This Successful Hollywood Producer Saw God Turn His Life Upside Down
Editor’s note: Chris Zarpas produced the Epiphany Prize winning GRACE UNPLUGGED. Before this, he was a producer on major Hollywood movies, such as THE SANDLOT and Ridley Scotts G.I. JANE. In a conversation with Ted Baehr, Chris reveals how God completely transformed his life and his view of success.
After many years in the movie business, I had achieved my dream. I’d gone from being a theater usher at an engagement of Alien to the president/CEO of Scott Free, and had done everything this little kid from Virginia had set out to do, but my increasing success in Hollywood was matched only by an increasing sense of unhappiness and emptiness. One day, shortly after receiving a Golden Globe for work I had done with Ridley Scott, I was more miserable than ever, and I went to the bookstore, and I bought the first Bible I ever had that didn’t have pictures to color in it.
At that time, I had all the things the world tells you are going to make you happy. I had a home in Malibu and an exotic car and that Golden Globe, yet I was miserable. So I sat on the beach in Malibu across from my house, and I read that book, and in a very short amount of time I came to discover what it was that I was missing.
I recall this Scripture more than any others, and that Scripture is Matthew 16:26: “For what does it profit a man to gain the world, if he loses his own soul?” Those words struck me hard.
I took a meeting at Lionsgate during what was supposed to be a vacation, and I was introduced to two filmmakers with whom I made the movie Grace Unplugged.
Before I began that process of research and trying to determine whether or not I would return to the movie business, I stumbled across a website called Movieguide.org. I was amazed at the quality of the site and the information there and so inspired by the idea that someone would dedicate his life to a ministry that would help people spread the Gospel through motion pictures and help the motion picture industry redeem itself by creating morally redemptive, uplifting entertainment.
This was a miracle to me, and I began to correspond with Ted, and I soon discovered he was a very wise man. He gave very freely of his time and his counsel, and I went on shortly afterward to make the movie Grace Unplugged. For that success I want to thank the writer, director, and my partners.
Last, but in no way least, I’ve got to thank Ted. Because without the pioneering and selfless work that he’s done as an overnight success in 30 years, it would have been impossible to make a movie like Grace Unplugged. So Ted, I just want to thank you very, very much.
Do you enjoy articles like this?
Click here to become a monthly partner and receive a movie for free!