Broadman & Holman
According to Ted Baehr in So You Want to Be in Pictures?, only one script in a thousand makes it to the big screen. It takes an average movie nine years to get made: The Passion of the Christ took ten years. And the price tag of making movies is more than $100 million each. So, with odds like that, why would anyone, especially Christians, even consider trying to "make it in Hollywood?"
Maybe it's because from time to time great Christian themes do get presented, as in Dead Man Walking, Lord of the Rings, and Shindler's List. Maybe it's because there are strong Christians working in Hollywood today including Ken Wales, Bill Myers, Pat Boone, Michael Landon, Jr., and Linda Seger. Maybe it's because Christians feel a need to assert their worldview in a medium that normally promotes homosexuality, graphic violence, filthy language, and loose morals. Whatever the reason or motivation, there are no shortages of would-be screenwriters, actors, directors, and producers.
However, are these wannabes going about it correctly? For most, the answer is, "No." Baehr tells the story of a woman who was written about in the L.A. Times; she has spent the past 20 years trying to sell her script, yet she has never taken a class or college course in scriptwriting, fiction writing, or film production. Such is the naiveté of the thousands who flock to Hollywood with stars in their eyes.
Ted Baehr (aka "Teddy Bear" to his friends) is the son of a cowboy movie actor; Ted, himself, wears cowboy boots every day as a tribute to his dad. He is the publisher of Movieguide, a lawyer, and a frequent guest speaker at such places as the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. He is chairman of The Christian Film & Television Commission and the author of six previous books on aspects of media analysis. In short, he knows his stuff when it comes to TV show and movie making.
The overarching theme in this book is Baehr's passion and burden to make Hollywood more accountable in regard to what it markets to the public. To that end, he wants to engage Christians in the filmmaking process. He shares his insights on writing scripts and finding an agent, directing and producing films, and promoting and marketing movies. And, speaking as someone who teaches screenwriting on the college level, this reviewer can assert that Baehr's lessons are correct, contemporary, and extremely easy to follow.
Beyond all this, however, is information provided by Baehr on why Christians need to "invade" Hollywood. Youngsters growing up on TV and videos have a lack of reading skills, stunted imaginations, poor social graces, and no patience. Their minds are so mixed-up with reality and screen fantasy, they actually grow up with false memories of being molested or witnessing murders or living during wars. Baehr says, for their sakes alone, it's time to notch Hollywood's quality up several marks. His book is a good first step toward that. It's readable with no technical jargon, honest, sometimes blunt and sometimes humorous, but always informative. -- Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book Previews.com
Ted Baehr is an entertainment industry professional who knows what it takes to make it in Hollywood. Moreover, he is a committed Christian who knows the pressures and opportunities unique to people of faith in this precarious world of show business. So You Want to Be in Pictures? will show Christians how to use their faith to change the culture of Hollywood and mass media entertainment by using their God-given and God-ordained gifts and talents to make significant creative contributions to the entertainment world.
Readers will learn from industry professionals—the brightest and best people of faith in the entertainment industry—how to develop their screenwriting, acting, directing, producing, and behind-the-scenes interests to make Hollywood and the world a better place.