I was recently invited to join Stage 32, a new social network for those who work in film, television, and theater. Begun by Richard Botto and Curt Blakeney, Stage 32 boasts over 40,000 members in 175 countries. It is truly a global online community. Stewart Kenneth Moore, who played a Lord in “Prince Caspian” (2008), is a member. So is Mirko Grillini, who played a Telmarine soldier in “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (2010). Fans can learn more about Stage 32 on their FAQ page. The network is also on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
I have yet to find an entertainment journalist on Stage 32, but I have been assured there are a few. And this is where I’d like to explain my new vision, not only for ©Skandar & Georgie but also for two new social networks. In “The Final Season” (2009), which stars Sean Astin from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy (2001-2003) as high school baseball coach Kent Stock, a journalist tells Stock, “I can’t play baseball, so I write about it.” Well, I can’t act or make movies, so I write about them!
I want Christian entertainment journalism to focus on people, stories, and ministry – rather than numbers, money, or celebrity idols. Praising ourselves for X followers on Twitter and X likes on Facebook and X subscribers on YouTube seems so lowly by comparison. This should not be a popularity contest. Instead, we should aim first to learn, and then to celebrate, the unique story of each celebrity and each fan – praising God in the process.
Think about it. What if entertainment journalism were more like sports journalism? What if it emphasized a project and each cast and crew member’s performance in that project, instead of individual celebrities and their private lives? What if entertainment journalists, Christian and not, put paparazzi and yellow journalism out of business? What if we redeemed this business for the glory of God?
The world makes films, television programs, plays, musicals, dances, and other art forms for the twin purposes of entertainment/fun (laughing one’s way to hell) and money. It’s all about “art for art’s sake.” Sometimes they combine their art forms with social causes, but that’s it. The world ignores people’s souls.
Let’s not be like the world. Let’s be different! In the words of C. S. Lewis, we must “aim at heaven and get earth thrown in.” We must “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). We must make the main thing the main thing: ministry / evangelism. Only then will the rest take care of itself. Through film, television, theater, dance, and various other art forms we must demonstrate God’s holiness and love to hurting people and then connect those people to God. Through our divine callings God can heal people’s hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. Christians already do this through music, preaching, and teaching. Why not media arts?!
©Skandar & Georgie
I want ©Skandar & Georgie to reflect people, stories, and ministry – rather than numbers or the celebrity status of Skandar, Georgie, and their co-stars. I want to emphasize Skandar and Georgie’s projects and their unique roles in those projects, rather than the celebrities themselves. So I intend to rearrange the content and design of both the website and the gallery. I also want to celebrate the fans’ relationships with these actors.
New Social Networks
I can’t create these networks because I don’t have the necessary design and technology skills. In these two areas I’m greener than a shamrock, so I’ll need help!
- Idea 1: What if someone created a social network similar to Stage 32, but just for entertainment journalists? I think we need to connect, discover others’ connections, and brainstorm ideas. Instead, we’re scattered throughout individual newspapers, magazines, and websites.
- Idea 2: What if someone created a social network for people in Christian “entertainment” – actors, directors, producers, makeup artists, costume designers, cinematographers, musicians, dancers, agencies, photographers, public relations, journalists, etc? It could be a 21st-century “Clapham Circle”!
I think the business of entertainment, Christian or not, needs more collaboration and integrity – and less competition. I also think journalists are a vital part of entertainment, even if their roles are currently abused or misunderstood. So let us redeem the entertainment world for the glory of God.
God bless you all.
PS. All4Him Films in Ellsworth, Maine, has begun filming a new project called “Memories and Blessings.” They need $10,000 by the end of March to continue filming. Learn more on KickStarter.com.