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

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

Edge-Poster-Final(Smallest)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.
Rick