All posts from “May 2010”

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May 27, 2010

R.I.P. Art Linkletter

The multi-talented radio/TV man will be best remembered for his interviews with kids

Art Linkletter, who encouraged both kids and grownups to say the "darndest things" during his decades as a genial but gently mischievous television personality, has died at age 97.

This video is a terrific remembrance of Linkletter at his best -- interviewing the kids. The best line comes about 2:20 into the video when Art says to a young boy, "You're a diplomat, aren't you?" The boy, without skipping a beat, replies, "No, I'm a Catholic Baptist!" Enjoy:

May 26, 2010

Bono Avoids Paralysis; Tour Cancelled

U2 frontman's emergency surgery fixes partial paralysis in leg; singer must rest for months

U2 frontman Bono underwent emergency back surgery Friday in Munich, and today the surgeon and others are saying that without the operation, the singer could have faced permanent paralysis.

The surgeon said Bono had "partial paralysis" in one leg, according to Irish Central. Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt said "Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve. On review of his MRI scan, I realized there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not suffice. I recommended Bono have emergency spine surgery with Professor Tonn at Munich's LMU University Hospital on Friday. . . . The ligament surrounding the disc had an eight millimeter tear and during surgery we discovered fragments of the disc had traveled into the spinal canal.
"This surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis. Bono is now much better, with complete recovery of his motor deficit. The prognosis is excellent, but to obtain a sustainable result, he must now enter a period of rehabilitation."

Which means two months of rest and postponement of the rest of the band's 360 Tour this year; make-up dates have not yet been scheduled.

The Edge, U2's guitarist, joked that Bono will now get more rest than he's had "in decades," but said that the singer's recurrent back problems had grown quite serious. "He [Bono] was clearly in shock about the implications of the injury," The Edge said. "Maybe he just overdid it and hurt himself. Luckily enough he did realise at a certain point, I think when he could no longer walk, that he needed to go to the doctor. Had he not done anything about it, it could have been serious and possibly permanent."

May 24, 2010

'There Are Still a Lot of Questions'

Chris Seay found Sunday's LOST finale satisfying on some counts, but not on others

Chris Seay, author of The Gospel According to Lost, offers his thoughts on Sunday night's finale, "The End." (SPOILERS AHEAD). Seay says he felt the success of the finale depended on the ability of the storytellers "to weave these two narratives together, and I felt like the finale fell short in that. There are still a lot of questions [including] about whether the island is purgatory. It leaves us with a lot of pieces to put together. It just wasn't what the storytelling geek in me wanted." Seay does note that he enjoyed the spiritual focus, and adds that though he wouldn't want the show to be "Christian propaganda," he was somewhat disappointed in the mishmash of religions -- "all these spiritual paths" -- that showed up at the end. "To have all these religions literally laid on top of each other felt disingenuous, even a bit offensive." Check out the rest of Seay's comments here:

May 24, 2010

'Just Going to Slice Their Throats'

Christian band claims they were spared death by general in recent visit to Myanmar


Bluetree, a Christian rock band from Ireland, claims that a general wanted to kill them in a recent standoff in Myanmar, where the band was visiting. The band, known for its radio hit "God of This City" (also covered by Chris Tomlin), had snuck into the country, knowing the possible danger.

According to a recent post on CNN's Belief blog, "high-ranking members of two different military units were pointing at [the band] and yelling in a language they didn't understand, according to lead singer Aaron Boyd. Their interpreter clammed up and the president of the NGO that had brought the band into the country said, 'This is bad. This is really, really bad.' Later, after leaving the country, the band was informed that their fates were being debated: 'We were told later their general said we're not even going to waste our bullets with them, we're just going to slice their throats,' Boyd said. 'Bottom line was our guy, whatever he did, whatever he said, managed to calm the whole thing down.'"

May 22, 2010

'I Don't Believe God Hates Me Any More'

So says former Christian pop star Ray Boltz as he resumes career, releases new CD


Singer Ray Boltz, who came out as gay in September 2008, tells the New York Times, “I don’t believe God hates me anymore. I always thought if people knew the true me, they’d be disgusted, and that included God. But for all the doubts, there’s this new belief that God accepts me and created me, and there’s peace.”

After more than five years of self-imposed absence from stage and CD, the now openly gay Boltz, who lives in South Florida with his partner, Franco Sperduti, has released his first album since coming out. True includes songs about same-sex marriage (“Don’t Tell Me Who to Love”), and bias crimes (“Swimming Hole”). The song "Who Would Jesus Love?" includes these lyrics:

Would He only love the ones / Who looked the same as me / Would He only offer hope / When He saw similarity / Would He leave the others waiting / Like a stranger at the gate / Would He discriminate.

Boltz performs these days with just a guitar, while Sperduti is his booking agent. He has played at gay pride events and at liberal Christian churches. Boltz told the newspaper, “When you start to live an authentic life, you stop pretending. When I started writing these songs, I didn’t know if it’d be for a record. I didn’t know if anyone would even hear these songs. But I realized I could write whatever I want, and that opened up the floodgates.”

May 21, 2010

Benefit Raises $62K for Flooded Nashville Church

Brandon Heath, Jason Ingram stage "Love Your Neighbor" concert for El Shaddai Church


El Shaddai Christian Church, a small but growing Hispanic congregation in South Nashville, was devastated by recent flooding the area, as six feet of water poured into the church on May 2. A handful of local Christian musicians came to their aid earlier this week with a benefit concert that raised almost $62,000 for the church.

Brandon Heath and Jason Ingram hosted their third annual "Love Your Neighbor" benefit concert, which also featured performances from tobyMac, Mike Donehy of Tenth Avenue North, Britt Nicole, and a surprise appearance from Amy Grant. Heath said the event, held at Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, "felt like a big family piled into the living room to share songs, stories, and all that we have. I'm immensely grateful for the generosity of Nashville, and those watching online. Above all, God was glorified and out neighbors were loved."

Pastor German Castro of El Shaddai Church, who was rescued from the building as the flood waters rose, said, "We've experienced an outpouring of God's grace through the love of the body of Christ. . . . You were his hands and feet, you saw us through his eyes, and cared enough to know that we could not build up again alone."

See a brief video, featuring Heath, Ingram, and Castro, describing the situation below. Donations are still being accepted for El Shaddai's rebuilding. Make checks out to El Shaddai Christian Church and mail to El Shaddai Church, c/o Flood Relief, 10604 Concord Rd, Brentwood, TN 37027.

Nashville flood relief donations are also being accepted through MusiCares. Jars of Clay is helping the MusiCares effort by giving away five free versions of its hit song "Flood" (including a terrific version by Sara Groves) to anyone who donates $1 to the effort.

May 21, 2010

My Wish List for the LOST Finale

Chris Seay offers his thoughts on Tuesday's episode, "What They Died For."

Chris Seay, author of The Gospel According to Lost, offers his thoughts on the vital developments of Tuesday night's episode, "What They Died For," and what he hopes to see in Sunday night's finale. (SPOILERS AHEAD) Seay says he really enjoyed the scene of Jacob talking to the four candidates around the campfire: "I chose all of you because you were flawed, you were all like me, alone and looking for something you couldn't find, and you need this place as much as it needs you." Seay also laid out a "laundry list" of what he hopes to see in Sunday's finale: Aaron's birth, Jack & Kate and Desmond & Penny together, to know that Jin and Sun's child is cared for, and finally, the name of Jacob's brother. "What do you want to know?" Seay asks. Put your answers in the comments below.

May 18, 2010

The Redemption of Sayid Jarrah

Chris Seay offers his thoughts on Sayid's actions in "The Candidate."


Chris Seay, author of The Gospel According to Lost, offers his thoughts on the character of Sayid Jarrah. (SPOILERS AHEAD) Seay eulogizes 'one of the most introspective, deeply spiritual characters on the show,' the Iraqi soldier who gave his life so his fellow castaways might have a better chance at survival. Though this season we watched him become 'a bit of a drone,' he says, in the end he was 'a man who knew evil -- who'd stared it in the face -- but he didn't find evil as something outside of himself. He wasn't afraid of what lay in the jungle; he was afraid of what lay within.' That recognition of his own capacity for evil led Sayid to seek redemption through true love, which he ultimately accomplished. Watch Seay's vlog below for the rest of his insights:

May 14, 2010

Help Jars of Clay Assist Flood Victims

Buy five versions of 'Flood' for a buck, and help those who've been washed out in Nashville


From Jars of Clay's website:

Dear Friends,

On May 1st and 2nd of 2010, our hometown of Nashville and its surrounding areas suffered a devastating flood. The impact of this extremely rare event was felt by us and countless others in our community, resulting in loss of life and billions of dollars in damage to property and infrastructure.

In an effort to help those who have lost everything, we have put together an EP with five different versions of our song, "Flood." This 5-song EP is available for download for only $1 at 100% of the proceeds from your purchase will go directly to charities aiding in flood relief efforts in the Nashville community, administered by MusiCares Nashville Flood Relief.

Our goal is to raise $100,000 and we need your help!

- Jars of Clay

May 14, 2010

First 'Dawn Treader' Poster Revealed

Aslan, Reepicheep, and a reflection of the ship highlight the film's new one-sheet


Fox Walden has released the first one-sheet poster for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third film in the Chronicles of Narnia series, coming to theaters this December.

The image here pretty much speaks for itself -- Aslan's face, the mouse Reepicheep standing atop the title, the Dawn Treader reflected in Aslan's eye. And the text: "Return to Magic. Return to Hope. Return to Narnia." All well and good, except for one thing, IMHO: The heavy emphasis on 3-D. The type size for those letter is almost as big as the word "Narnia" itself.

Sigh. I knew this film was going to be in 3-D, and have just kind of ignored that point for months. But now that I see the term so prominent on the poster, it's right there, in your face, and there's no getting around it. I agree wholeheartedly with Roger Ebert's essay -- about why he hates 3-D -- which we posted earlier today.

Narnia doesn't need a gimmick. Just tell the story and show us the characters -- who are already quite three-dimensional -- and by Aslan's mane, everything else will take care of itself.

Despite that gripe, I have high hopes for this movie, after being somewhat disappointed by The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and quite disappointed in Prince Caspian. I think Walden has righted the ship, so to speak, with a renewed commitment to the source material, and based on some early buzz, I've got a good feeling. And, of course, I don't have to see it in 3-D; I'll enjoy one of my favorite fictional worlds -- and some of my favorite characters -- in two dimensions just fine, thank you!

(Hat tip to Rachel at NarniaWeb.)

May 14, 2010

'Why I Hate 3-D (and You Should Too)'

The always spot-on Roger Ebert nails it in an essay for Newsweek

"3-D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension," film critic Roger Ebert writes in last week's issue of Newsweek. "Hollywood's current crazy stampede toward it is suicidal. It adds nothing essential to the moviegoing experience. For some, it is an annoying distraction. For others, it creates nausea and headaches. It is driven largely to sell expensive projection equipment and add a $5 to $7.50 surcharge on already expensive movie tickets. Its image is noticeably darker than standard 2-D. It is unsuitable for grown-up films of any seriousness. It limits the freedom of directors to make films as they choose. For moviegoers in the PG-13 and R ranges, it only rarely provides an experience worth paying a premium for. That's my position."

Preach it, brother. Read the rest of Ebert's essay -- including his nine well-stated arguments against 3-D movies -- here.

May 13, 2010

Britnification: Goodbye, Hannah Montana

Is Miley Cyrus trying too hard to grow up too fast? Looks like it from here.


A Los Angeles Times blogger calls it the "Britnification" of Miley Cyrus. Another publication says she's gone Lady Gaga. Entertainment Weekly says it's "Death to Hannah Montana."

Whatever one's perspective, we're certainly seeing a different Miley in recent weeks -- more skin, more sexy poses, more sultry pouting lips, and more questionable "image-making" decisions. Today's development: The 17-year-old's new album cover, Can't Be Tamed, which releases June 22. Dana Ward of Clevver TV says "it definitely showcases a super sexy, more mature Miley. Between the leather jacket, pouty lips and short top with low pants, this is not the Disney star we’ve all been accustomed to seeing over the last few years. She’s grabbing her belt buckle and staring right out."

More mature? Physically, sure. But emotionally? And who's counseling/guiding her on these decisions? Is this the daughter that Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus want the world to see -- or ogle?

I, for one, have long given Cyrus and her family the benefit of the doubt, trusting that her few missteps in the past have been relatively innocent, naive decisions -- including the very ill-advised Vanity Fair photo shoot at the age of 15.

Is this really a good marketing move for someone who has not only prided herself on being a role model for young girls for the last five-ish years, but has also long been outspoken about her Christian faith ("I do everything for Jesus," she says.) One could argue that the album cover alone is a bit of a misstep, but when you combine it with her sexy new music video (viewer beware: it's a bit steamy), a "lap dance" of sorts, bumping and grinding with a 44-year-old man at a wrap party for her last movie (The Last Song), and her admission that yes, she'd consider doing a nude scene in a movie, you can't help but wonder if Miley, who won't be 18 till November, has gone too far too fast. Or if she should ever go that far in the first place, considering her Christian beliefs. She hasn't gone as far as Britney or Christina . . . yet. But even their first steps into "maturity" beyond their Mickey Mouse Club days were relatively tame compared to all the booty-and-boobie-shaking videos they would soon be known for. Is Miley Cyrus headed down that same path? Pray, let's hope not.

What do you think? Is Miley Cyrus trying to grow up too fast? Trying to hard to distance herself from her sweet-and-innocent Disney persona? If you could advise her -- or her parents -- what would you say?

May 13, 2010

Hurley Gets All Duded Up for LOST

A six-season compilation of Hugo's favorite expression. Enjoy, dude . . .

May 12, 2010

'Say the Man's Name, for God's Sake!'

Chris Seay weighs in on Tuesday's LOST episode, "Across the Sea"


Chris Seay, author of The Gospel According to Lost, chimes in on the developments in Tuesday's episode of LOST, "Across the Sea." (SPOILERS AHEAD) All along, Seay has believed that the Man in Black represents Esau of the Old Testament, and Seay, like many viewers, was itching to hear the guy's name in Tuesday night's back story, especially as we learned that MIB is actually Jacob's twin brother. But NEVER was he called by name in Tuesday's episode, "my greatest frustration," says Seay. "He was just, 'Hey you.' Say the man's name, for God's sake!" Seay also noted that some LOST fans are getting frustrated over a lack of answers, especially with just a couple episodes remaining. But as Seay reminds us, "This is life, and this is faith. Life doesn't give us all the answers. It's like Paul said: There are things I know, the rest I see through a dim glass." Watch Seay's vlog below for the rest of his insights.

May 11, 2010

Skillet to Tour with Creed This Summer

The Christian rockers have landed a nice gig with Scott Stapp and Company

Christian hard rock band Skillet has been confirmed as a special guest for 16 of 25 dates on Creed's “20-10 Tour,” which begins July 28 in Washington D.C. It's called the 20-10 Tour because the first 2,010 reserved seats are $20 all-in (flat rate, no added service charge). For the full tour slate, click here.

May 10, 2010

If It Blesses Me in a Great Way Financially, Amen!

So says Stephen Baldwin on a new website that is raising money for the actor


Actor Stephen Baldwin, the youngest of the Baldwin brothers, has been teased, even ridiculed, for his outspoken Christian beliefs (he became a believer in 2002). Of course, one might argue that anybody who has claimed that Bono was in league with Satan, gets Hannah Montana's initials tattooed on his shoulder, and gives bizarre interviews like this one ("Wow. What's sloth?") deserves a bit of ribbing.

As a result, and in the wake of Baldwin's declared bankruptcy, some of his supporters have launched the Restore Stephen Baldwin website with the vision "to see Stephen Baldwin publicly restored in front of millions." And if that means raising millions for the actor (the website solicits donations), well, the more the merrier.

In what he says was his only interview about the website and campaign, Baldwin tells PopEater that he's not involved in the campaign, but that "it's a charitable situation and whatever God's going to do, God's going to do. If it turns out to be something that blesses me in a great way financially, then Amen." He says he could "easily" earn up to $2 million a year, but doesn't because his faith prevents him from accepting roles that would earn him that type of money. (No mention about what might have happened to the $2 million/year he earned for 15 years before becoming a Christian.)

Baldwin concludes the interview with this: "Let me be very honest. I don't want to paint some picture of myself where I'm a normal born-again Christian. I'm Stephen Baldwin. I'm opinionated, I'm a bold personality, I know how to light a fuse and cause trouble here and there if I want to, and I've publicly made statements in regard to my faith and conservative point of view that people aren't going to agree with. And God bless America that we have the freedom to do that."

May 10, 2010

How do Christians Take Back the Beautiful?

Screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi has some thoughts on the topic.

Focus on the Family's CitizenLink recently had an interesting interview with screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi, founder of Act One, a training/mentoring program for young Christians in the entertainment industry.

Nicolosi had some strong words regarding Christians and the arts: "The idea of beautiful as something that we should aspire to every time we sit down to create – that’s gone. I go to the 10 o’clock Mass in my parish watching 1,500 people groaning because it’s such bad music. It’s not that they’re not doing music anymore, it’s just they’re doing it badly.

"A lot of church drama, skits, what passes for literature intended for the Christian audience, is banal at best. That’s because the church has started to see the arts over the last couple generations as means to an end. 'We’re going to use this song to get people to be pro-life or use this skit to make people repent. We’re going to use this book to make people not commit suicide.' Even though they’re good agendas, they’ve attached an agenda on these works of art."

CitizenLink concludes the interview by asking, "How do Christians take back the beautiful?" Nicolosi's revealing answer includes some sound advice: It's very hard work, making something beautiful. You can't cut corners. Check it out.

May 6, 2010

Jesus Christ Cartoon in Development

Comedy Central announces "JC," an animated sitcom that follows Christ in modern-day NYC.

While Comedy Central is censoring depictions of Muhammad, they’re giving Jesus Christ his own show. At the network’s upfront presentations this week, Comedy Central announced “JC,” a program currently in development that follows Christ as he attempts to “escape the shadow of his ‘powerful but apathetic father’ and live a regular life in New York.” The network described the animated comedy as “a playful take on religion and society with a sprinkle of dumb.”


The network recently came under fire for censoring images of Mohammad in an episode of the long-running animated sitcom "South Park." After drawing criticism from Islamic groups, the network decided to censor all images of the Muslim prophet as well as a speech given by the character. Over the years, "South Park" has regularly featured Jesus as a character on the program; he hosted a television call-in show called “Jesus & Pals,” used his “master carpentry skills” to fight an evil magician,” and, in his last appearance, got shot in the back by a Muslim extremist.

“In general, comedy in its purest form always makes some people uncomfortable,” said Comedy Central head of original programming Kent Alterman.

The show was announced as one of 22 projects currently “in development”; the network says planning is in its early stages and, according to Alterman, “we don’t even know what the show is yet.”

May 6, 2010

Movies that Christians Love to Hate . . .

. . . but there might be more to these flicks than initially meets the gut reaction

Longtime friend (and former CT film critic) Jeffrey Overstreet recently was asked to compile a list of "Five Movies Christians Hated for All the Wrong Reasons" for Seattle's CityArts magazine.

Top of the list: Monty Python's Life of Brian, which many Christians think mocks Jesus. "Not true," writes Overstreet. "It makes us laugh as we watch gullible, fickle, arrogant humans chase a false messiah, exploit religious teaching for their own gain and misunderstand Jesus."

The piece written partly in response to Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll's well-publicized rant against Avatar as the "most demonic, satanic movie I've ever seen." In response to Driscoll, Overstreet told CityArts that Christians should know movies in the way that St. Paul knew and quoted pagan poetry in Athens. “And what’s the place where Paul did this?” Overstreet asks. “Mars Hill!” Driscoll's church name? Mars Hill.

May 5, 2010

Do R-rated Movies Make Kids Want to Drink?

Recent study suggests a link between viewing R movies and early teen drinking


Researchers at Dartmouth Medical School recently announced the results of a study that suggests that middle schoolers (ages 10-14) who aren't allowed to watch R-rated movies are far less likely to start drinking alcohol than their peers who are allowed to watch such films.

Among those children whose parents let them watch R-rated movies "all the time," almost a quarter had tried a drink without their parents' knowledge, compared to just 3 percent who tried a drink among those who were "never allowed" to watch R-movies.

There are plenty of other good reasons to keep kids that young from R-rated movies, but now here's some more solid, quantifiable evidence that such decisions fall into realm of wise parental discernment.

May 5, 2010

Let the Children Bippity Boppity Boo

A thoughtful essay explores the positive aspects of exposing kids to magic in movies


"Parents, let's admit it," writes film critic Rebecca Cusey for "Some of us don’t quite know how to handle magic in stories and movies. Maybe we don’t want our kids to be frightened by wicked witches that turn into dragons or by mean teachers that turn into Greek Furies. Maybe we want to answer their questions truthfully and magic seems like a cop-out. Or maybe we practice a faith that is deeply uncomfortable with magic. There’s no escaping it. Magic is everywhere in culture these days."

But Cusey doesn't advise parents to run from it, or to aggressively shield their kids. Instead, she suggests that magic in such movies as Harry Potter, The Princess and the Frog, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and others, "we sell our kids short. I say, let them bippity boppity boo."

She goes on: "We sell our children short by thinking they’ll somehow absorb paganism from magic in books and cinema. Kids know what is imagination and what is not. What little girl hasn’t longed to be transformed by Cinderella’s fairy godmothers, usually while she’s resenting doing chores? She knows, inside, it won’t happen. Children don’t really believe they can mix effective potions or use wands any more than they believe Spiderman is a real person or that toys come to life when our back is turned."

And finally, Cusey quotes C. S. Lewis (who included quite a bit of magic in his own Narnia books) as an excellent guide to discernment on such matters:

“Those who say that children must not be frightened may mean two things. They may mean (1) that we must not do anything likely to give the child those haunting, disabling, pathological fears against which ordinary courage is helpless: in fact, phobias. His mind must, if possible, be kept clear of things he can’t bear to think of. Or they may mean (2) that we must try to keep out of his mind the knowledge that he is born into a world of death, violence, wounds, adventure, heroism and cowardice, good and evil. If they mean the first I agree with them: but not if they mean the second. The second would indeed be to give children a false impression and feed them on escapism in the bad sense. There is something ludicrous in the idea of so educating a generation which is born to the…atomic bomb. Since it is so likely that they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

May 5, 2010

'The Beauty and Power of Marital Love'

Chris Seay weighs in on Tuesday's LOST episode, "The Candidate"


Chris Seay, author of The Gospel According to Lost, chimes in on the developments in Tuesday's episode of LOST, "The Candidate." (SPOILERS AHEAD) Seay opens the vlog by noting that he usually turns to Scripture or analyzing Egyptian hieroglyphics after an episode of LOST, but this time, he's pretty subdued and melancholy as he, with LOST fans all over the world, mourns the loss of two of our favorite characters, Sun and Jin Kwan. "If you're not a LOST fan," says Seay, "just turn this off because you're gonna think I'm silly and sappy. But if you're a fan, you've come to love these people." Seay notes how Sun and Jin's marriage has come full circle, going from selfish and "radically unfaithful" to falling in love again "in a way they never have before. . . . We see the beauty and power of marital love." Seay also notes that his favorite line from the episode was when Jack tells Claire, "We're not strangers. We're family." Live together, die alone . . .

May 4, 2010

Nightmare on Media Street!

Biola Media Conference attendees get a dose of reality re: filmmaking and the economy


At the 15th annual Biola Media Conference over the weekend in Studio City, Calif., Hollywood veterans told attendees how difficult it is to make movies in a brutal recession, much less even think about launching a production studio.

The closing session featured a candid conversation between Ralph Winter, Terry Botwick and co-host Phil Cooke, titled “Nightmare on Media Street: The Ugly Truth About Launching a Production Company in 2010.” Botwick, executive producer, former SVP of programming for CBS and Pres. and COO of Big Idea Productions, and Winter, producer of the X-Men Trilogy, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, the Fantastic Four movies, and Wolverine, discussed one of their recent ventures, a production company, which subsequently hasn’t done well despite their resumes. The candid talk was a dose of reality for students and attendees as they learned how the economy has hit the film industry and the challenges those in the industry are currently facing.

Nearly 600 attendees — hopeful students, film industry moguls and media — attended the conference. Disney veterans Dick Cook and Mark Zoradi were among the featured guests. Zoradi, former president of Disney Motion Pictures Group, was presented with the 2010 Briner Impact Award, given semi-annually to recognize those who have made significant contributions in the world of media. Cook, former chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, discussed with co-host Phil Cooke (see picture at top right) his beginnings at Disney as a steam train operator to his success with the Pirates of the Caribbean films. He emphasized the idea that “content is king” — films must be driven by content that relates to the viewer and, simply put, is good.

Workshops throughout the day entertained and informed guests on topics such as the significance of social media, secrets of box office success, introduced the latest technology in the media industry, and even discussed the horror genre. Speakers included media moguls such as Stan Williams, script consultant on six of Will Smith’s latest films, Perry Lanaro, VP of Finance for Paramount Pictures, and Brian Godawa, screenwriter for To End All Wars, Cruel Logic and author of Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment.

Also, Walden Media president Micheal Flaherty talked about the founding of Walden and then showed footage from the upcoming Narnia film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

May 3, 2010

More Details Emerge for 'Dawn Treader' Movie

Super trailer shown at Biola Media Conference includes a few key scenes from the film


Walden Media's Micheal Flaherty was at the Biola Media Conference over the weekend, showing attendees a "super trailer" of the upcoming film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, coming to theaters in December.

NarniaWeb includes some observations from the trailer, including a scene-by-scene rundown which includes a number of spoilers. One attendee wrote, "Our overall first impression was extremely positive … if the little we saw is any indication, I think this will be the best movie of the three so far." The Lion's Call also has a rundown of the trailer -- and again, spoiler alert.