Be warned, since it's the RELIGIOUS broadcasters - there be religious ramblings - but still some very cool stuff. :)
Sunday was a really huge day for me. First I met Eric Wilson. He's the author of the "Facing the Giants" Novelization. He also wrote "Flywheel" (the novelization of the first movie from the Kendricks) and he's got several other books that are awesome. I read "Expiration Date" last week before I went and it was great. If you like thrillers with a supernatural tone, (ala Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker - both of whom are friends of Mr. Wilson's!) you'll LOVE Eric Wilson!
I really enjoyed meeting him and we discussed a lot of things (writing of course - he wanted to know about screenwriting and I wanted to know about novel writing!) and I think we may be working on some projects together in the future! YAY! (Dude - he's got a VAMPIRE series due out in October - from a CHRISTIAN perspective - called Jerusalem Undead! The guy rattles convention! *g*)
After I had ice cream with Eric, I went to a session led by Phil Vischer. He's the creator of Veggie Tales and it was amazing to hear all about his experiences and how he came to be where he is now. The point of his session was all about how Christians need to work on new media and new platforms to get the gospel to kids. Fantastic. (Although he did say some things about marketing peeps that I'll forgive him for. He's obviously not a fan....that's okay. He doesn't know ME! LOL!)
After Mr. Vischer's session, Steve O'Dell (director of Down Gilead Lane - the program I write) was able to wrangle Mr. Vischer for a few moments. You can hear part of that on our podcast. Oh yeah - Steve and I podcasted the whole time from NRB. The three most recent podcasts on iTunes are all about NRB and they're a lot of fun if you want to check them out. They're free. Just google Down Gilead Lane - it's The Coleraine Connection. And they aren't as much about DGL as they are NRB - so I think you'll all really enjoy them.
Anyway - after that session was one with none other than ALEX KENDRICK! Yes. That's the man who wrote, directed and starred in "Facing the Giants" and I was honored to have a few moments to meet and spend time with him. (Eric Wilson helped that one - he gave me a message to give to Alex - so that got my foot in the door.) He was a great guy and if you've seen Facing the Giants, his character in that isn't much different than him as a person. When speaking with him, you could really see/hear the movie and tell it was all from his heart.
His new movie is called "Fireproof" and it's about marriage. And it stars....da da dah!....KIRK CAMERON! Yup. Same dude I worked with on Left Behind and Tribulation Force. You can check out an early trailer of it at http://www.fireproofthemovie.../ We got to see some rough cuts of the movie and heard lots of behind the scenes stories and here's Twichie's prediction - this one's going to be just as big as Facing the Giants if not bigger. The premise is beautiful. The dialogue is hauntingly real. And I think it's going to powerfully impact our entire country. And that's just from the few minutes I saw. It's going to be amazing.
After that - I went to dinner and had some more business meetings (a big portion of the event was meetings and networking) and then on Sunday evening, I went to the Disney presentation. And let me tell you - that was stunning. It was so stunning - I was blown away.
The Disney presentation was incredible. Easily one of the major highlights of the event, if not THE highlight. I was blown away.
The new head of Disney Studios who has taken over for Michael Eisner has really signalled a change in the direction of Disney. It's under him that Chronicles has been acquired and he promised a great amount of care and consideration with such a beloved story. He said, multiple times, that he feels that Chronicles is THE most important series in Disney's history and he will be treating it as such.
Then we got a sneak preview for the new trailer of Prince Caspian. It was awesome. I think it literally released the next morning - he said we were the first to see it. Then he showed us a sneak preview of the new trailer of Wall*E* which was awesome. It finally showed some of the story and answered some questions and I've got to say, I'm already a Wall*E* fan! And then...the COOLEST THING EVER....
WE SAW A TRAILER FOR VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER - THE NEXT NARNIA MOVIE!!!!! Yes! It was awesome! Before they begin filming, they put together the entire movie in a CGI format. They call it pre-visualization because they want the director to know what to film and how. So they built that into a trailer partnered with designers and actors and everyone involved in the process and their thoughts. So we saw a special feature/trailer for Voyage of the Dawn Treader - and it's going to be amazing! It's going to be Pirates of the Caribbean times a million!
After we saw all of that, Glen Keane took the stage. He's an animator at Disney and he's been there for over 30 years. He gave his testimony and spoke of his time at Disney and it was amazing how God has worked in his life and used him. He's the animator of "Beast" from "Beauty and the Beast" and he explained how, while animating Beast, he felt like Beast with being angry all the time and big and ugly and though everything was going well in his life and he was exactly where he wanted to be, he still felt a mess. And he played a scene from Beauty and the Beast where Belle has just arrived at the castle and everyone's trying to teach him to 'be good' - Glen said he felt that way and that he just couldn't 'be good' - and he knew it. And then he was saved. And his life was changed.
Later, when he had to draw that famous transfiguration scene when Beast turns into a man. He didn't know how to do it and was praying and praying about what he needed to do. And then it came to him - II Corinthians 5:17. And he wrote that at the top of the page and drew the entire scene in one sitting. (Go check the verse - it's awesome.) Then they played the transfiguration scene and he explained that the light everywhere? That's God - and what happens to us when God fills us. It's amazing. I was in tears by the end of that scene. Oh and did I mention that he drew Beast in front of us on an overhead projector while we watched? And signed it? What an AMAZING TESTIMONY!!!
And then later, he talked about Ariel - The Little Mermaid. And how he usually draws the big bad guys but when he heard "Part of your World" being sung one day by Jodi Benson, he knew he needed to change that. So he went to his 'bosses' and said he knew he was supposed to draw Ursula (giggle) but he wanted to draw Ariel. They laughed and said they didn't even know if he could draw a pretty girl. He said that he's been drawing his wife Linda for years - so he fashioned Ariel after Linda (although he said Linda's shells aren't quite as big) and then he said that "Part of Your World" is the song that all Christian's hearts sing when they think about Heaven. Look around - I've got everything - but I want more. I want to be 'up there'. I've always personally hated that song because I thought she was a spoiled rotten brat - but now I hear it completely differently.
Anyway - it moved into the next segment of the presentation when they surprised everyone with Jodi Benson singing while he drew Ariel. She came to the stage all dressed in glitter and glamor and sang "Part of Your World". And then she started tearing up and said that she was so honored to be at NRB because usually, when she sings for Disney, she needs to explain to people why they'll be hearing about Jesus. She said that on this night, she wouldn't have to explain because she was surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ. Then she said that Disney has never stopped her from sharing her faith when they ask her to go sing, but that some things have also changed since the new leadership has come in. She said that for a very long time a lot of people have felt like maybe they couldn't share their faith and say that they were Christians who worked at Disney. She said that nearly everyone she knows at Disney is a born again believer and very very strong in their faith - and that they are finally starting to grow and come into their own with the new leadership. It's a new time for Disney and they are excited to share it. (FYI, this is the first time Disney has EVER EVER EVER come to NRB or any other religious broadcasting function.)
She told the story of how Glen Keane and his wife had saved her marriage in a time when she and her husband were separated and nearly going through a divorce. She called Glen's wife and told her that she didn't have a place to live and his wife said "Get your bags honey and come home." And for several months she lived with the Keanes and she said during that time, they ministered to her soul and loved her and gave her everything and showed Christ's love so incredibly that she and her husband saved their marriage. She credits them with her entire life as it is - by showing God's love.
It was an absolutely stunning evening and I was honored to be there.
And just in case you didn't click inside - let me say this (because we all know that my flist is largely populated with geeks like myself...
Ready? Wait for it....
I SAW THE NEW TRAILER FOR VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER. Yeah. THE NEW Narnia movie - not due out until 2010. They have the pre-visualization all together and they cut together a trailer and interviews and a whole nice big special together - and yes - I saw it and it's going to ROCK. Amazingly.
So there - that's what I did this week.
What if Jin's not dead - but he's still on the island and the marker is just because that's what they put up when the plane crashed? Cause his date of death DID say Sep 22 - date the plane crashed. So what if he's NOT really dead? Just stuck back there?
Okay -rambling done now. *g*