Hollywood on Fire

by | Feb 25, 2009 | Culture

Hollywood on FirePisces Productions

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be an actress. But I decided that I couldn’t be one because I didn’t want to have to take roles that compromised my Christian values. But after watching the new documentary Hollywood on Fire, I realized that I could have gone to Hollywood without compromising my faith. There are many Christians who have done just that, and this film features interviews with a variety of people who have worked in front of and behind the cameras while maintaining their faith and integrity.

It can be said that as movies go, there goes society. I saw how this could be true when I learned the history of Hollywood. It originally began as a Christian community, and churches were the first theaters. But eventually the church lost, or gave up, its involvement and influence. Ted Baher, who shares an impressive amount of history throughout the film, says when the church was involved the films didn’t include immoral and violent content, and the crime rate was lower; but when the church retreated, the films were filled with violent and sexual content, and the crime rate increased. I understood more than ever how important it is for Christians to be involved in every aspect of storytelling, whether on the big screen or on television.

 

The variety of people interviewed for this was quite impressive. Among those featured were Eric Close (Without a Trace), Jane Russell (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), Cory Edwards (Hoodwinked), Bill Ewing (producer, Spiderman, End of the Spear), Penelope Foster (producer, Free Willy) and Dan Wooding (journalist, founder of Assist News Service). Everyone’s stories and comments made for a compelling journey, but one of the highlights was Wooding’s testimony of recommitting his life to Christ.

I so appreciated hearing stories of those who would not compromise to land a role. Pat Boone turned down a role with Marilyn Monroe because he wouldn’t play a character who has an affair. This led to his starring in Journey to the Center of the Earth. And the film’s success, he was told, saved the studio. Christian comedians Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee (who are actually married to each other) have each had to turn down parts or projects because the roles violated their values. They understand that what God thinks is more important than what studio execs think.

After I finished watching this film, I felt encouraged. It is wonderful to know that there are Christians making a difference in Hollywood. But I also realized that this informative and entertaining documentary issues a challenge to the body of Christ. We will not influence entertainment, therefore society, by sitting on the sidelines. Christians need to work in all areas of the industry. Although most of us can’t do that, we can still have an impact on society by supporting films that portray godly values. Money speaks in Hollywood, so when we buy tickets to see values-based movies, our purchases ring loud and clear. Moneymakers take note of the success and will make more movies with wholesome content … and the cycle will continue. It’s already begun, but if we see it more and more, then slowly but surely we’ll see society begin to change as well.

Click here to purchase Hollywood on Fire. Visit www.hollywoodonfire.com/ for more information.

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