When former Gov. Mike Huckabee watched “Let There Be Light,” he was more than a little impressed. In fact, he said the movie was “a giant step forward for the faith based genre,” and he’s right.
You see, there is more to “Let There Be Light” than what meets the eye. On the surface, it’s a Christian movie about love and redemption and the power of faith.
But with the current state of the world, the biggest impact of the movie might not be on the audience itself.
Executive producer Sean Hannity and director Kevin Sorbo are hoping that this movie will send another loud and clear message to Hollywood: Those millions of Americans in the “flyover states” are sick and tired of a lot of things, and being treated like a colony of lepers by the Hollywood elite is certainly one of them.
“We are counting on this movie to make a real difference,” says Kevin’s wife Sam, who not only co-stars in the movie, but also actually produced and co-wrote it as well (with veteran screenwriter Dan Gordon). She continued:
“Hollywood is all about two things, making money and forwarding their liberal agenda. And most of the time the money side of the equation wins any tug of war between those things. Like guns for example. Hollywood liberals are constantly going on about the need for gun control to curb gun violence. But how many movies does Hollywood produce that does nothing but promote and glorify guns and violence? So obviously, with the gun agenda at least, the box office matters more than the message.
When it comes to Christianity though, the market place and the financial opportunity takes a back seat. They would rather turn their backs on this huge audience than actually give them the faith-friendly message they want to see.”
And Kevin Sorbo agrees:
“How many Christian characters do you see in movies or on TV. And I’m not talking about Ned Flanders on the Simpson’s here, I’m talking about real characters. I’ll save you wasting a lot of time thinking about it. There aren’t any really. Other than caricatures put in there to be mocked and ridiculed. By this time next year there won’t be many shows on TV without an openly gay character. There will be a lot of transgender characters too. There will be some evil right wing nutcases of course. But no openly Christians being portrayed as anything other than crazy extremists, filled with hate and intolerance and wanting to take your liberties away. It’s a gigantic lie being spread by Hollywood and they’re extremely protective of that agenda.”
As for myself, I have been making Christian movies for 20 years, and have produced 10 feature films during that time, and I can tell you that I have seen it first hand. I remember meeting with a top executive from one of the major studios in Hollywood where I told him about an IP (intellectual property) I had acquired. It was a book series that was one of the biggest selling book franchises of all time.
A whole series of New York Times number one bestsellers, and a billion dollars in sales. This guy was literally drooling! He told me that I should be able to get a commitment for a $50 million dollar movie very easily if what I was saying was true. Then, I dropped the bomb. I told him that the book series was “Left Behind” and that it was a faith-based story based on events in the Book of Revelation. His whole demeanor changed in an instant.
He nodded and said he’d bring it to the board for review. I never heard from him again. That same scenario has played out again and again. We are talking about huge numbers here. Like “Twilight” or “Harry Potter” or “Hunger Games” numbers. But no way. Those guys are all so terrified of being blacklisted that they won’t even touch it.
So, where does that leave Christian filmmakers? For the most part, entirely on their own — like Mel Gibson found out when he tried to sell “The Passion of the Christ” to those same Hollywood liberals. Mel Gibson and Jesus Christ, two fairly recognizable names, right? But even with all the promise of that movie, Mel was forced to go and raise the money on his own. The studios wouldn’t touch it. And it ended up being one of the biggest successes of all time at the box office.
Did Hollywood regret the decision not to make that movie? Not one bit. That’s how much they despise the American heartland, the American heritage and America’s fundamental value structure. Of course it’s still possible to tell Bible stories in a big Hollywood movie, as long as you rewrite it carefully to remove God, Jesus and the Truth.
Today the future of Christian film is very much in the hands of private individuals who see the need, see the opportunity and want to give that unserved majority what they really want — movies that actually reflect their values and beliefs. So when people like Sean Hannity step up and put their own money on the line, we’re seeing America at its best. People who refuse to be controlled and who refuse to let the left use their huge public platform to undermine our traditional values.
Paul Lalonde is a pioneering producer and writer of more than 20 feature films and documentaries in the Christian and apocalyptic-thriller genres. He founded production company Cloud Ten Pictures in 1995 and also started Cloud Ten Creative Services, a marketing and promotions agency that specializes in independent faith films. For more information regarding Cloud Ten Creative Services email: info (at) cloudtencreative.com.