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Jesus Revolution with Andy Erwin!

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2023 5:38 pm

Jesus Revolution with Andy Erwin!

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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January 25, 2023 5:38 pm

Jesus Revolution with Andy Erwin!

Steve talks to Andy Erwin from Jesus Revolution about how he got connected with Lionsgate Studios in making movies.

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network.

at And now, here's your host, Steve Noble. It's not all that often that I get a famous person in the studio.

It doesn't happen all that often. Then everybody knows Steven Spielberg stops by and then some other person from Hollywood and then Andy Irwin stops by and you're like, wow, Andy Irwin, I can't believe it. But I knew you before you were you. Hi, Andy Irwin. I'm just here to fill in until George Lucas obviously shows up.

Yes, well, you can't throw rocks when you live in a glass house yourself. Yes. I don't know that Kingdom Story Company has, I would guess that you have more Star Wars propaganda and stuff in your headquarters than I do in my studio. People can't see it, but there's a carpet on the ground of the Millennium Falcon that I'm going to have Nick, my assistant, pack up and take home with me. Because you don't have that. I don't have it. I have not seen it yet. Yes. It was impressive.

I'm feeling pretty good about myself all of a sudden. The Legos is standard fare. Right. Unimpressive.

A large Millennium Falcon carpet that covers the whole room. I'm good with that. That I could best an Irwin brother in the Star Wars paraphernalia world is pretty good. It's great to see you. How are you?

I'm good, buddy. It's always good to be here. I mean, it feels like whenever I step in, I just feel like we haven't lost any time. No. It's just the old times. It's kind of like a homecoming.

So if you don't know Andy Irwin, Andy and John Irwin. Well, now there you've got Jesus Revolution coming out, which I've been talking about. Opening in February. February 24th. Is that right? 24th.

February 24th. So we're going to talk about that. American underdog was before that.

The Kurt Warner story and then the Johnny Cash. What do we call those? Bi epic, bio epic.

What is that? It was a bio doc. A bio doc. And then before that, going back in time, I still believe that was the Jeremy Camp story. I can only imagine the Bart Millard story and Mercy Me. And then another Greg Laurie with talking about, well, what's his name? Steve McQueen.

Steve McQueen. And then, of course, Woodlawn and Moms Night Out and October Baby, which was the first time I ever heard your guys' voices when October Baby came out. When was that?

That was almost 14 years ago now. Which is one of the most powerful pro-life movies I've ever seen. Yeah, it was a special one to do. It was a story that touched our hearts based on a friend of ours journey. And we told that story and little tiny meager means. And you were one of the first to kind of jump on board and help us get the word out.

And then do you remember when we now see good. Now here's the problem. Here's why I have an advantage on you. I've met a lot of people. You've met a lot of people times 50. So the first time we met face to face was on a cruise ship. Really? Yep. And it was a family life marriage cruise ship. That was the first time?

Gina and I were on there and you were doing a promo showing of Moms Night Out. That was a fun cruise. Like, I think all films should be promoted on cruise.

I feel gypped. Since COVID, I have not been invited on one cruise to go. Oh, yeah. See, that's a problem. So that's a problem. That is a key to success. That's a sin problem in somebody's life. Yeah, somebody needs to make that right.

We're gonna leave that to the Lord. Family life, if you're listening, hey, we need an invite. Yeah, but that was a lot of fun. We got a chance to show it on the boat and then got a free cruise out of it and meet a lot of cool people. I didn't realize that was the first time we met.

Yep. And then I was on the set of I Can Only Imagine in Oklahoma City, which is how I met the Green family through you guys. And then I did a bunch of stuff with them, which was cool. And then it's just been great to watch what God has done in and through you guys.

Hard to imagine that when you were working illegally with ESPN. We started out young. We started out young. We fudged our age. But, yeah, it was God's has brought us a long ways.

I mean, when we got started, this was a hobby. It was just, you know, we were from Birmingham, Alabama. The idea of being full time filmmakers serving, you know, a faith kind of message to our stories like that was unheard of. And so and then obviously the Kindred brothers kind of broke that door wide open. We kind of followed and stood on the shoulders of great, great people and and kind of try to put our stamp on it. And so God's, you know, helped us find our calling. And I think, you know, Woodlawn was the one where we kind of like this is our kind of story.

We tell true stories of redemption, underdog stories, you know, real life situations. And then that led to I Can Only Imagine. And then, you know, the rest is history.

The rest is history. And then, you know, when you look at the Kindred brothers movies, and I've had this conversation with your brother, with John a lot, is the Kindred boys making movies for the church. The Irwin boys are making movies to go out into the world and have a subtle, it's kind of like Wise as Serpents and Gentle as Doves. It's a subtle presentation.

It's gospel saturated. The other thing I love about your movies is that it's always a true story. Is that just something that you guys decided we're only going to do true stories? I mean, every filmmaker kind of finds their story to tell and then they kind of tell it in different versions. And so for us being documentary guys, you know, that kind of being our roots, we just gravitated towards latching onto people's true stories. And I think with Stephen Adams with Kindreds, you know, we had early conversations because they were one of the first challenges to get in the game.

Yeah. And they just said that, you know, God's really called us to serve the church, to tell these lessons to the church. And they're like, don't try to be us.

Do what God's called you to do. We said we feel, you know, compelled to reach people just outside the church doors, the people that need to be reached. And true stories, there's just something really disarming about it. Very much so. You know, especially, you know, in this society that the ultimate God that they have is everybody's personal experience, your personal truth.

What's your truth? And so the idea, if you can find a story that communicates the idea of redemption, the gospel, but in a way that's through somebody's real life experience, they don't know what to do to criticize that. Right. So there's a reason why a movie like Underdog, it's certified fresh by critics because there's really it's hard to criticize somebody that lived that.

And yeah, I mean, it's a Super Bowl winning Kurt Warner story. I mean, exactly. And it's a bit of a pain that he happens to be a born again Christian. Right.

It's something you got to deal with. Right. So when we tell those stories and then all those stories, the success of Imagine and all the movies that we made along the way, you know, as a team, we decided to leverage that on this movie, Jesus Revolution. And to have a movie going out wide everywhere.

That's a true story that has the name Jesus in the title is like what in the world happened? I mean, that's been a busy 15 years. Yeah. In partnership with Lionsgate.

Yeah, absolutely. We were talking earlier off the air and my wife, Jean, and I were watching a movie recently. And of course, Lionsgate comes up and she knows, obviously, that Kingdom Story Company and Lion Gate, your partnership there, which we'll talk about. And she's like, Lionsgate, they do everything. Yeah, they really do. And so you have that kind of industry muscle.

Yeah. Which only God could really put that together. God just really kind of opened the doors at that place in particular. And it was just, you know, they're blue collar. They kind of, you know, saw our business as an opportunity.

And like any studio, they think it's the business that they're thinking. Sure. Can it make us money?

Sure. But they've given us a lot of freedom. So, you know, the same studio that puts out, you know, the Saw franchise and Hunger Games and all the others. And John Wick. And John Wick is letting us put out a movie across the nation, fully funded, called Jesus Revolution.

Jesus Revolution. And it's huge. Yeah. And we don't take that for granted.

That is a match that only God could put together. Absolutely. Which is exactly what's going on. We'll keep talking about that. We'll talk about Jesus Revolution. We'll take a little stroll behind the scenes.

What's it like to make a movie? There's a lot to talk about with some old friends, that being me. And Andy Erwin, this is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. We'll be right back.

It's Chicago. See, your age is showing, Andy Erwin. Famous filmmaker, Andy and John Erwin.

Kingdom Story Company. And we're going to be talking about Jesus Revolution. We just changed all my bump music. Really?

So that was Chicago Saturday. How long have you had the other bump music? Probably two years. Yeah. Okay. So we haven't changed the intro music and the cow mooing. Okay.

That's just branding. You got to stick with that. Okay. I was like, if it doesn't have a mooing cow, it's just a mooing. Right.

You know, yeah, you got to kill the cow. So that's the first time I've heard my new bump music. So thank you everybody over there at Truth Radio. God bless you. Now I got to wait for the emails because people are going to ask me why I use secular bump music.

But I love that question. Go ahead. Steve at

Email me all you want. Steve at I'll be happy to talk to you about why I use secular music, which we're going to talk about in Jesus Revolution. And an interesting little tidbit about Christian radio.

I don't know if you know this, Andy. They think about 25 to 35% of Christian radio listeners are unchurched because there's no pressure. Yeah.

Nobody's asking them for money directly. They don't have to walk into a building where nobody knows who they are. That's fascinating. And you can just kick the tires. I love that. So that affects how I do radio because I know there's somebody listening to us right now. Very similar thought process. Just the same thing as you guys do with movies that doesn't have a personal relationship with Jesus.

So every once in a while, if I drop some Christian terminology and say born again, I'm like, oh, I got to explain that. So it's just been great. I love doing this and I love you guys and appreciate you. John and Andy have been making films for a long time. And then originally ESPN doing that, playing around. And then you made Christian music videos.

Yep. We're music video directors for a long time. And then you got into feature films.

And then now I want to talk big picture and then we'll talk about Jesus Revolution. How did the whole thing come with Lionsgate? Because you got Christian film and Lionsgate. Lionsgate isn't exactly run by a bunch of Bible thumpers and they're in LA.

So how do you put that stuff together? Surprisingly, there were a lot of underground Christians there that had been praying for the opportunity. How about that? And so like in positions of influence, there were several individuals that had been praying exactly for what happened. Wow. And then as soon as there was the opportunity to prove the business model, they jumped all over it. Yeah, because we make up, we being Christians make up a significant part.

Oh, yes. It's a huge audience. And I think that's the thing that's being tested right now with Jesus Revolution where they're wanting to prove the audience again. And so it's a huge opportunity.

All eyes are on that moment for the feature of faith film. But I think, you know, for us, we took a risk on a little movie called I Can Only Imagine. Why was that a risk? Well, because we did it independently. We went and raised the money for it. And we were coming off of Woodlawn, which was a critical success and it was a spiritual success, but it was a financial failure.

And so, you know, it didn't perform the way we would hoped. And so coming off of that and then doing an independent film, the month that we started filming that movie, there was an article that came out in Entertainment Weekly that said the music biopic is dead. And we're like, that's a good time to do a music biopic.

Thanks a lot. We're dead. But it was just one of those moments where we just kind of like instead of trying to self-protect, we let go of the boat and start swimming. And like if we drown, we drown. And God just was in it.

It was in the moment. And we did this little movie and nobody, you know, we didn't have a distributor. And so we got approached by Roadside, which is the sister company to Lionsgate, and they wanted to put it out. And we said we liked that big, you know, attractive logo of Lionsgate.

Just gives imputed worth. And so we did a deal with both of them so that we could have Lionsgate release it. And that movie came out and people thought it was going to do nothing.

It was just predicted to do squat and it dominated it. Seventeen million dollars opening weekend. A-plus CinemaScore went on to do. And the amount of people in America, Christian and otherwise, that know the song, I can only imagine it's crazy because that charted and it went outside of the world.

It was huge outside the church. And so, you know, there was a lot of things that looking back, like of course it was going to make a, you know, a good movie. But, you know, up to that point everybody thought that it was crazy. And so Lionsgate, it was one of their most profitable films that year. And so they came back and some of those people that were believers said this is a good business model guys. And they took a chance on us and, you know, put out a long-term deal. Tyler Perry had just left the company to go elsewhere.

And we said, could we have Tyler's slot? And God just gave us favor. And the cool thing that came out of that is one of the things they gave us was Final Cut. They gave us, you know, creative control of our product, which at that point in our career we should never have had. But, you know, as a result, it's allowed us to really make sure that we keep the authenticity and the purity of the faith component of our films, you know, intrinsically honest to what our audience is and what we believe. And so there's not anybody out in Hollywood, you know, fidgeting with it and trying to make it more this, more that. It's like, no, this is what we believe.

And it's honest, hence the opportunities that we're getting now. When's the last time there was a feature film with the name Jesus in the title? Was it Jesus Christ Superstar? Has there been anything since then? As far as narrative feature, I can't think of one. Like Jesus Christ Superstar probably be the last one. Yeah, that'd be the last one.

Yeah. I mean, there's been other like, you know, we've even done docs that have had that in the title. But as far as like a narrative feature film and a major release, I can't think of one.

Yeah, I might be blanking. But yeah, that would be the last time that would have been like the late 70s, early 80s. So it was... Willem Dafoe, The Last Temptation of Christ, which is what, in 1981 or something? It's been probably 40 years.

All right. So what was the genesis of Jesus Revolution? I know it because there's kind of a backstory to all this. I think you're part of the backstory. You know, you introduced my brother to a fellow, you know, chaos guy and Greg Laurie. Those two just love to stir the pot.

Yes, two peas in a pot. So Greg Laurie, the pastor of Harvest Church and John got introduced by you and they started kind of dreaming. And we had just come off of, you know, we'd just come off of Woodlawn and we were, you know, very interested in the Jesus movement because that kind of played into the Woodlawn story. The Jesus movement happened in the 70s with the hippies.

Like that movement, the tail end of it hit Birmingham, Alabama and caused the movie Woodlawn, that whole storyline to happen. But there was a cover of Time magazine that John discovered when we were filming that movie that on the cover of 1971 said the Jesus Revolution. And then he went back and did his research and three years earlier there was a cover that was just a black backdrop, the words, Is God Dead?

And so John was a splinter in his mind. He's like, what must have seismically happened to have those two covers? What happened in those years?

Three years apart. And so he started doing a deep dive and he and Greg started talking about the stories of the Jesus movement. Greg was, you know, like a lot of leaders in the church now trace their roots back to that time. And so Greg was a teenager, a drugged out hippie kid that was one of the initial converts that the story was about.

And so they just swapped stories back and forth. So we're on set doing other movies and John keeps talking to Greg. He's like, we got to do the Jesus Revolution. We got to do Jesus. Well, when John would show up and you guys are doing events or going to big conventions and a lot of Christians around are a big SBC annual thing and he's talking about the vision and FOMO, fear of missing out on all this stuff. He would always bring the Jesus Revolution into the conversation.

Like what in the world happened in the culture that all of a sudden people are talking about Jesus and all these hippies and what's the deal there? Can we study that? That's the last great awakening in American history.

And then can you do anything from a human perspective to maybe see that spark again? Yeah, it's been his bully pulpit. It's what he's continued to say. This is a story, you know, the story's revival sparked revival.

So it's like that idea. It was a splinter in his mind. And the thing that he took into this that was really impressive and I think the reason why the story plays very broad is he really saw in the DNA as he interviewed a lot of these older people that were hippies back in the day is these weren't bad kids going to do drugs and it wasn't the sex drug in the rock world. It wasn't about it being rebellious. What it was is these were kids that were searching for all the right things but in all the wrong places. They were told or sold a bill of goods that this LSD was going to be what unlocked their mind and this greater consciousness to understand God.

Looking for love in all the wrong places, of course. Exactly. Which is exactly what's going on today, which we're going to talk about it in the next segment. We'll get into Jesus Revolution. By far the best movie the Irwin brothers have done. It's really amazing. We'll be right back.

Dale D'Souza. Allegedly. Allegedly. This is another one of those live radio moments, right? Right. You know what we should do is intro music.

Yes. But we're not. We're not. I'm hearing you. Would you like to sing?

You got a little tune going. I'll save that for the look. There it is.

So you know what it is now. This is what I do. If you're a real professional, Andy, you don't acknowledge when anything goes wrong.

But I always acknowledge when a thing goes wrong. So what's happening right now is the clock's probably off by about 10 or 12 seconds. There you go.

So that's September. You just got to prime the pump and then it kind of the moment happens. So I just say, hey, listen, this is the deal. This is what happens when you're in live radio. And you can either trust in chariots and horses or you can trust in the living God.

And I trust the living God. And so I hate pre-recording. I think pre-recording and pre-recording podcasts and stuff is for wimps, quite frankly. And if you can't... Get it live. We'll do it live.

We'll do it live. Then get out. Get off the big porch. Go play around with all the kids out there with the little toys and the fake stuff. And we're going to be up here with the real fireworks. So if you can't play live stage and get out, that's basically what it is.

So I love it when things go wrong. Anyway, John and Andy Irwin, of course. John is Andy's brother and been making films for a long time. And you guys have seen probably most of them. Mom's Night Out, which was a blast because it was just a great comedy. Nobody saw that coming.

They're like, there's Christians that did that? It was fun. And it was just a blast. But October before that, Mom's Night Out, then Woodlawn, then I Can Only Imagine, then I Still Believe, which was crazy timing because stupid COVID. Yeah, we were number one in the box office on Friday and it was... All the theaters were shut down by Tuesday. It was the shortest theater run of any movie. But we had a number one Friday.

Put that flag in the ground. And then nobody came back on Tuesday. But that's a great story. Jeremy Camp's story is powerful.

And then of course, now we're talking about Jesus Revolution, which is literally about the Jesus movement, the Jesus revolution. All right, Kelsey Grammer and Jonathan Rumer. We all know Kelsey Grammer because he's been around for ages. Incredible actor. So let's talk about him. And then Jonathan Rumi, everybody, you know, now you got Jesus playing Lonnie Frisbee from The Joseph.

Jonathan is on top of his game right now. Oh yeah, he's everywhere. That guy, I mean, he's a force of nature and he is a great actor.

Like very method. It's kind of like, you know, our version of Daniel Day Lewis. He just disappears into a role.

I mean, for this one to be... So he plays Lonnie Frisbee, who is the hippie evangelist. And Lonnie was very much a complicated character.

Yeah, okay. He had his own demons, but had this raw power and kind of this really, this movement of the spirit that was hard to explain. And he was the nitroglycerin when he met Chuck Smith, this established preacher. And the two of them together, just that was the explosive, combustible energy. And Jonathan and Kelsey together, his dance partners in this film, are fantastic.

That was just mesmerizing. Like the scene at the kitchen table where they're talking about hippie generation. The two of them together, you know, it's just, I mean, I could watch that on a loop. And so Kelsey decided to do this film. And of course people know Kelsey from Frasier and Cheers and, you know, and then a list of movies.

But Kelsey, you know, we're looking for somebody that had the gravitas to play Chuck Smith. And so when Kelsey was looking at the project, he was out on his back porch and he's, you know, leans Christian. He's a believer. But he was out on his back porch and kind of having this moment of prayer with God.

And he's like, I just want to do something with my life that counts. And he walked in and looked at his desk and sitting on the desk. His agent had put the script for Jesus Revolution on the desk. He read the script and he said, I'm in.

I'm doing it. And so he came in and just brought this. I mean, there's several moments in the film that will take your breath away.

He's so good as Chuck Smith. And on a side note, and I watched it first and then Gina watched it. And then I had two screenings.

I did them the same night, two separate theaters, about half an hour apart. So I'm watching all these people react. And the thing about it is that Chuck Smith has to go from kind of the culture war, evangelical, we don't want, I mean, I don't want any woke kids coming in. I don't want any transgender. I don't want any homosexuals showing up here. I don't want any of that stuff. You stay out here. You come in with a mask and you don't know what gender you are.

Stay out. And that's that's Chuck Smith at the time. He was very fronted by the complete opposite. Yeah, it's interesting. I mean, I think it's as a movie, it just brings up a lot of really interesting conversations. You know, it's kind of like that that verse where, you know, the disciples are talking to Jesus and and the first try and trick him. And he just like, you know, says, love your neighbors yourself. And then they came back like, who is my neighbor? Mm hmm. And I think that the question is, like, who's my neighbor?

Like, who who are the people to reach? And I think the thing that Chuck had to look at is it wasn't his belief system. It was just his lens of who needed to be reached and loved. Right. And along come these hippies that have I mean, they were messed up.

Oh, man, like messy. And, you know, there was this thing that people were laughing and Lonnie's saying that, you know, God's saving the hippies and nobody thought hippies could get saved. And and in that, Chuck intentionally began to reach out to the broken.

Yeah. And the needy and the people that were the outcasts and, you know, and opened his church doors to the only one doing it and took a lot of flack for that. And then this revival broke out where it just started sweeping the country. And so, you know, as far as how that applies today, that's for much brighter minds than us. We're just storytellers. But we're telling what happened then with the idea of there was something so pure and so authentic and so needed in that time.

And you look at the time now and there's a craving. I think this generation, regardless of put the issues to the side. Sure. Like put the whatever the soapbox topics are. Look at the craving for what this generation is looking for. And I think there is a desire for truth and meaning and to belong.

But which is why they're bouncing all over the place. All the crazy things you're looking for. You're looking for things that can't hold that they can't contain.

Right. So whatever is the current issue, the current topic, the current thing, you know, there is this fear that, you know, I need I need something that's true. And and I think in that there's an awesome opportunity that people they're looking for authentic love. And that can only be found in Jesus. And that gets voiced quite clearly and explicitly in Jesus Revolution.

It does. And there's these powerful moments that happen and this combustible energy between this hippie evangelist Lonnie Frisbee and Chuck Smith. And there's all sorts of beautiful moments that are explored that historically happen. And then and then to have Greg Laurie's whole conversion story in there. And then Kathy, who would become his wife.

And I've known those guys for years. And it was just kind of cool to watch that love story. By the way, both my wife now, our daughter, Caroline, of course, knew who was playing Greg.

I didn't know who he was. Joel Courtney, he's great. And then the girl playing Kathy. And when I watched it, I'm like, these two are really good.

And that's something that communicates, especially, I think, you know, to a younger crowd is there's this gorgeous love story, you know, between Greg and Kathy Laurie. And so Greg is played by Joel Courtney. That was the little kid in Super 8.

And so, oh, OK. Yeah. So he was J.J. Abrams discovered him. And and then Joel, I mean, he's all grown up now and he's kind of going on to do a lot of Netflix movies that a lot of the younger people like.

But but Joel is a believer. And he came in and decided to do the story. And then Anna Grace Barlow plays plays Kathy. And she's like a young Kate Hudson in this. And the two of them together, the love story is just it's they're magnetic. And so it was incredible. It's so good.

Yeah. That's why I said earlier and I said that night when I told Gina, I said, OK, you got to watch this with me tomorrow night. And I said that the Erwin's have made some great movies.

They've never made this one. Well, this one this one and I got to give credit to my brother on this one. So this one is one that, again, he saw the value in it and he championed it for years. You know, so when we were finishing American Underdog, he was like, next thing I'm going right away into Jesus Revolution. And and and he was ready to go a lot quicker than I was because he doesn't like to stop because he's manic and he's just going to pass out one day and never wake up. But he decided to go ahead and do this. And I said, you know, if you feel like you've got to go, go.

I'll slide over to being a producer. And so he took Brent McCorkle, who's one of our longtime collaborators, and the two of them went off to make it. And when I started seeing the footage come out, man, I was just like, oh, this is different.

This is special. And it's one that plays across a broad swath, like because, you know, the traditional Christian, you know, audience sees their history. But then you've got, you know, you know, more kind of a younger generation that sees what they crave. Yeah. As authenticity and ultimate truth and something to belong to. Yeah, it's it's a proposition for them. Exactly. It's an invitation where and when you were explaining that earlier and they're looking for truth here and there.

And I know because I because my audience is me and I said, they go, no, no, they're so screwed up. No, no, they are all seeking. Yeah. And the problem is in our flesh, the last place you want to end up is at the foot of the cross and bow the knee to a moral God, because that brings all the baggage of morality with it. So you you'll you'll go down every other path and every other rabbit trail trying to find that answer because you crave it. And there's only one thing that can satisfy it. And it's Christ. Right.

And oftentimes for a lot of people, myself included, that is the last place I'll go. Yeah. So this is a very you're like, OK. All right, here's the hippie generation. Nobody wanted them. They were looking for love. They were looking for meaning. They're trying to find some existential out of my body experience.

And, you know, Jesus Christ sitting there the whole time going, yeah, I'm right here. Yeah. And then so just a proposal. Yeah. Just consider it. Yeah.

And I think they will. Yeah, because I think at the foot of that cross is invitation of love, because, you know, it's a it's a come to me as you are. That's right. And I think that the one of my favorite scenes in the movie is that scene with Chuck Smith, where after, you know, I won't give it there's a beautiful moment leading into it that I won't give it away because it's a breathtaking moment. But when he then he preaches this message based on the plaque on the statue of Liberty, come in to, you know, bring bring bring all your your huddled masses, your broken, your your destitute. And it's that idea of it being an invitation. And he says, you know, no matter what you've done or what you are still currently doing, like, it's an invitation. You're welcome here to understand forgiveness.

That never changes. Andy Irwin. We'll be right back. Welcome back at Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show,

You can get the podcast wherever you get podcasts. We're all over the place slowly but surely taking over the world. Actually, that's not what we're doing.

I don't have to worry about any of that stuff. That's all the Lord's doing and which is awesome. And one of the things that's been really cool in my media life for the last 20 years to watch what happens is to watch what's happened to my friends, John and Andy Irwin.

And Andy's here in the studio today in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is great to see you and have you here and just to watch what God has done with you guys. I'm a movie nerd anyway. The only thing we have to figure out for you guys to get you into the highest, the best zip code in heaven is you got to figure out a way to do some kind of a true science fiction, Star Wars-esque Christian movie. Yeah, that's the now when you get there. I'll have to fight idolatry because we're all a bunch of Star Wars nerds as well. So we have a lot in common. Yeah, we were talking earlier that you're just trying to figure out your way onto the Skywalker Ranch.

Yes, that's all. That's how we pay for our son's college education. On the airplane, I was watching the Big Bang Theory and the episode where Leonard and Sheldon snuck into the Skywalker Ranch and they had to be escorted out and permanently banned from there with their pictures on the gate. And I'm like, yeah, that would be me and Steve. Yes, we're all over that. So we'll keep working on that one.

And by the way, we'll hang out later at my house and have dinner. We're not going to talk about movies. We are going to talk about Andor, though. Oh, man. So bring your A game because we have to talk about what's happening.

Andor. Really important stuff. That changed my life.

That put hope back in the Lucas universe for me. Yes, I'm right there with you. So we're going to have a great time later. We'll talk about that. But right now, talking about the Jesus revolution opening nationwide February 24th. It'll be all over the country.

Just as a reminder for everybody. Here's what I'm going to tell you, because I watched the 120 people that came out to our two screeners. We did two screens in one night and had about 120 people come out and see the movie that night, Andy. And I knew they were going to be shocked because they're not they're used to seeing good a good Christian movie. I think our standards we lower our standards when we walk in to see a Christian movie. This is not this is the best produced, most high quality Christian movie I've ever seen. That's why I'm like, this isn't really a Christian movie in terms of that, because I think we just have lowered our expectations. But this is an A game. It's remarkable how good this movie is. Thanks, man. And so it was cool to watch people.

They were all like, Yeah, I'm I'm surprised this is I'm like, yes, see, there you go. OK, good, because that's what God is doing. How important is opening weekend? I want to always remind people of that, because this is still a game that involves money. And I know one of the dreams for you guys is to when you have a blockbuster, you don't have to work.

The evangelism gets taken care of by the market and then it goes all over the place and it can go into countries all over the world. So remind us of how important it is for us to come out the weekend of February. Yeah, very much. You know, the the February 24th opening weekend, like it's that's that's critical. You know, Lions Gate, you know, the reason why the quality looks good is Lions Gate has continued to support us with the budget.

You know, and so for us taking a movie like American Underdog, where we were able to kind of do a really good sports movie, to take that now into an overtly Christian film, but pour the same kind of resources into a movie like that just continues to allow us to chase that. And what supports that is them believing that there's an audience that's going to show up. So you vote with your ticket.

That's right. You know, and so if you don't show up, say, I'll just wait for it to be on home video, then you may not get another opportunity. And this one in particular, because coming out of COVID and all the different things right now, Hollywood as a whole is evaluating what audiences are viable and what audiences are dead, who's come back, who's come back. And they and they make rash decisions. So it's not like, oh, we'll give those another shot. It's like, oh, no, moving on.

That's dead. And so, you know, if you want to prove the model right now, all eyes are on is the faith audience still viable. And, you know, a movie with Jesus in the title that's overtly Christian, but also, you know, mainstream accessible that has big actors in it and that they put the budget into and they're putting a wide release. They're like, OK, it has all the ingredients. Now is the audience going to show up? If the audience shows up, it's a game changer, you know, and it resets the model. And now they're going to be like, we want more of this.

If they don't show up or they show up, you know, in lesser numbers, they'll be like, you know, we'll go back to the lower budget films. And so it's really important to show up and vote with your ticket. So and to kind of mobilize your church community to see it as an evangelism opportunity.

Just the idea of buy a ticket for you and a ticket for a lost friend. And there's conversations that will come out of this. Yeah, it's pregnant with that kind of opportunity. And that's the whole point. Don't don't listen. A lot of us outsource the discipleship of our kids to the youth group.

And that didn't work. You have to own this. And so you use it as just a primer.

It's just kind of tills the soil. And then after that, what you think of that? What you think of the message, blah, blah, blah, blah. But you've got to take people with you. How many screens will it open up? Yeah, we're going to be on close to 3000.

So it's the widest release we've ever had. And this is the cool thing about it, is that to Andy's point, you can actually have an impact on what God's going to do with this thing by showing up and voting with your pocketbook. He's like, I'm just one person. No, you aren't. You are part of a movement.

And that's why it's incumbent upon us. I'm old enough. My audience will get this reference.

You probably will, because you're a nerd enough. Hot Wheels. We had a Hot Wheel track. So the day that changed my life as a Hot Wheel person is when they came out with the battery operated thing with the spinning rubber wheels in it. And so your car has no energy.

And it shot it back out. That's us. We're the Hot Wheel station where we shoot the movie out. And then you can actually, if it has a killer first weekend, sometimes they even add screens. And that determines how long it's in the theater, which determines how many people are going to see it, and then gives it even more weight once it crosses over and it gets into the stream. Well, case in point, like a little movie, like I can only imagine, should not have done anywhere close to what it did.

No. But that opening weekend, it made so much noise that we were looking at the data for what theaters were exploding. And there was one in Burbank.

Nobody goes and sees a Faith film in Burbank. So we sent kind of some spies to go check out like who's in this audience. They walked in and it was a bunch of suits. They're all in there with notepads taking notes like, why does this work?

It was the movie studios being like, what is going on? Next thing you know, screens are added. We continue to kind of fight our way through. And then the Fearing Missing Out kicks in. And then the general movie public goes like, what's that?

I can only imagine. And they show up. So the reason why there was a Time Cover magazine that said the Jesus revolution four years or three years after Is God Dead is because Christians were making so much noise, they could not deny it. You can't deny it. So the headlines, if this does well, is Jesus is back again. And it's like, you know, it's an opportunity to engage culture in a way that's an invitation instead of an exclusion.

It's evangelistic. Yeah, it's so cool. Have you talked to Greg since all this is going down? I'm going to have him on the show.

I haven't talked to him about it yet. We texted, but... Greg's all over it. So Greg... It's got to be wild for him to all of a sudden kind of see part of his life, the epicenter of his life on the screen. Greg's part movie star.

I mean, it's funny. When we were first hanging out, John and him are so much closer than I am. I mean, John and Greg, I think, are long-lost like twins or relatives or something. But we were walking into the movie theater and Greg's a movie buff.

I mean, beyond us. I mean, to the obsessive level. And we walked in and there was a mural on the wall at the theater in L.A. And he looked up and it was all these old icons. And he points out, he's like, quick, who could name all the people on that wall? And so I went through and I was like, oh, it's James Cagney, John Wayne, you know, all the way down. Cary Grant, all this stuff. And I was like, that's... And I had said somebody, Errol Flynn. He's like, no, it's Tyrone Power. I knew that.

I'm like, what is wrong with you? So it was pretty... He loves movies. So the idea of seeing it created, he had very strong opinions on everything from the cast to me.

Oh, I'm sure. And he was on set in the majority of the days. And things happened that were really cool. Like on set when they're doing the baptisms at Pirate's Cove, there was one character that we cast because Lionsgate, it's in a social media article on this guy, Sean Weiss, that was the goalie for the Mighty Ducks movies, played Goldberg. So they said, this is like one of the people in the movie that you're talking about minister to because Sean had just come out with this story. He had, after being a child actor, had bottomed out on drugs, gotten on meth, ended up homeless at one point and which looked very gaunt and skeletal and tried to build his life back together through going to rehab. So they said, we want to put him in the movie. So Lionsgate flew him to set and got him there. He plays this broken down Vietnam. He's that guy. He's in several scenes.

Yeah. Well, they added scenes for him. And so when it got to the baptism, before it started, he pulled Greg Laurie to the side and he said, I want to pray that prayer for real. And he made a decision for Christ. And then he said, before we do the scene, he said, Greg, can you baptize me? And so Greg baptized him before they did the baptism scene. And so, like, it's just one of those things where, you know, life imitates art. And it's just Greg being a part of every part of that. I think it influenced the movie that was made. Yeah.

What's it been like to see cast and crew? Because it's not like you run around, nor did you have an intention. And I agree with this. If I were in your shoes, I would never try to hire all Christians.

I want to find the best people I can. And then minister to them in whatever way I can, because most of them are going to be unbelievers. But that's got to have been a really cool aspect of all these years of doing it. Yeah. I mean, we kind of lean the other way because there was a lot of people and I don't know that it's right or wrong. I'm not going to judge what other people do.

But a lot of other people are like, no, we want to hire only Christians to be made by Christians for Christians. Yeah. And if I get that and that's what if that's what you're called to do, then, you know, I support it. And I say that that's that you're right to make the movie that you want to make. But for us, we kind of lean the other direction. I love interacting in a loving way with people that disagree with me.

Yeah. I'm not afraid of engaging with people that we don't believe the same thing. I think there's so much made about tolerance now and it's been hijacked. The idea of tolerance is that we have to all change what we believe and agree with each other.

No tolerance is the idea that I'm going to love you as a person, show you dignity and respect, even if we did fundamentally disagree on everything vehemently. And and that's that's that's what on our sets we're like, come as you are, you know, come whether you agree with this or not. But we have to honor the real life story we're telling. Yeah. And you have to do your job to make sure it's authentic and it's it's it's it's a great reflection of what this person believed and what their life was. Yeah.

And so along the way, we've developed friendships with a lot of people that from are all shapes and sizes. And it's an opportunity to to love people towards Jesus. Yeah, it's so cool. And that you think about, you go all the way back to the first century, go back to the Book of Acts. If you're a believer, then almost nobody agrees with you. Yeah. Like the whole world disagrees with you.

You're the craziest. And so you wade into that because, like we were told in the scriptures, the harvest is white. Right. So we pray for the workers to go forth. That's us.

And we can all do that. Coming up February 24th in theaters everywhere, Jesus revolution based on the true story, what happened late 60s, early 70s and Greg Laurie stories in there and Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel and Lonnie Frisbee. It's an amazing movie. You've got to go watch it.

We'll keep talking about it. Jesus Revolution, Jesus Revolution dot movie, February 24th, Andy Irwin. God bless you, man. I love you. I appreciate you. And it's just such a blessing to be able to hang with you guys and see what God's doing. Love you, buddy. This is always a new picture. This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-26 21:26:17 / 2023-01-26 21:45:35 / 19

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