By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher
Christian investors are starting to look to produce feature films and entertainment that will both give them a return and influence the culture. Since we have been sounding this trumpet since 1978, we’re glad that people are starting to take the culture seriously.
It’s true that a few movies made outside of the Hollywood system have succeeded beyond anybody’s dreams, including FIREPROOF and, of course, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Most independent movies, however, average less than a million at the box office. A few eke out a little bit more, but the key to success is understanding the rules of the Entertainment Industry.
No one reading this article, I hope, would hire a janitor, a bookkeeper, or a taxi driver to perform their heart operation. But even so, the first mistake investors from outside the Hollywood Hills make is that they listen to wannabes, bottom feeders and even con men. They even invest in these people’s movies that have no chance at success at the box office.
Having worked as a LS attorney at the U.S Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, in the Securities Fraud Dept., I am deeply concerned that people don’t get taken, especially by the type of people we used to prosecute.
Filmmaking is a craft. Each of the many jobs on a major production takes years of practice, talent, and genius. If you want to make a great movie, you hire a great storyteller, who is not the same as a great producer (whom you should also hire), who is not the same as a great director (whom you should also hire). Since our goal ay MOVIEGUIDE(r) is to redeem the media, we want investors with faith and values to succeed.
To do so, we have several tools, a detailed MRI-type comprehensive analysis of the box office known as the Annual Movieguide® Report to the Entertainment Industry. It can show you what succeeds and how to succeed. To augment this, we have a book that takes you through everything from development to screenwriting to production to distribution to marketing, called HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL). The book features the top people in Hollywood giving their keys to success, such as the former chairman of Disney and the former president of Warner Bros. Finally, we have an intensive course that helps you understand everything you need to know in a five day period from 9 in the morning until 10 at night. One of the best directors in Christendom said it was the most important course he’s ever taken, and he wishes he had known 20 years ago what he knows now that he has taken the course.
Every time a major investor fails, people leave the entertainment industry disgusted and turn it over to the nonbelievers who are willing to learn how the system works. We want believers to succeed. We want them to win the $100,000 Epiphany Prize. And, you can’t do that with your eyes wide shut.
Please don’t be con-fused about Hollywood and the entertainment industry!