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placeholder January 18, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
God: Not dead, but not popular in Hollywood

God's Not Dead—but He certainly is not popular in Hollywood.

That's why a modest budget movie with that title, which became a big box office success, could be a sign of changes to come.

Two veteran film writers who found Jesus and shifted to Christian film production believe there can be a big change in the media industry.

Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman hit Hollywood together in 1990 and became enmeshed in the entertainment industry.

As they explained to a Catholics at Work breakfast audience in December, they quickly learned that Hollywood was heavily committed to sex and violence; and most of the industry is very hostile to moral values and religion.

They realized that the entertainment industry no longer had the family and values focus that predominated through most of the 20th century. Positive, family-oriented entertainment had largely disappeared.

As Konzelman concluded "a Christian view does not exist" in modern movies.

After 17 years in Hollywood the two experienced a religious conversion, Konzelman returning to the Catholic faith of his youth and Solomon as a convert to Catholicism.

That led them to walk away from successful careers to begin making faith-oriented entertainment.

Their first hit movie was "God's Not Dead," produced for less than $2 million; it has grossed $100 million. Since then they wrote and produced "Do You Believe?" Both movies have the technical quality, fine acting, credible stories and entertainment punch of first-run Hollywood movies. It is reflected in the positive public response both received.

Konzelman and Solomon hope to accelerate growth of faith-based entertainment that is competitive in quality with Hollywood's typical entertainment, but with a very positive Christian content.

Already completed is "God's Not Dead 2," with the same theme as the initial movie. It will open next spring.

And they are beginning plans for a movie focused on the Resurrection that they think would be a big hit.

As Solomon explained, the Resurrection is the real message of Christianity. "It is what we are secretly craving."

 
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