Monday, April 26, 2010

The Heart of God in Hollywood - part 2

Now that we have a better understand of the heart of God for hollywood, than what kind of movies should we be making that will offer the type of impact that represents the heart of God at work?

Redemptive or Transformational Stories

The Redemptive story is a classic example of how God works in the lives of his creation. The Bible is basically a redemptive story about man’s fall and God’s ability to transform us. Man rebels against God and commit acts of inappropriate behavior or sin and goes his own way. But, in the end, we are capable of change because God has put within us the ability to recognize the truth and be transformed if we are willing to embrace the truth.

Redemptive stories require a significant character arc to complete the journey and must have a catalyst to initiate the process or journey. It can be a personal awareness within or an outside force. The outside force can be spiritual in nature, such as God, or it can be a force that can be identified as destiny or a grand plan of design. A subcategory of redemptive stories is transformational stories, which are similar, but often the catalyst for change is either an event, a crisis, or a person. Recent examples are Last Chance Harvey, Michael Clayton, Grande Tornio, Signs, Walk the Line, and Bruce Almighty.

Cautionary Tales

Cautionary tales have been around as long as Hollywood has been producing films. These stories sound a warning and show us the results of our current pathway or lifestyle if we continue on our current path. One of the most famous examples is A Christmas Carol where Scrooge is given an opportunity to see the truth about his life and where his choices are taking him. Cautionary Tales are also about political decisions, social issues and our impact on the environment or nature. They challenge and provoked the viewer to consider other choices in light of what he/she has seen and the likely outcome of our current decisions. These are object lessons in the realities and the bad decisions that we make in life. Current examples include Juno, The Truman Show, Family Man, The Wrestler, and Seven Pounds.

Biblical Values

Many Biblical values are never expressed in today’s media but provide some of the best stories. Patience, dignity to all, tradition, smallness, poverty of spirit, fruitfulness, ordinariness, conservation, cherishability, respect for nature, simplicity and contemplation are all Biblical values that need to be explored. In fact, for each Biblical or Gospel value, you can find a counterpart that is often expressed in media. They include immediacy, youth, newness, bigness, wealth, success, glamour, consumerism, disposability, ability to conquer nature, complexity, and constant activity. By embracing Biblical values, we are expressing the heart of God in Hollywood. People need to see the comparison in order to see the truth. Making a movie that celebrates ordinariness as opposed to glamour would be an honest and refreshing change for today’s current media. Some good examples would be Green Mile, To End All Wars, Lars and the Real Girl, Places in the Heart and Up.

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