee or give her a noogie. Either way, my entire disposition of “Sherlock Holmes 2″ will be based on how many minutes she’s on screen. There was even one rumor that she could be killed off early in the film. But I’ve hired a hitman for that little rumor monger. Thou shalt not speak of my Hollywood Spouse thusly! I won’t stands for it.
And I’ve got one Alternate in the wings. I mean, it’s hard to break in to a Top 3 list that solid (especially when #1 is immortalized now) but there’s a new kid on the block that I’m watching carefully. Making sure she doesn’t go all Lindsay Lohan on us. By the way, if Lohan was on your list, not to be dismayed, you can switch her out at any Hollywood Spouse Redbox for Emma Stone and have all the lovability, quadruple the actability and a bucket of funny and not even notice little Miss Parent trap is gone.
ALTERNATE: Olivia Wilde
Okay, she obviously can’t be in my Top 3 with Katie B because they serve much the same purpose. Save my butt from Zombies. Only Kate is British. But Olivia Wilde drives a flippin cool light-tastic missile launching dune buggy in “Tron:Legacy” and that’s okay in my book. Even though she sporting Pulp Fiction hair.
So pray about it. Go see some movies. Do some research. Find out who your Hollywood Spouse should be. Cause I’ve picked mine. And last thing I want is to be at some A-List After-Oscars party with you and we both grab Kate Beckinsale’s hand at the same time and say, “MINE!” and then force her to choose between us. Cause I’m pretty sure when I play the “Shooting Fish” card, she’s gonna realize that she’s not only my Hollywood Spouse…she’s my Hollywood Soul-Mate!
And then you’re gonna be left with Dame Judy Dench. Or Matthew McConaughey.
You’ve been warned.
That’s what Mark Twain wrote, anyway. Presumably sober.
No, he’s not advocating we get our best ideas from inebriation and substance abuse. (Although one has to wonder about Charlie Kaufman and the eternal sunshine of his not so spotless mind – brilliant film by the way)
The idea of “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” is the same concept as the Right Brain Left Brain thinking. You’ve got the Left Brains that are all organized and mathematical and logic oriented and scheduled and systematic and stuff. A.k.a. the Sober side.
Then you’ve got the Right Brainsesss that are creative and free thinking and loose and unrestricted by rules and kinda hippy-like. A.k.a. the Drunk side. Each of us uses both sides of our brains, but we tend to favor one side or another.
Writing drunk means not limiting your story or characters in any way. Being as hopelessly creative as possible. Taking the lid off the box and showing us a story that we have never seen before in our lives. And by knowing your characters and listening to them, allowing them to take you wherever the story leads.
Sometimes this clashes with our Christianity, because we also have our own set of morality and rules that we have to live by. Biblical rules. Stay with me now. This next concept is pretty huge. But writing drunk also involves not imposing our own religious values on ALL of our characters and scripts. Not in the writing phase.
In the writing phase, just write. Explore. If the character curses, let him curse. If another character sleeps around, let them sleep around. Create characters who are true to themselves. Ghetto Gangsters that yell out: “Shucks Golly, I’m going to malign you!” is not true to any gangster in any ghetto on planet earth. So write true to the characters.
And if this doesn’t sound very Godly to you then just pick up the Old Testament sometime, open it randomly to any book, any chapter and start reading. As long as you didn’t land in the legal mirey depths of Leviticus or the genealogical dude begat dude labyrinth of Numbers…you probably land on some very colorful people leading some very colorful lives.
Okay, now after you’ve got a couple drafts of your script you need to sober up. You need to switch to your other brainsesss and take a new look at your characters. Start with language. The goal is not censorship…the goal is evolution. Evolve your words. And to do that, maybe take a page out of the Shakespeare handbook:
Away, you cut-purse rascal! you filthy bung, away! By this wine, I’ll thrust my knife in your mouldy chaps, an you play the saucy cuttle with me. Away, you bottle-ale rascal! you basket-hilt stale juggler, you!
2 Henry IV (2.4.120-22)
No one denies that this character is angry and saying some rude things to another character. It’s pretty clear without using the 5-cent swear words. The english language is an amazing tool. Think of all the films under the Hayes Code from the 40s through the 60s. The golden age of Hollywood.
We knew when Bogart was mad. We knew when Scarlett almost got raped. We experienced laughter, fear, love, hate…every single emotion we feel when we watch today’s movies only without the curse words. Without the love scenes. Without the gore.
Trust me, I’m not saying every one of our films has to be rated-G. I don’t agree with that. ”Crash” is a very powerful film in part because of its edginess and raw dialogue. I wouldn’t change a word. ”American History X” was one of the most powerful redemption stories on film. Some very tough scenes to watch. Wouldn’t change a thing.
So, again, I’m not saying cut everything out, but take another look and find new ways for your characters to express themselves, new ways to show a love scene. I mean, “Titanic” had one of the steamiest scenes ever with just a hand pressed up on a fogged car window.
“Jaws” had the scariest monster ever BECAUSE you didn’t see it for so long. And only glimpses when he did show up. Course that was because the huge clunky mechanical beast looked like “a floating terd” according to Spielberg if they showed too much of it, but he set the bar for many many creature features afterward. Less is more.
Know your audience. And your first audience is the filmmaker or studio you want to make your darling beloved script. If that is a faith-based audience, there’s going to be a zero tolerance attitude for cussing, nudity and to a lesser extent, violence. That’s changing, but for now if you’re going for that market, you need to evolve your script right out of an “R” rating.
But, in your first draft, let your characters talk however they want to. If you stop to fret over the F-bomb you just put on paper, you may lose the heat of the scene you’re writing. Besides this draft is for you and you alone. Stay in the writing moment and get your thoughts down on paper. Then, go back and edit once you’ve sobered up. So to speak.
Let’s write a movie!
Calling All Filmmakers!
Now Accepting Film Submission Entries!
SAICFF is pleased to announce that we are now accepting film, treatment and score entries for the 2012 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival held February 23-25, 2012. Make history as we stand together in furtherance of distinctively biblical, independent Christian filmmaking. Submit your entries for the opportunity to become a semi-finalist and compete for the largest single cash prize in America for any film festival, and the largest single festival prize ever given to an independent Christian filmmaker — the $101,000 Best of Festival Jubilee Award!
Film Submission Pricing & Deadline Information:
- Early Bird Deadline: August 15th, 2011
- Regular Deadline:
- Feature Films: October 31st, 2011
- All Others: September 30th, 2011
The Top Ten Things Producers Wish Writers Would Do
Before Submitting a Screenplay
by Kenneth Altman
I get a lot of screenplays across my desk. Sometimes from filmmakers who I am secretly hoping will let me command the funds to get their movie made, other times from writers who value a critical eye on their work, and sometimes from producers or directors who want my expertise in preparing a shooting schedule and production budget. In any case, someone has poured a significant piece of their soul into the pages in front of me in the hopes that their literary work will become movie.
The first time I read a screenplay I try to approach it as if I were entering a theater to watch the movie. No I can’t read in the dark and I don’t eat popcorn, but I do set aside a couple hours to get through the script in one sitting and I leave my editing tools in another room. I want to experience what the theater audience will experience should this film successfully be made. Sadly, it’s rare that I don’t find myself making notes or getting out my editing tools before I get through the first 10 pages. Part of that is my critical nature but, more often than not, a mere ten pages in I’ve encountered something that has taken me out of the experience – - usually a number of things.
1. Get Coverage.
If you can afford to have a seasoned writer or script reader go over your screenplay, do it. If funds are tight (and they usually are for independents) get a former teacher or professor, another filmmaker you trust, someone who can put fresh eyes on the story and knows what a screenplay should look like. Oh, and who’s not afraid to be brutally honest with you.
2. Run Spell-check.
In today’s computer literate society it’s absolutely amazing to me that I still get scripts with so many misspelled words. I’m not talking about “there” versus “their” versus “they’re,” and those types of things that spell-check will often miss, I’m talking about “the Kign and Quean” and the “cowboy on his hors.”
3. Know Screenplay Format.
There are many conventions in the style and they all exist for a reason. Margins, fonts, line spacing, capitalization when introducing a new element, and the like all affect the page count which directly affects the schedule and, in turn, the budget. A pet peeve of mine is writers who put the title, copyright info and written by on page one. It belongs on the cover page. Page one begins with FADE IN.
4. Character Description.
The reader doesn’t know your characters until you introduce them. What the movie audience will see in a moment the screenplay reader needs to read. The other side of this coin is you should never write character descriptions or motivations that can’t be seen by the movie audience. They won’t have the script.
5a. INT versus EXT.
I can’t count the number of times I see a slug like INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY only to find the characters finishing their dialogue on the patio. In creative writing the “juices” need to flow, I get that. And people carry on conversations as they move in real life. But shooting a movie often involves using one location for an interior shot and another location for the exterior of the “same” place. If the movement from inside to outside is important to your story, slug it. INT./EXT. LIVING ROOM/ PATIO – DAY.
5b. Cars are Outside.
Moving from a conversation inside a vehicle to seeing the vehicle run a red light and then back to the conversation really should involve scene changes. But a whole bunch of slug lines can be distracting too. Again, use something like INT/EXT DAVE’S CAR, MAIN STREET – NIGHT.
6. DAY versus NIGHT.
This is really a continuity note. As you write you might move scenes around to heighten the drama. Double check your slug lines. I’ve seen a lot of sequential scenes that jump from day to night and back again.
7. DAY/NIGHT versus CONTINUOUS.
It’s convenient to use CONTINUOUS for slug lines in a series of sequential scenes but use it sparingly. We often shoot scenes out of order so it’ll be changed to DAY or NIGHT on the breakdown, the shooting script and shooting schedule anyway. Plus, it keeps the reader current. On screen the audience can see if it’s day or night, the reader only has what you’ve written. I once had a writer who used CONTINUOUS on every slug line for almost 10 pages. In the end I lost track of what time of day it was and so did he! An EVENING scene followed an all night chase.
Everyone loves the look of a scene shot during “golden hour.” Writers need to realize that their page and a half scene on the beach at sunset will probably take 3 – 5 hours to shoot (assuming the indie rate of 4.5 pages per day). Nowhere on Earth does evening light last 3 hours so the director or producer will probably change the scene to DAY or NIGHT unless the sunset is critical to the story and/or they’ve got the budget to create “golden hour” with a talented DP, lighting crew and extensive lighting package. If you use the EVENING or MORNING slug sparingly it conveys that the look is important to your scene.
9. It’s a Visual Medium.
I alluded to this earlier, the screenplay is a unique form of literature. Everything you want the theater audience to know has to be conveyed visually but some of the things that will be obvious in the visual form (descriptions of characters, props, sets, etc.) have to be written out for the reader. Sure, you can have your exposition in dialogue but too much of that and your character becomes a tool. Finding the balance between exposition through dialog and exposition through visuals is part of the art form. A good director will have a handle on this but, do you really want someone else rewriting large portions of your screenplay?
10. Don’t Direct.
You may want to direct your film but don’t do it in the screenplay. References to cameras, lenses, angles, framing and the like take the reader out of the story. Besides, that’s the director’s job in the collaborative effort of filmmaking.
Finally, before submitting your screenplay to any producer, production company or studio make sure they accept submissions. For legal reasons most won’t read your screenplay unless you’ve made prior arrangements. Similarly, protect yourself. Register your screenplay with the WGA, have it copyrighted, or otherwise establish your creative work and its date of creation.
Kenneth Altman is a producer and production manager who has spent 18 years in the film and video production industry. Graduating with a Master of Arts degree from Regent University in 2002, where he majored in Producing for Cinema & Television, Kenneth has been a key part of a variety of productions in the United States and around the world.
In 2010 Kenneth served as Production Manager on the multi-million dollar independent feature Alone Yet Not Alone and partnered with Donald Leow to produce the low-budget feature film For The Glory.
In the Fall of 2008 Kenneth joined Cristóbal Krusen at Messenger Films and Douglas Maddox of Moonlit Pictures in producing The Bill Collector, a low budget feature film shot entirely in Hampton Roads, VA.
Kenneth is currently attached as a producer to four independent feature films in various stages of development.
Feel free to check out his IMDb page HERE.
Dennis Harvey, writing for Variety, reviews this new documentary by Bryan Storkel about a group of Pastors raising money for their ministries in a very unique way:
(EXCERPT) “Holy Rollers” chronicles what happens when two normally well-separated worlds collide. Its subjects are a group of young Christians, mostly from the Pacific Northwest, who realized they could make rent and devote more time to the Lord’s business by training themselves to count cards at casino blackjack tables. Treated as a sort of jaunty nonfiction caper by helmer Bryan Storkel, pic doesn’t probe deep but sustains the entertaining lure of its novel premise.
Protagonists might easily be taken for 30-ish hipsters, but appearances deceive: They’re all pastors, church leaders and/or congregants very much dedicated to their faith. (Pic’s major omission is that it doesn’t describe the precise tenets or logistics of their spiritual practices, though their sincerity is never in doubt.) Most struggle to support young families and spend time in worship-related activities while working as public schoolteachers, in construction, etc.
Then Seattle-based friends Ben Crawford and Colin Jones hit upon the idea of counting cards. Despite some hand wringing, they rationalize that taking funds from exploitative institutions in order to have more free time for family and flock does not constitute a sin. They consider it a calling, not a hustle.
This, however, is not an opinion shared by casino staff and gambling officials. While card counting isn’t actually illegal — being, as one person says, just “addition and division” — the venues certainly consider it cheating, and are quick to escort out, detain and/or ban any player whom their extensive surveillance suspects of using a system to beat house odds.
Despite being repeatedly thrown out of joints as a result (Crawford particularly enjoys donning outlandish disguises to elude that fate), the “Church Team” at first succeeds beyond its wildest dreams, enabling some to work at blackjack tables a mere 40 hours a month for a sustaining income distributed evenly among all investors.
But despite rigorous training and recurrent self-testing, their luck turns and they pile up some scary losses after a half-year winning streak. Some team members, with life savings or mortgages at stake, get cold feet. As the range of players and participants expands beyond a close circle of church friends, trust ebbs, and suspicions arise that someone might be stealing from the collective kitty.
Though it often seems money inevitably corrupts, the principal subjects here (most identified only by first name) are convincingly idealistic, taking this bizarre, even unseemly route not to get rich quick, but simply to better support their loved ones and ministries. Still, we find out far less about the faith that plays such a big part in their lives than we do about the gambling team’s process and the defensive tactics of highly unamused casino personnel.
Sounds like “21″ meets “Rainman” meets “700 Club”. This totally needs to be a Feature Film, btdubs.
Read the FULL ARTICLE HERE.
by Lori Lenz
San Diego, CA – Arguably the largest pop-culture, entertainment event in the world, THE COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: SAN DIEGO 2011 kicks off this week with sellout attendance of more than 125,000. The CHRISTIAN COMIC ARTS SOCIETY (CCAS) in partnership with CHALICE PRESS will deliver top talent and projects to create impact at the event. Comic-Con International: San Diego (Comic-Con) is the largest comic book convention of its kind in the world.
Christian Comic Arts Society, presented this year in partnership with Chalice Press, is hosting three events as part of the official Comic-Con programming, and will exhibit throughout the convention in a CORNER BOOTH SPACE #P-08
CCAS will be giving away copies of “MARVELOUS MYTHS: MARVEL SUPERHEROES AND EVERYDAY FAITH,” an outstanding review of the Marvel universe published by Chalice Press. While supplies last, all CCAS event attendees will receive a copy of the book, and booth visitors can sign up to win copies during hourly drawings on the exhibit floor. Events include:
Christian Comic Arts Society Open Meeting. Thursday, 7/21/11, 7:30p.m. – 9:30p.m., Room: 24ABC
Hosted by CCAS members Kevin Yong (Ragged Capes) and Ralph Miley (New Visions Anthology) of NewCreationNow.com, fans and creators alike are invited to join an informal after-hours time of Christian fellowship, networking, laughter and prayer as we “talk shop” about the Christian comics movement.
Spirituality in Comics: Is Mass Media Our New Church? Saturday, 7/23/11, 6:00p.m. – 7:00p.m., Room: 4
In comics, movies, and even Broadway musicals like “The Book Of Mormon”, spiritual themed work seems to be unexpectedly coming from the least religious of sources. Join panelists including SERGIO CARIELLO (The Action Bible), RUSSELL DALTON (Marvelous Myths: Marvel Superheroes and Everyday Faith), BUZZ DIXON (Serenity/Hits & Misses), and MIKE SHIELDS (Blue Blazes) as they discuss how a new generation of comics and pop culture are exploring timeless truths.
Christian Comics: The Calling of the Artist, Sunday, 7/24/11, 2:30p.m. – 3:30p.m., Room: 23ABC
What unique challenges do artists face in developing work for both mainstream and religious audiences? How can “Christian media” avoid becoming just a pale imitation of its secular counterparts? Join panelists SERGIO CARIELLO (The Action Bible), ERIC JANSEN (Missions Press), STEVE BLOUNT (Kingstone Media), ROBERT LUEDKE (Eye Witness), JOHN SHORE (I’m OK–You’re Not), MIKE SHIELDS (Blue Blazes) and moderator BUZZ DIXON (Hits & Misses) as they discuss the challenges and rewards of following the call of personal faith and the creative arts.
“MARVELOUS MYTHS: MARVEL SUPERHEROES AND EVERYDAY FAITH” shows us that Marvel superheroes are more like us than we may think. What really makes someone a hero? In the early 1960’s, the image of a superhero was someone with a square jaw, a muscular build, and a quick smile whose biggest personal problem was trying to keep their girlfriends from guessing their secret identities. Then, writer Stan Lee and artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko created a group of superheroes who revolutionized comics. These heroes, including The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, The X-men, Iron Man, Captain America and others, were not perfect heroes who lived in a perfect world, but fallible people with physical ailments and personal problems like our own.
Each chapter of Marvelous Myths reflects on the heroes’ most famous adventures and discusses the ways in which we are called to overcome many of the same types of obstacles they face as we strive to carry out the ministries to which God calls us. While the authors and artists who created them did not intend to write explicitly religious stories, their tales of imperfect heroes who try to do the right thing despite the many challenges they face provide us with the opportunity to reflect on our own faith journeys as we strive to live heroic lives in the real world.
CCAS members are creating additional impact through Comic-Con related activities:
Created by The JESUS Film Project in association with Brethren Entertainment, Barry Cook (Director of Disney’s “Mulan”), and Tokyo’s renowned Studio 4°C, “My Last Day” is a short film of regret, repentance and redemption. This 9-minute animé unfolds through the eyes of a criminal who receives the same brutal crucifixion sentence as Christ. The criminal’s own guilt causes him to realize Christ’s innocence. See it at www.tinyurl.com/jfmylastday.
Kingstone Media, a central Florida publisher with three primary imprints, will be exhibiting at the event in Booth #5531. Kingstone Comics publishes faith based comics and Biblical worldview graphic novels. Galaxy Comics produces sci-fi and action-adventure graphic novels. Bay Forest Books is the cinematic fiction imprimatur with stories that will move you and characters you will never forget. Get more at www.KingstoneMedia.com. See Kingstone’s Steve Blount at the Sunday panel event.
Blue Blazes, a 168 Project 2011 Finalist, will screen their short film at the CCI-IFF July 22nd, and 1140a in the San Diego Marriott Marina. Mike Shields, (Producer, Director), Amber Greenlee (Storyboard Artist) and Blue Blazes himself, Robert Adan will be available to answer questions about this unique speed filmmaking competition, as well as the movie itself. Also see Shields at the Saturday and Sunday panel events.
Hitting up Comic-Con for the first time, Lamp Post can be found at Small Press Table Q-08. Creators Jerrell Conner (Revelations: The Prophets), Brett Burner (Hand of the Morning Star), and Dan Conner (Heaven Forbid) will be on hand to sign books, give portfolio reviews, and do sketches throughout the show. New books from the following series will be available at the show: Toned: Comics in Black and White, Revelations: The Prophets (featuring a backup of The Cardinal), Heaven Forbid, Finding Elim, God’s Love is Like a Conjoined Twin, Pakkins’ Land, and Parable. For more, visit Lamp Post, Inc. at www.lamppostpubs.com.
The Red R (also known as Revelations) is a movement of artists who aim to revolutionize how biblically related stories are told to cast a bigger net and reach a wider audience. The Red R Movement brings the highest level of art (and beyond) to present the world with the Hope and True meaning that only the greatest stories every told can deliver. Their post-apocalyptic graphic novel series “REVELATIONS: The Prophets” has released six books and will debut the NEW 7th INSTALLMENT at San Diego Comic-Con along with a new animated short. Visit them in the Small Press area at table Q-08. For more info, visit www.theREDr.com.
He outraged parents, ticked off networks, and delighted young fans with thought-provoking classic episodes of G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Batman. Now Buzz Dixon is launching a line of Young Adult novels based on his bestselling SERENITY Christian manga series as well as brand new tales of faith and courage in a challenging world. “The surest way to get into trouble is to speak the truth, and everyone I’ve ever worked with has found me to be a troublemaker!” said Dixon. Meet Dixon at the Saturday and Sunday panel events. See more at http://www.SnokieStories.com.
New from Kingdom Comics, The Kingdom Zone is a 64 page graphic novel anthology that consists of 7 different short stories with a “Twilight Zone” flair coming from a Biblical perspective. Several Christian artists within the industry have contributed their talents to this graphic novel, which will be an ongoing series with new stories every issue. Brian Bradley is the publisher of Kingdom Comics which began in 1999. His first publication, entitled THE ANOINTED 7 has been an ongoing series. Additional titles include “The Lucifer Chronicles”, “Pledge Of Allegiance”, “Code:Evolution”, and various anthologies including “God Works” dealing with prison issues and which is a popular resource within the prison system.
Writer/illustrator, Robert James Luedke, will return to Comic Con International after a two year absence to share his award-winning Eye Witness graphic novel series and be a featured member of the CCAS panel on Christian comics and graphic novels. Luedke will feature his new, limited edition, signed/numbered Eye Witness Slipcase Collection at Comic-Con 2011. Eye Witness, which premiered at Comic Con in 2004, has won five indy book awards and been named a finalist in 5 others, making it one of the most recognized and decorated series in the brief history of Christian themed graphic novels. His book “Unknown God” was named as a finalist in the category of Novella in the 2011 Indie Book Awards. Luedke and the series has been featured in media from coast to coast (both Christian and secular), including: LA Times, Washington Post, AP, Fox News, Publishers Weekly, Christianity Today, World Magazine, Comic Buyers Guide, Wizard Magazine and USA Radio Network. See more at www.headpress.info.
From Wonder Woman to Green Lantern to Jesus Hates Zombies, HOLLYWOODJESUS.COM covers it all. The action at Comic-Con is naturally a huge shaping force in what the comic-reading world talks about. “We continue to be excited about the spiritual conversation the comics world has with our culture,” said Greg Wright, Editor-In-Chief. “Arnaldo Reyes, our Comics Editor, is always looking for new talent and new product to showcase the spiritual nature of comics.” HJ’s latest comic reviews can be found at http://live.hollywoodjesus.com/?page_id=378.
The Christian Comic Arts Society (CCAS) was formed in 1984 to locate and link Christians who are interested or active in the comic book/strip medium. It sponsors Alpha Omega, the APA of Christian comics and Christian comic displays at various comic conventions across the country. The Goal and Purpose of CCAS is to support Christian professionals, hopefuls and enthusiasts within the Comic Book and related industries, accomplishing that by providing opportunities for the following: 1. The sharing of the Christian message and our Christian faith, primarily within and through the comic book industry and art form. 2. Mentoring, training, friendship and networking. 3. The collaboration on and creation of visual storytelling. The CCAS is governed by a volunteer board which includes Eric Jansen (Missions Press,) Scott A. Shuford (FrontGate Media,) Geoff Strout (Artist,) and Kevin Yong (New Creation Now) along with numerous volunteer committee members from the comic industry and the Church.
For more information on the Comic-Con International: San Diego, go to: www.comic-con.org.
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10 Biggest Mistakes Made by Christians in the Entertainment Industry
By Phil Cooke, Special to the ASSIST News Service SANTA MONICA, CA (ANS) -
As a television and film producer and director based in Los Angeles, California – the home of global entertainment giants like Warner Brothers Studios, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, NBC, and more, I meet a lot of Christians who come to Hollywood to seek their fame and fortune. There’s no question that Christian media professionals can make an impact in the entertainment industry, and we shouldn’t shy away from putting our imprint as people of faith in that arena. But over the years I’ve also seen Christians who come to Hollywood unprepared for the difficult challenges of making their mark in the business.
This is probably the most competitive business in the world, and in Hollywood you meet thousands of actors, directors, writers, and producers, who are constantly out of work. Therefore, to make a mark for God, we have to first make sure we have the experience, the background, the vision, and the skills for moving into this difficult but potentially fruitful arena.
The following list contains the most common mistakes I see with Christians who want to “move to LA” and get a job in the secular entertainment industry. Learn to overcome these 10 areas, and you’ll have a far better chance of success:
#1 Explicit Style – Just because we’re Christians, we don’t have to produce explicitly Christian programs. When Jesus told parables, he never mentioned church, and only rarely even mentioned “God.” Learn to be subtle and win the audience with creative and compelling programming. Remember – your first priority is to make a good movie or TV program.
#2 Poor Writing – Learn the art of storytelling, whether or not you want to be a writer. Every member of the production team needs to be able to recognize good writing. The fact is – most movies by Christians fail because they’re just not good stories.
#3 Being Out of Touch with the Culture – Christian producers often don’t keep up with current TV, movies, internet, or graphic styles. Trends change faster every year, so stay on top of what’s working, and what people are watching.
#4 Poor “Branding” – Know the importance of “branding” and how it can work for you personally as well as for the project. You can influence people’s perceptions of you and your projects – so learn the techniques of branding and put them to work for you!
#5 Christian “Lingo” – Check the dialogue in most projects written by Christians. We have to dump Christian “lingo” and learn to speak in a language and style this culture understands.
#6 Not Knowing How Hollywood Works – Sure they create some lame stuff, but entertainment is America’s #1 global export, so somebody in Hollywood knows what they’re doing. Take the time to learn how the system works before you waste months or years banging on doors. Read the trades, and understand the odds. Is the studio system best for you? Maybe you should try the independent route.
#7 Ignorance of Financing – Most Christian producers are plagued with lack of funds for projects and equipment. Spend time learning financial skills, and start cultivating financial relationships. 3 things will change your view about money: * You don’t have a money problem – you have a wisdom problem. (Study the life of King Solomon). * Learn to Value and Prioritize your Time. The greatest difference between the successful and unsuccessful is their opinion of time. * Understand the power of favor. God has placed people in your life who can open remarkable doors for you – seek them out.
#8 Not Doing Your Homework – Read the trades, check the Internet, do research. Know who you’re pitching to, or who you’re meeting with. What do they want? What have they done in the past? It destroys your credibility when a person you’re pitching to realizes you didn’t even take the time to find out their needs and interests.
#9 Lack of Effective Marketing – We live in a culture where “perception is more important than reality,” so use that to your advantage. Know the difference between the impact of a resume vs. a demo reel and having appropriate presentation materials. Learn to present yourself with confidence. Start investing in yourself!
#10 Not Knowing How to be a Problem Solver – Your life will change when you realize your value in the workplace is in direct proportion to your ability to solve problems for other people. Forget hourly rates, fees, or salaries – learn to solve problems, and you’ll never be out of a job. Understand that the size of the problem you solve determines your salary, never discuss problems with people who can’t help you solve them, and people who can make a difference for you are watching you solve problems.
So go out there, solve a few problems, and make a difference!
Phil Cooke, Ph.D., is a media consultant to ministries and churches worldwide. He publishes a free monthly e-mail newsletter, “Ideas for Real Change.”
Find out more at www.philcooke.com