Hollywood Christian-themed movies relied on controversy, says veteran producer
By: Alex Murashko, Christian Post
For movies with Christian themes that previously were considered un-buzzworthy inside the Hollywood film industry, it is controversy that often makes them box office successes, says an award-winning film and music producer.
Speaking to fledgling movie industry types attending a workshop at the San Diego Christian Film Festival, Mark Joseph told part of the story of how "Facing the Giants" became a box office success.
The film about an underdog high school football team, and issues of faith in God, was made for $100,000. Volunteers from Sherwood Baptist Church were cast in supporting roles. Joseph helped market the film, but said one of the keys to the movie's $11 million in sales was letting a reporter know that there was a controversy over the film's initial PG-13 rating.
"The MPAA gave two reasons for the PG-13 rating: excessive religious content and the other was that it elevated one religion over another," said Joseph, who also helped to market "The Passion of the Christ" and "Chronicles of Narnia." "As a marketing person this was like God's gift to the film."
He said that he explored the idea of having a reporter break the story by first talking to an editor at the Drudge Report.
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