Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Screenplay: A New Opportunity

Writers write. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. During the screen writers guild strike of 2007, writers still produced new scripts, knowing that eventually a compromise would be reached and stories would be needed.

Book publishing may be in a slump, but great authors will continue to get books published. For those who are unpublished, like me, we can continue to write our stories and improve our craft until we sell. Or maybe some of us will move to another, unexpected media: screenplays.

Far from Hollywood, Alex and Stephen Kendrick have written, produced and directed three films from their home church of Sherwood Baptist in Albany, Georgia. Their latest movie, Fireproof, opened September 26. They also wrote The Love Dare, a nonfiction book. Fireproof, a novelization by Eric Wilson based on the screenplay, is now in print.

The Movie:

Fireproof is the story of a firefighter, his wife, and a marriage worth rescuing.

A firefighter finds his marriage going up in flames due to his online porn addiction. His wife files for divorce, but he agrees to work on the marriage for forty days following steps in a book called The Love Dare. He and his wife learn that when Jesus Christ is at the center, a marriage can withstand the fires of life. www.fireproofthemovie.com

The Success:

Debuting at 839 theatres, Fireproof placed fourth and grossed $6.5 million. Distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films said, “Fireproof made more money than any film this year that opened at fewer than 1,000 screens, save one movie.”

Fireproof is the third feature film of the moviemaking ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. Previous films include Facing the Giants and Flywheel.

Flywheel has won numerous awards including The Gold Crown Award for Best Screenplay, and the 2004 Best Picture Award at the WYSIWYG Film Festival. The church received $20,000 in private donations to produce the film.

Facing the Giants was made with a budget of $100,000. The film ultimately was shown in over 1,000 theaters and grossed over $10,000,000.

The Opportunity:

I’m excited by the success of the Kendrick brothers and Sherwood Baptist Church. They've shown what can be accomplished outside of Hollywood. Perhaps other churches and community groups will follow their lead. Screenwriters may have amazing opportunities to see their stories told.

Join me along this exciting journey on The Writing Road.

~ Roxanne Sherwood ~


Lisa Jordan said...

I've heard a lot of good comments about Fireproof. I look forward to seeing it.

Anonymous said...

As you mentioned, the new movie Fireproof, covers internet pornography as one of the core issues faced by the protagonist and his wife.

While certainly not in the same class, films on porn and sex addiction have indeed gone main stream (e.g. "Californication.", “Choke”, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”), etc.

Some might look at sex coming out of the closet, as a good thing, but at My Internet Doorman, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in adults looking to block porn on their computers in an attempt to self censor - 25% of our clients are now adults looking to “protect” themselves from access to internet porn and other inappropriate material.

Obsession, addiction or just a way to pass the time, Internet Porn takes its toll on relationships... perhaps we will see more movies / shows written about this and other social issues.

Just a thought,

Beth K. Vogt said...

I am teaching a workshop: How to Help Your Son Choose Purity Instead of Pornography, this weekend at the Hearts at Home conference.
My hope is to talk about this problem sooner--when our boys are young--and try to prevent pornography addiction invading and destroying marriages.

Paulette Harris said...

Great Movie, recommend it if you haven't seen it already.

Paulette Harris