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Meet Joel ‘God’ side

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Family Info, Inspirational | 0 comments

Meet Joel ‘God’ side

We all have moments etched into our memories – some like the gentle pattern of rain on glass, others like butterflies in a meadow, and some that are seared into our minds by the branding iron of hardship or trauma. I just had an experience like that. I remember clearly a scene from the movie ‘Meet Joe Black’, where Brad Pit is crossing the road and a car smashes headlong into him, tossing him in the air like a child’s rag doll. I remember how shocked I was – the car came from nowhere and changed Joe’s life – or death, forever. I just witnessed a similar scene, only it wasn’t in the movies. It was real life, and the rag doll was my 13 year old boy. Our family of eight enjoys the outdoors. I am a volunteer ski patrol at Mt. Baldy in southern California, and I have taught 5 of my 6 kids how to ski, (one is still too young) and we like to hike and camp.   So when our church had organized a trip to the local mountains, we were excited about going. We have many close friends there – much like family. All of us, and our kids were having a wonderful time connecting with nature and each other and appreciating how clear the stars are at night up in the mountains. This morning two of my boys convinced me to go with them and some friends on mountain bikes to a lake because they needed an ‘adult’ to go along. My son Joel couldn’t find his helmet that morning so I made him wear his sister’s pink one. He didn’t care as long as he got to go. We rode along the trail from our camp site that led to the main road – a ‘T’ intersection, with a blind curve on one side. Like most kids, mine had had it drilled into their heads never to cross any road or parking lot without looking both ways. And when I am with them, my usual deal as a dad is to not let anyone cross until I give the go-ahead. We could all hear a distant vehicle approaching fast. The kids amused themselves by trying to guess the nature of the vehicle – one said a pick-up truck, another a car, etc. It turned out to be a loud pick-up truck. I also noticed the sound of a car coming from the other direction – the blind curve. Before I could say anything, the other truck was speeding by and it was difficult to hear anything. I knew the kids were anxious to get across and start up the trail to the lake. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my son wait for the loud truck to pass and just dart forward immediately after. I shouted ‘STOP!’, but it was too late. He was in the middle of the road just as an SUV rounded the blind curve at 45 miles per hour. We all heard the brakes screech and saw the car swerve away into the other lane to avoid Joel. And Joel, panicked by the SUV screeching, pedaled faster to get across the road. Unfortunately, that put him directly in front of the car for the impact. You...

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The Price of a Poor Decision

Posted by on Nov 19, 2015 in Film Info, Inspirational | 0 comments

The Price of a Poor Decision

Have you ever insisted you could do something you really couldn’t (or shouldn’t) try on your own?  I believe we all struggle with this – from aging parents who insist on driving long past the point of being able to do it safely to young whippersnappers who have something to prove. I guess this decision of mine fell more into the ‘whippersnapper’ camp, although I think it had more to do with stubbornness and less to do with proving anything.  But I digress.  While filming ‘Thin Ice’, I had injured my knee the day before our main filming was to take place.  I had been taken to the clinic and treated by a doctor who said he ‘didn’t want to see me again’. The next day, we were preparing to film some ski footage.  This is where I made my fateful choice.  Not only was I going to go back on skis, I was going to do the hand-held camera shots.  My reasoning went like this: ‘Well, I’m the best skier on the crew, so I’m the best choice.’  My reasoning DIDN’T include the part about my having hurt my knee the day before, and maybe one of the less expert crew skiers should handle it. My cameraman also suggested he adjust my bindings to release easier – take it off the ‘expert’ notch.  Of course I insisted I would be fine and that wasn’t necessary.  And of course, I managed to wipe out, my bindings didn’t release and I blew out BOTH of my knees. Had I used better judgment, I wouldn’t have had to face the wrath of the doctor who had warned me.  I wouldn’t have to have had 5 operations.  Or spend 4 months on crutches and two years in physical therapy.  I wouldn’t have had to do a lot of things.  But NOOOOOOO, I knew better.  Or did I? Sometimes the best decisions come from listening to those around you.  Sometimes the best decision is the one to LISTEN to those close to...

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Response to Variety Article About Mark Burnett, Faith-Based Films, and Culture

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Film Info | 0 comments

Response to Variety Article About Mark Burnett, Faith-Based Films, and Culture

I just read an article in the Daily Variety (http://variety.com/2014/voices/columns/heres-some-advice-for-mark-burnett-as-the-prolific-tv-producer-embarks-on-faith-based-campaign-1201129663/), and found it interesting in the sense that the writer is basically warning anyone who wants to make films that appeal to the ‘religious’ marketplace that the ‘non-religious’ segment of the market will…push back? Because we aren’t sensitive to the ‘priorities of dissenters’??? Does that mean that non-religious folks will not support us financially by going to our films? Does this writer really think that Christian producers are banking – i.e., including in their business plans a segment of the market that is NOT interested in what we produce? You cannot make a movie dealing with Christianity in any way – whether a historical film like ‘Son of God’ or a contemporary movie dealing with Christian themes without alienating a certain percentage of the population. Christ said if they hated him, they’re going to hate us. Now – please don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying I could care less about what the ‘priorities of dissenters’ are – in many ways I include content that points to God in my work TO appeal to non-believers. At least the ones who are open spiritually to God. For those that are not, there is nothing I do that will please them, and trying to base a faith-based film or business plan on their priorities is crazy. You have to base it on the priorities of the people who consider themselves Christians, or who are at least open to talking about it or watching something ‘God-centered’. I really don’t know what the point of this whole article is. It simply seems an open letter to Mark Burnett – who has seen a great deal of success putting God-centered media out there, to consider backing off of his God-centeredness if he wants the atheist audience to embrace his stuff. In some ways by appealing to Mark ‘rationally’ to tone down his message if he wants the whole world of movie goers to like his films. Since when did studios ever get the whole world of moviegoers to embrace ANY film? For every Spiderman lover, there are people who think comic book characters are stupid. For every Rom-Com, there are droves of guys who steer clear. And for every faith-based film, there are plenty of ‘dissenters’ who wouldn’t go if you paid them. It is simply the way the market works. We create faith-based media in the hopes of pointing people towards God and helping them understand His love, perhaps drawing them into the kingdom in the process. if we do our jobs with excellence and fine craftsmanship, we may have success with our core audience and even win over some of those dissenters. It’s not our job to lead people to the Lord or change their persuasion. Ultimately, that is the role of the Holy Spirit. But if we can somehow point the way by dealing with spiritual issues honestly, with conviction and without compromise in our work, then we will have accomplished a great deal. I say ‘keep up the good work, Mark! Sorry for such a long rant. But this issue never ceases to amaze me as to how wrong the nay-sayers can be....

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THIN ICE & ON the EDGE: Whatever Happened To….

Posted by on Nov 13, 2011 in Film Info | 0 comments

THIN ICE & ON the EDGE: Whatever Happened To….

As the director of both ‘Thin Ice’ and ‘On The Edge’, I have tried to keep in touch with the actors whom played all the characters in these movies, and so I’ll fill you in on what I know. RICK GARSIDE (director) I have continued to work in the faith-based film world, only now I have a wife and six kids along for the ride.  I’m very thankful to have been able to stay active in movies, even though it has a lot of ups and downs. VINCE:  Vince, aka, Jay Roberts, married and has a daughter, and is now working in the LAPD as a Lieutenant. NICK:  Mark Parra continues to act and also owns ‘House of Champions’, a martial arts training facility, where he helps students of all ages. XALTON:  Troy Glennon – I last visited Troy in the pacific northwest, where he was planning his next big trip.  He’s as outgoing and adventurous as his character Xalton ever was. TRISH:  Alyson Davis (Thin Ice) – I lost track of Alyson.  If you ever read this Alyson – please drop me a note.  Leslie Ryan (On The Edge) Leslie continued to act and has been active in the entertainment world. WOODY:  Kenny McMurphy has a wife and 3 kids, and spent some time in New Zealand as a missionary.  He is a worship leader at his local church and loves music. SHAWNA:  Amy Lyndon (Thin Ice) continues to develop her career as an actress, as well as owns an acting school to help others along on their own journey in the film business.  Dyanne Dirosario (On The Edge) – She and her husband have 2 boys and run a teambuilding & corporate entertainment company. ROSS:  Jared Moses went into law shortly after filming ‘On The Edge’.  He and his wife have twin boys, and he is now a DA.   (What a great last name for someone practicing law!) It’s amazing how much can happen and how time flies over the years.  Every day is precious.  Don’t waste...

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