|In being privileged to interview many Hollywood celebrities over the past two years including actors, producers, and directors, each one has always given me at least a couple of good quotes. In fact, some of these quotes became the title for the posted interviews. The idea occurred to me to share some of the interesting quotes from various celebrities as related to family programming, our specialty here at The Dove Foundation and the one obviously closest to our hearts.
Regarding family programming, actor Richard Thomas was starring in the Hallmark Channel movie “Wild Hearts” at the time of our interview in June 2006. He had an interesting take on family programming, saying, “Unlike some actors, I’ve never made a conscious decision not to make family films. I think that family programming, which is different from children’s programming, is a very, very important part of the menu of entertainment and it’s also an endangered species. It’s been an endangered species for a long time.”
Actor John Noble, known primarily as “Lord Denethor” in “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”, was pleased to speak about his association with the inspirational film, “One Night with the King.” “It was a pleasure to be part of an inspiring and family film,” he said, not a quote you often hear from movie actors. Mr. Noble was not only thrilled with the work of the actors, but with the biblical epic itself. “The stories that last, the stories that touch generation after generation, the classic stories and this is one of them, seem to me to have a common thread, the thread being that the individual can make a difference.”
Dominic Scott Kaye, the voice of Wilbur the pig in “Charlotte’s Web,” spoke of the fun of doing something which involved imagination. “You get to be a pig!” he enthused. He added that what he loved best about acting was “Film families, being on the set, having so much fun with all the other actors. I really, really do love film families.” The family setting is central to Dominic’s life, in his own immediate family and the film family he spends weeks with at a time.
David Devine, the director of the family-friendly film “Bailey’s Billions,” said, “I don’t want to run on and on but I am upset at the content that is being produced these days by most networks on television and also most studio feature films.” Regarding kids, he said he was attempting to “educate their imagination. And in this case, it’s simple. It’s to take care of animals and to treat animals equally.” He went on to say, “It’s the same as treating others. You treat them well. You don’t take advantage of people. It’s the little moral and ethical lesson instilled in really just a simple entertaining film for kids—to avoid violence, etc.”
Raven-Symone Pearman, the child star of “The Cosby Show,” and present star of “That’s So Raven,” voiced a character in the animated Twentieth Century Fox film “Everyone’s Hero.” When Dove asked about her continual involvement in family based projects, she said, “You don’t have to do something that you’re not comfortable with. I’m only twenty years old so I’m still 150,000 percent connected to my family. The best way to do work that you enjoy is to once again connect it to how your real life is going.”
Bruce Barry, the mastermind behind “Wacky World,” the animation studio which has produced “Bug Rangers” had an interesting insight into his approach to making family entertainment. “I just love people,” he said. “When I design the Bug Rangers, I create and design it with a child’s heart in mind. I was born and raised with the Disney style and the Disney mentality. If you look at some old Disney stuff, he mentions God and God is good. Like Johnny Appleseed—if you ever watch that he’s just thanking God—thank you for the air, thank you for the water, thank you for the animals.”
Michael Caton-Jones, the director of “Beyond the Gates,” the story about Rwandan genocide in 1994, commented on our happiness that an edited version of the film, with the language toned down, has been released on DVD. “I have no problem with that whatsoever” he said. It was nice to see that a film director, who has directed other major films such as “This Boy’s Life,” and “Rob Roy,” was ok with the film being edited for families.
Producer Stephen Kendrick of “Facing the Giants” was overseer of a $100,000 budget for the film which played on only 441 screens. It made ten million dollars, or a 1,000 % profit! We complimented Stephen on the quality of the production, despite the low budget, and he said, “We felt like the little boy with five loaves and two fish because we saw what God did. When we looked at it on the screen, we’d think that every one of the scenes were a whole string of miracles, in which God provided people and provided stuff that we needed. God provided a professional photographer and crew to help us shoot. He provided Sony and Provident to color correct the movie. He helped us edit out a lot of bad acting. The end result is something that makes us think, ‘God, this had to have been you because we couldn’t have pulled this off’.’”
John Kent Harrison is the director of many films and television specials including “The Water is Wide,” a story about African-American children on Yamacraw Island off the South Carolina coast in 1969. He observed that every story has a deeper story within it which must be told. “I always respond to a good story,” Harrison said in a recent interview with Dove. “But I always respond to an element in the story that makes me uncomfortable, something that I haven’t done before, that’s really challenging, the heart of the story. When I read this story, I felt the heart of the story was really about the children.”
Ken Wales, the producer of “Amazing Grace: The Story of William Wilberforce” made an interesting comment about how difficult it is to simply finish a film. Ken said the most rewarding aspect for him as producer was “looking at what was on screen, realizing the process and the history you’ve gone through. It’s a miracle that any film ever gets made! It’s a huge process.”
So there you are. You have read a variety of quotes that vary, from the fact that one person can make a difference, to “You get to be a pig!” These interesting quotes came from interesting people. It is good to realize that there is some light in the darkness out there for those who wish to watch quality family entertainment.
The Dove Foundation® is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to encourage and promote the creation, production, distribution and consumption of wholesome family entertainment. We are supported primarily by donations from families such as yours who want to move Hollywood in a more family-friendly direction. All donations are tax deductible.
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