“Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives.”
Here is an excerpt from Ken’s recently penned autobiography My Life Encapsulated when he talked about going to a movies as a kid.
One of my Saturday morning excursions was to see the movie Superman. I decided that if Superman could fly, I could put on a cape and fly off our third story balcony. I got a towel and a safety pin, put my cape around my neck and stood out on that balcony fully determined to jump off and fly. A little apprehensive, I was getting ready to leap just as my parents came home. It was my mother who caught me and saved me. That was one of the many times God has intervened and saved my life.
Speaking of God’s intervention and movies, you got involved with the movie The Other Side of Heaven as a late investor so they could have the funds to finish the movie. Please share with me the reasons you invested.
To summarize the movie, it’s about a young missionary who goes to Tonga in the 1950’s to preach the gospel. There is one inspiring scene when this missionary is dying of hunger due to a terrible hurricane that has hit the small island he is on. He says “I have learned things in the past few weeks that are difficult to express. There is a connection between Heaven and Earth.
Finding that connection makes everything meaningful, including death. Missing it makes everything meaningless, including life.” This is so powerful. I knew that even if I never made back the money that I invested it didn’t matter because the world needed to be inspired by the messages in this movie. Another line from the movie that our world needs to hear is when his father was seeing him off at the train station he says to his son, “Keep that in mind during the hard times, Son, how much God loves his children.” I was blessed to be involved with this movie and have heard that many people were also positively impacted who viewed it.
What do you love about movies and what types are your favorite?
Some things that I love about movies are that I get to see different places and different people and how they react to things as well as be entertained. I don’t have hobbies like sports or fishing so one of my hobbies is watching movies. My favorite movies are the ones that have religious themes like The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur. Sports movies where an underdog person/team not expected to win ends up winning are another favorite of mine. I also enjoy Westerns where there’s a good guy that wears white and a bad guy that wears black and adventure movies that have a hero that you’re rooting for. Whatever the movie, I want to walk away uplifted from having watched the movie.
Do you think that there aren’t enough family friendly and positive message movies being made?
There are what I call Christian movies out there but I don’t think that they are supported by the public enough. Unless it’s a blockbuster they generally don’t want to go to these type of movies. You mentioned the movie Superman that I first viewed as a kid. Children are so impressionable – I really believed that I could fly after watching that movie. Yet, we as adults are also impressionable. As movie makers we need to be intentional and responsible for the content in our movies. We need to be more supportive of these movies with moral messages and then we will get more of them – it’s all about supply and demand.
Your most recent movie Christmas Eve is being released December 4. Why did you get involved with this movie.
Mitch Davis who wrote and directed The Other Side of Heaven came to me with the script for this movie. I really loved the script and was confident in Mitch’s ability to put together a great cast and movie. It has been an incredible experience to be involved on this film from start to finish and I’ve really enjoyed working with Mitch and his team.
To sum up this movie, on Christmas Eve a power box is hit by a van and knocks out power in part of New York City. There are 6 different elevators with people stuck inside due to the power outage. This movie shows scenes from each elevator, how they deal with their anxieties and how their lives change in unexpected ways. I’m confident that audiences will laugh, cry and walk away uplifted by this movie.
In your opinion, what are 3 take-a-ways from Christmas Eve that the audience will walk away with?
- Learning to be kind to everyone.
- Realizing that everybody is a product of their environment and upbringing, so don’t be judgemental of other people because you never know what made them that way.
- In the end, if we stick it out, things will always work out to our benefit.
So with Christmas Eve’s potential influence, your hope is that screenwriters and producers will write and invest in more of these type of movies then?
Yes. In fact, I have 3 scripts currently sitting on my desk to be considered.
Well, I enjoyed the movie The Other Side of Heaven and am looking forward to going to see your movie Christmas Eve in December.
*for more information about the movie Christmas Eve and to find a theater near you please visit:
“I wanted to do another movie that could make us laugh and cry and feel good about the world. I wanted to do something else that could make us smile. This is a time when we need to smile more and Hollywood movies are supposed to do that for people in difficult times.”
interview done by Darci Moss