Monday, August 06, 2007

Destiny Worldwide - The Reel Facts on Faith, Film, and the Future of Hollywood

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Interview with
Film Producer and Founder of Destiny Worldwide Entertainment Bill Hillman

Interview excerpts -

When Destiny Worldwide Entertainment was created, we realized there were no film companies in Hollywood that were committed to building God’s Kingdom through entertainment. The ratio of R rated films verses G or PG rated films was outrageous and continues today. We set out to convince investors, distributors and theater owners that the public would come to see good films with strong story content that were entertaining without the usual blood, sex, violence, nudity and crude subject matters, and that the bulk of Hollywood films no longer stood as a guideline for children. Teaching morals, honesty and faith seemed a distant memory and yet as we surveyed audiences from all over the world, we discovered a global hunger for what has been called “old fashioned films” – films with great stories that provide pure entertainment values.

We felt if the major companies were not building a core family audience, we would. We should be responsible for what children and families are watching and we wanted to make a difference. We set out to create a Hallmark product – one that would become instantly known for its family product and entertaining family films – thus Destiny Worldwide Entertainment was formed. We know in our hearts that all of God’s children must replenish in their chosen fields and we understand how films and home video products can manipulate young minds. If we are to plant good seeds that will feed and nurture young minds – we have to find a way to entertain them as well. Is it possible to make a film that contains moral values, that does not contain violence, sex, nudity or crude behavior yet provide excitement, joy, thrills, and laughter and still be thoroughly entertaining? We said yes! Yes this is possible and we set out to prove it.

As we made our first couple of films we discovered well known actors and actresses enjoyed working for less money on projects aimed for the whole family. Our first film, “The Adventures of Ragtime,” starred Shelley Long, Jay Thomas, Justin Cooper, Perry King, a very talented miniature horse and a host of other well-known actors and actresses. Our second film, “Quigley” starred Gary Busey, Christopher Atkins, Curtis Armstrong and Oz Perkins, along with yet another group of well-known actors and actresses and a very talented dog. Both films are now being distributed around the world.
It's not just Hollywood, but now churches arerealizing how many people can be reached in one night in a film, televisionshowing or DVD rental. It's truly amazing to think about reaching out toplant seeds, do it within the body of entertainment, and go to sleep atnight knowing you had reached "someone.

When Christian Retailing got behind us on Quigley and The Adventures ofRagtime, we realized the hunger for quality projects is alive and well. When a small, direct to video film attracts audiences all over the world and sells over half a million DVD's, that hunger for moral and family-friendly projects is overwhelming. It tells us there is a continuing audience for films that tell stories, entertain, and avoid preaching - so the film medium has a multitude of lives - first theatrically, then DVD home video and finally television. Showtime and HBO have shown Quigley continuously overthe last year - worldwide.

We all know the G and PG rated films live on basically forever. Unlike R and PG-13 films, the G and PG rated film has a continual life that recycles itself.

When we chose A Choice To Cherish as our next project, we discovered how wonderful the storyline was. It's a great coming of age story with religion as a backdrop and not a subtle one at that. You don't feel you're being preached at, and still you come away from the book and the about to be produced film with a new understanding.

We always approach the private sector for investments and we do it for many reasons; control of the project so it will remain true to the originalsource to give the investor a positive role in accomplishment and pride, and to provide the investor with a sense of doing the right thing for many people. When investors leave a legacy of doing something they and their loved ones will be proud of for many years, there is a feeling deep insidethat no amount of money or accomplishment can duplicate.

Most of our projects involve many people from all walks of life, as we always provide information, open books and constant communications. Making films is fun, can be very profitable and provides a boost in self-esteem.

How many times have we read over the past year or two, professional basketball, baseball, and football players are investing in films? Firstyou ask yourself why? The answer always comes back that they wanted to say something and couldn't think of a better way to reach the population than through the media, a film or DVD.

We enjoy sharing, both the glory and the profit to make the process a win-win every time we produce a film. The other day someone asked me how we make films and use investments. I told him we usually use small minimums so virtually all qualified investors can participate with minimal risk, and all those who participate can always come to the set, see how the process works, take pictures, feel involved, voice opinions, and come away feeling like it is their project - something they are very proud of.

We always provide an information package that usually answers most questions. We actually have had some investors that leave the profits to their charity where more seeds are planted to spread the word. We enjoy talking to people, answering questions, and hoping they will one day realize that film production is more than just making a film. If the story is powerful, has true meaning and the ability to educate and entertain, then the film will live, breath, and reach the populace one way or another.

We would hope all of your listeners would entertain the idea of film production participation. Reach out and find those doing good things and ask how they are getting involved. The stock market has great flexibility, some young start-up company's work, some don't, but in the low-budget filmmaking process, few films fail when the story has meaning and the project is well done. We thrive on strong casting, creating commercial music scores that move the soul, and communicating with Christian outlets to let them know we are coming.

If any of your listeners wish to explore or learn more about film making and participation, they can always talk to us, as we will be happy to answer their questions. Our goal is to bring the Lord into the heart of people and do it through entertainment so they don't come through the door kicking and screaming. If they are moved, they ask questions. The more they seek answers to, the closer they come to building a faith that will last a lifetime.


Contact:
Bill Hillman 805-469-1999
DeWayne Reeves ct @ cfrn.net


Faith in Media Facts

  1. One dollar out of every eight invested in America is invested in Faith-based projects. A Quote from WorldNet Daily today, Friday, August 32, 2007.

  2. On August 3, 2007 Motive Marketing talked about the Faith Market. The number 1 & 2 best selling books were Faith-based stories. Christian book sales are expected to grow 15% this year. 20-years ago there was only a handful of Christian radio stations. Today there are 1,600. Movie Guide Magazine reports the number of religious themed films has skyrocketed over the past decade. The Dove Foundation reports that of the 2,380 films made recently, G-rated films yielded the highest gross profit $94 million on average while R rated films earned only $11 million on average. G-rated films generated eight times more gros profit than R rated films Motive Marketing states the film/video product mirroring the Christian music industry, is a booming market with more than $1 billion in annual sales. THE FAITH AND FAMILY MARKET IS A POTENTIAL GOLDMINE for films that can satisfy its demand for high quality entertainment and high moral values.

  3. Faith based films have grown. This is why 20th Century Fox created Fox Faith. Why Lions Gate has a new division for Faith based films. Why The Weinstein Company has jumped into the faith-based film market.

  4. Hit faith based films are:
    Passion of the Christ
    Luther
    The Omega Code
    Seven
    Left Behind
    Facing The Giants (funded by members of a church)
    Flywheel (also funded by church goers)
    The Cross and the Switchblade
    Color of the Cross
    The Chronicles of Narnia
    The Ultimate Gift
    Woman Thou art Loosed

  5. In late July The Dove Foundation stated: Hollywood is just beginning to grasp the fact that the appetite for the faith and family audience has barely been tapped. The future is bright, as long s the pot at the end of the rainbow (box Office) is full of gold and the way to insure that relies on families who will continue to support these wholesome films at the theaters and by bringing them into your homes on DVD.

  6. On May 15, 2007, News Max wrote: Hollywood’s Leap of Faith. There is a broad spectrum of people, different denominations, different theologies and different doctrinal beliefs, and Faith-based refers to a very broad diverse audience.

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