Feature Interview: Angela Walker

August 6, 2007 by  
Filed under Book and Movie Interviews

Angela Walker
By Reece Tedford 
Angela Walker is the Director of Producer Relations for ChristianCinema.com
the world's leading online seller of Christian DVD's.


After obtaining a B.S. and M.A. in music, Angela joined the Celebrant Singers, based in Visalia, CA, and traveled around the world to more than 15 countries, as well as in all of the United States, sharing her faith through music and personal testimonies. During her time with Celebrants, she traveled on a team with Bobby Downes (founder of ChristianCinema.com) where she became good friends with him and his wife. She also managed the scheduling of domestic and international concert tours (which included more than 1500 concerts per year), and helped with the organization's fund-raising efforts. In 2004, Angela went to work for the Visalia Rescue Mission, an organization that feeds the homeless and provides them with shelter.  She coordinated fund-raising and volunteer activities for Visalia. In March of 2006, she recruited Bobby Downes to help with a Mission event, after which he offered her a job with ChristianCinema.com.

Angela reviews Hundreds of films per year for possible distribution and sale through ChristianCinema.com.  She is a key player in the online distribution of Christian-themed DVD's and has graciously taken the time to do this interview with The Christian Pulse.

TCP: As the world’s leading seller of online Christian DVD's, do you see this marketplace continuing to grow?
Angela: Absolutely, and it's happening for a couple of reasons. First, as Christians are encouraged to explore and express their faith with creative means, there are more and more who are producing media with a Christian worldview and/or overtly Christian message. Also, equipment is becoming less expensive, so the ability to make a film is open to many more people than it has been in the past. The independent films are gaining popularity among the masses, and moviegoers are more open to seeing these types of films. So, we have more and more films becoming available to the theater-goer and home viewer. Add to that the advent of sites like "YouTube", and suddenly anything anyone makes anywhere in the world becomes available to anyone with a computer.

Probably the one singular event that has been identified as a catalyst for attention from studios and mainstream distributors was the overwhelming success of "The Passion of the Christ." When you look at the box office numbers of that film, it's clear that a well-done film with good production values, a strong cast, and a great story can bring about the type of monetary success the studios are looking for. That shook people up. When you think about the attendance, you realize that the audience that went to see the film was predominantly Christian. The number of people from other world religions that would go to see a film like that is negligible.  I've had more than one Hollywood insider tell me that no one they knew that wasn't a Christian saw that film.

So, that identifies the size of audience that's available to Christian filmmakers. And that film continues to sell in DVD format. Christians want good entertainment, and they want it to be non-offensive and supportive of their faith. I believe they're willing to watch films that challenge their faith, and perhaps show man's need for God, but they won't purchase it and bring it into their home.

TCP: What has changed in the last 10 years that has allowed for or created such a demand for a website such as christiancinema.com (we think it's great!).
Angela: It's a combination of the factors I mentioned above – more independents making films, more films available to the Christian audience, and more of an audience looking for this type of media.

But, here's a very important factor about ChristianCinema.com, and why I believe our site is necessary.

Now that studios are beginning to see that Christians will spend money on entertainment, we're literally being flooded with films. However, not all of the films have a Christian worldview or perspective. A great example is "The DaVinci Code." The makers of that movie thought it would be the next Christian blockbuster. They didn't realize it was practically heretical. So, not all of the executives at the studios really understand Christianity.  They're just pulling out films that have some form of spirituality, or some type of family emphasis they think is appropriate.

So in this case, we are the gatekeepers for our customers. We can let the studios know what kind of films Christian audiences will want to see, and the types of films they won't. We understand what Christians are looking for, and we can help the studios and distributors provide better content to this market.

TCP: Do you feel there are too many Christian DVD's on the market or not enough?
Angela: There aren't enough. And – of course, there's a constant debate about what constitutes a "Christian DVD" and what doesn't. I think people are trying to draw broad categories into which you fit films, and it's hard to do. At ChristianCinema.com, some of our distinctives are:
•    Films made by a Christian filmmaker
•    Films with a Christian worldview or overtly Christian message
•    Films with messages of redemption, grace, love, hope and healing

TCP: What would you like to see more of in Christian movies? Any genre's under represented?
Angela: Action films – whether it's something like Indiana Jones, or National Treasure. Mystery films – there are some great stories by Christian novelists that are mysteries that would make great films. And, to put in a plug for an upcoming movie, "The List," which is based on a novel by Robert Whitlow, is a legal thriller. It's very well-done by Gary Wheeler, a friend of ours, and will start showing in theaters in August.  

Romantic comedies are another category with room for lots of films. I'm a science-fiction fan, and when I watch "Star Wars," "Star Trek," and other science fiction genre, I see so many spiritual themes already. Imagine if more were written with Christian perspectives. And I don't mean in a "let's bash them over the heads" type perspective, but in subtle ways that cause people to think about the messages of the films.

I'd like to see some really well-done films for kids – both animated and with live actors, again with stories that aren't completely message-oriented, but that are good stories with Christian perspectives. I like what Owen Smith has done with the "Sugar Creek Gang" films – they're very good.

TCP: What got you started working in the Christian movie industry?
Angela: Going to work for ChristianCinema.com was my introduction to the industry. I'm fortunate to work for a great company, work with guys who are deeply involved in production and distribution, and have a strong vision for the Christian filmmaking industry.

TCP: Tell us about some exciting new developments at Christian Cinema.
Angela: There are a couple of things. We're rolling out a new affiliate program, so I'm looking for writers and bloggers who would like to review films for us and be affiliate partners. We've also just completed a major overhaul of our DVD rental club, and so we're excited about getting that out into people's hands, because it's a great deal.

From a technical perspective, the newest thing we're developing is digital download. From our site, you'll be able to buy a DVD, rent one, stream or download a film for viewing. That's exciting! And "Theory of Everything" won:

Crown Awards: Best Evangelistic Film/Best Drama over $250,000/Film of the Year 2007

TCP: Angela, thanks again for your time and a great interview. We wish you and
ChristianCinema.com continued success!

Thanks Reece! It's been great getting to know you and being able to share about our work here at ChristianCinema.com with y'all.! Take care – Angela 

To learn more about ChristianCinema.com, click here .

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