The Hillsong Movie “Let Hope Rise” Will Be Released Nationwide May 29


I’ve been privileged to be an Executive Producer on the feature film “Let Hope Rise,” that tells the story of the world’s most popular worship band – Hillsong United, based at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia.  The picture is finally locked, and as Deadline Hollywood reports, Relativity Media will be releasing the movie to theaters nationwide starting May 29th.  We’re proud of

The History of Bible Movies


During what’s been called “The Year of the Bible Movie” I discovered a fascinating site called “Bible Films Blog” focused on the history of Bible films.  It’s a very interesting resource, and includes some of the earliest films on the life of Christ, including “From the Manger to the Cross” from 1912.  Back on the eve of the Millennium, I directed a global TV special that featured a music video with Michael W. Smith singing “To The King Eternal” and we shot the video in an

The Influence Lab is Here!


You’re one of the first to see our new nonprofit initiative called “The Influence Lab.” As you scroll through the website, you’ll see what it’s about, but essentially, our goal is to radically re-think global missions in the digital age. The truth is, the vast mission effort is still based on a 200 year old model. But in an age where other countries send more missionaries to the US than the US sends out, our goal isn’t to send people from here, it’s to

Five Keys To Shooting Better Videos and Short Films

Moldova Photos

I was shooting videos and short films back in the days of half-inch black and white, reel to reel recording. Since that time I’ve written, directed, and produced at least a thousand for a long list of projects and clients. During that time I’ve learned a few things about producing videos that connect with audiences and inspire them to action. Here’s five key secrets:

If You Love Jesus, “Like” This Post


The title of this post is one of the dumbest, most worthless phrases I see in social media today. It’s a cheap, easy way to jack up your “likes” without offering any real substance whatsoever. I’m ranting, because I see it used way too often on the social media pages of churches, nonprofits, and ministries. First – it’s puts the viewer in an awkward position: “What? Of course I love Jesus, so I must “like” it.”  But are you really engaging the viewer? Are they viewing your content, watching your videos, or participating in your online project?  Second –

Just Because You’re Productive, Doesn’t Mean You’re Creative


I have to admit being a bit of a Productivity Nerd. I have numerous cross-platform to-do apps on my computer, including Wunderlist, Things, and OmniFocus. (Currently, OmniFocus is my favorite.) I’ve read all of David Allen’s books, track with my friend Michael Hyatt, and follow the guys over at Asian Efficiency. In my role as CEO, managing our team at Cooke Pictures, and working with our clients, productivity matters. It helps me keep track of what needs to be done, and keeps me on point to make it happen. As David Allen says,

Two “Unique” Christmas Gifts


I have two great Christmas gift ideas for this year, and you can order them in plenty of time for Christmas.  My latest book is “Unique:  Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media.”  If you’re a leader, artist, filmmaker, creative, pastor, business or nonprofit leader, you need this book on your shelf.  A number of leaders are buying multiple copies for their leadership team, communications team, and board of directors.  This is the most definitive book on

Will Your Email Trail Come Back to Haunt You?


Last year, a writer approached me with a screenplay, asking me to help him get his film made. Fair enough. But I made it clear that our company,  Cooke Pictures is not a funding company in a position to finance films. He said fine. Then I read the screenplay and realized pretty quickly it wasn’t something I was interested in, so I kindly told him thanks, but we weren’t interested at this time. At that point, he unleashed some pretty nasty things, and followed up with an email. He wrote that if I was a REAL Christian, I’d