Dean Jones, star of such Disney movie classics as The Love Bug and Snowball Express, was honored with a special Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. During a special lecture to the students of the Christian Filmmakers Academy, Mr. Jones offered sage words of advice regarding the role of Christian filmmakers in discipling their moviegoing audiences (you can download his message titled Personal Message To The Next Generation Of Christian Filmmakers from BlueBehemoth.com).
Mr. Jones recently offered further thoughts regarding the role of film in discipling culture in an interview with Christianity Today:
“[Y]ou become what you see and hear. Film and television have been partially responsible for the disconnect between our nation and our God. Dynamic but righteous entertainment can help reverse this trend.
Obviously, family entertainment brings families together. If there are positive results from the characters in the film not succumbing to perversion, anger and self-centeredness, the film lifts the quality of life for that family. If a new generation is brought up in an atmosphere filled with the triumph of goodness and mercy and life, then a new generation is better prepared to solve the problems of the real world.
How does your faith come into play when considering a script?
Jones: First of all, I won’t blaspheme God. This immediately eliminates most scripts, but I see no reason, since I need all the help I can get, to encourage God to vacate the premises.
The spirit of a film is decisive. With the least bit of discernment, you can figure what motivates a person, their business, the movie they produce or direct, or the character they play in it. The spirit of a character can be discerned and matched up against the Spirit of God. Is it a spirit of hope and love, or the result of their lives being a series of angry blasts and fears? I try and discern the spirit of a script—what does it do in the final analysis, what is its effect upon an audience, how will they react? Will they leave the theater anxious and angry, or will they see a way, as a result of what’s in the film, to attack the problems they face? In other words, does the movie produce good or evil? That’s the bottom line for me...”
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