Creative LeadershipMedia ProductionChristian Media

The Biola Media Conference Report

If you attended the Biola Media Conference at CBS Studios this past weekend, I’d love to hear about your experience. From my perspective, it was really terrific. The quality of speakers, the format, the sponsors – I enjoyed the entire day. We had a great “reality TV” panel, including the producers of “The Dog Whisperer,” “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” “Intervention,” and the winner of the “On the Lot” program created by Steven Spielberg. We also had leaders in the digital media world as well as established producers from traditional media. Phil Vischer of “Veggie Tales” fame told his story, which was powerful, and we ended the day with my interview with Todd Komarnicki – producer of the Will Ferrell Christmas blockbuster “Elf” and the upcoming summer release
“Meet Dave” starring Eddie Murphy.

The professional level of the speakers – coupled with insights from their Christian experience was invaluable to the more than 450 attendees. If you attended, let me know your reactions to the conference, and if you didn’t attend, you should do whatever it takes to get her next year.

I have to admit, my wife Kathleen was the co-director of the conference, along with Peggy Rupple, and they did a remarkable job – making it the best and most informative conference in Biola’s history.

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  1. Phil, I agree that this was a wonderful event.  Todd's session was my favorite…I loved his insights on producing, and was moved to see the depth of his faith as it intersects all parts of his life.

    Phil Vischer's story was MOVING…and I already knew it.  

    I think I'd like BMC to get back to the art of storytelling…that is something that translates into all mediums.  A good story works in the local AMC, Imax or YouTube. 

  2. Hi Phil, the conference was inspiring and educational. Your interview with Todd was definitely a highlight. His authenticity and genuine faith caused me to listen more intently to his advice and passion. I also thought you asked him some well-targeted questions, although he didn't answer them all. My other favorite speakers were David Kinnaman (I'm going to get his book, UnChristian, ASAP), Chuck Slocum (net-neutrality, I certainly hope so) and Steve Tompkins (great conspiracy theories ;). I am also a fan of Anita Renfroe so it was a pleasant surprise to see her there and hear more about the power of YouTube. The setup of the conference was also visually pleasing. I liked how the sound stage was decorated so that it wasn't so stark yet you still knew you were on a sound stage. The audio visual team also did a great job. I liked the video background for the speaker's name on the projection screen. The movement made it more interesting. I wasn't bored at any point in the conference (high praise for media professionals). As for sponsors I really enjoyed Capacity's promo. At first I thought it was introducing a Christian anime show (I wish someone would do Christian-themed anime. There is a waiting audience. Go to, it wasn't, but still the clip was captivating. Thanks for the great experience!

  3. I thought the conference was amazing. My school sent me, and I had no idea what to expect. The excitement of being at cbs studios was enough to have me on the edge of my seat the whole day. The speakers were phenomenal. I think I enjoyed Phil Vischer and his presentation the most. It was also inspiring, and challenging. To be able to give up ones dream for God is a hard thing to do. But is an essential thing to be able to do. Lookin forward to next year

  4. Phil, Biola was excellent! It felt good to be back and able to interact with people I met last year and meet new people this year.

    The conference was very informative – as usual. I was really impacted by Phil Vischer’s story and by your interview with Todd. The power of a well told story is truly amazing. Just listening to Phil made my eyes misty as I began to take inventory of my own heart; and Todd’s passion and spirit of excellence was very inspiring.

    I also liked the mother who is the comedian as well as the Reality Television Panel discussion. I must admit, I watched an episode of “The Dog Whisperer” (the next day) just because I listened to the woman who produces the show and liked her responses. (And the show is pretty good!”)

    The networking opportunities were priceless. I met quite a few people who share similar vision and was very encouraged. And I bought so many books that my bag ripped! lol. By the way I started reading your book and can’t put it down!

    I also wrote about the experience on my APWIII blog.

    Holly… check out this pre-vizualization video for an Anime about Jesus. It’s got potential.

    Allen Paul Weaver III

    Author, Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers

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