One of the perplexing things about speaking at the film and media departments at numerous Christian universities across the country is discovering the vast majority of the students want to be in production – and most of that group want to be actors or directors. It’s understandable because those are the positions that get the most publicity and celebrity worship. But the truth is, if you’re a Christian interested in movies or TV – particularly to impact culture – your most influential career choice could be
I’ve been writing a “How Hollywood Works” series of posts because I’ve discovered one of the biggest reasons creative people fail is because they simply don’t know how the entertainment and media industries work. If you haven’t read my previous posts, here’s Part 1 and Part 2. Today, I continue the series with three great pieces of advice:
A few weeks ago I started a series on how Hollywood works where I collected quotes from friends in the entertainment industry sharing their insights on breaking in and becoming successful. I’ve discovered that an enormous number of projects fail – not because they’re not good ideas from talented people – but because the filmmakers, writers, or other creative people simply don’t know how the industry works. So from time to time I’ll continue dishing up some great advice from talented professionals about producing, directing, acting, writing, and all the other avenues to making your dream happen:
Most of the calls, inquiries, and pitches I hear from faith-based filmmakers are flawed because they just don’t know how Hollywood works. You’d never launch a career as a lawyer without knowing how the legal system works, or become a brain surgeon without the right medical training; but when it comes to media and entertainment, everyone with an idea thinks they can get a film or TV studio to
I get regular calls and emails from up-and-coming filmmakers and producers who live in places like Des Moines, Omaha, or Albuquerque, and want advice about pitching a TV series or movie idea to Hollywood. Some have even gone to the trouble of filming a entire pilot. Many of you reading this are in a similar position – you have a dream to produce a TV series or movie, but you live somewhere outside of the major media centers of Los Angeles and New York. So what do you do?
Most Christians think Hollywood is a lost cause. In spite of the growing presence of ministry outreaches to the industry, as well as more Christians than ever working in media and entertainment, it’s easy to see after viewing some movies and television programming, that we’re not making much progress. But before we react from emotions, let’s actually take a look at the role Christianity played in some major movies this past year:
My friend DeVon Franklin was the Senior Vice President of Columbia Tristar Pictures in Hollywood, and then launched his own movie production company. If you haven’t read his book “Produced by Faith” then I highly recommend it. I recently asked him his opinion of the single most important skill it takes to reach the top in the entertainment and media industry. His answer?
I’ve written about resilience, and how important it is not give up on your ideas, your projects, and your dreams – even in the face of opposition. I used my friend Producer Ken Wales as an example of someone who pitched a movie idea for years and years and eventually made it happen. But the truth is, there are situations when it’s actually better to let go of an idea and move on – even if you’ve spent years developing and writing it. The problem is –