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Box Office Truth: Christian Media Leader Ted Baehr Tells Screenwriters that Moviegoers Prefer Movies with Faith and Values
June 4, 2009: Santa Fe, New Mexico – Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide®, the family guide to movies and entertainment (www.movieguide.org), encouraged screenwriters at the 11th Annual Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe, N.M. this weekend that family movies with faith and values do best at the box office but adult movies with graphic sex, violence and nudity make much less money.
“People want good to triumph over evil,” he noted, showing them detailed charts on what kind of movies earned the most money at the box office. “They want to be inspired.”
For example, he showed them that movies with inspiring Christian content and values did thousands of times better than the average movie that explicitly attacked those values.
Dr. Baehr also gave the screenwriters some tips on writing their scripts.
He told them that faith and values should be build into the “fabric” of their scripts, not tacked on as an afterthought.
“Story is everything in movies,” Dr. Baehr added. “Character is more important in television. Movies are plot driven. Everything has to revolve around story. Use dialogue to build conflict. Do not manipulate your characters. Have the humility to work at your craft.”
Dr. Baehr said screenwriters have a responsibility to their audience.
“People respond to what they’re watching,” he said. “The smarter your child is, the more likely they will pick up media violence. You don’t want to give them the impression that the bad guy gets away with violence. Little children will get their fears from the media. We have a responsibility to care about our children.”
Every year, Movieguide® hands out the $100,000 Epiphany Prizes for Inspiring Movies & TV and the $50,000 Kairos Prizes for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by Beginning Screenwriters, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, at the Annual Movieguide® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Box Office Report to the Entertainment Industry
Dr. Baehr is chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC) ministry and publisher of Movieguide® (www.movieguide.org), CFTVC’s family guide to movies and entertainment. CFTVC and Movieguide® are an international non-profit ministry dedicated to “redeeming the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public about the influence of the entertainment media.”
For more information, visit www.movieguide.org or call 1-888-248-6689.
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Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Ted Baehr, please call Sandra Bell at (770) 886-8598.