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Kean grew up in Indianapolis playing basketball 25 hours a day, attended Indiana University studying English as a Creative Writing major, and in 1971 got his first job out of college as a tour escort in Hawaii. He has been living on Maui ever since, and while he had several careers including video production...read more

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Oct. 31, 2007 by Kean Salzer

Hollywood Stories Are About To Get A New Voice

I just made a trip to LA to attend an annual conference and teach a workshop on story structure. My students are starting to have their scripts picked up for development, and it's fun to see their passion turn into their career path.

The conference I attended was Reel Spirituality put on by Fuller Seminary's Brehm Center for the Arts. This is the third year in a row I've attended and this year the topic was TV: Good or Bad? The guest speakers were show runners from various current and formerly successful TV shows including Saving Grace, Battlestar Gallactica, That 70's Show, and many more. It was interesting hearing about how these people of faith tried to bring an entertaining show to the networks for pickup and how their faith was worked into the show. They are committed to producing entertainment and showing real people struggling with their life issues through a matrix of faith and fear. The journey of a character without hiding his faith has arrived. It's messy, and many in the church will be unable to see the value of such a production, but if people would stop and examine their own lives with intellectual and spiritual integrity most would see their own messes...sometimes crossing generations with unforgiveness and brokenness that causes abuse and destruction...but that's a hard thing...to look into the mirror of our lives and admit we also are on a messy journey.

I was so impressed with the people producing and writing Saving Grace and the clips they showed that I have added it to my DVR schedule. Now...if I can only get the time to watch it. I also sat in on several high level meetings with people who were about to be picked up for shows from the Travel Channel to a theatrical release romantic dramedy set inside WWII. Granted, I am networked a little in Hollywood because of my role as professor at a Christian college, but I am still seeing just a miniscule amount of the work being pitched. I just wanted to let you folks who have a spiritual inclination know that Hollywood is alive with young talent developing quality projects that produce life and wisdom woven inside the story and package of entertainment. Some of us have dedicated our lives to bringing up a new generation of storytellers who understand story and the business of show and how to weave their worldview into the story without propaganda or religious sales popping its head up...it was a good week for an old professor.


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