Posts By Dr. Lorene Wales

01 Jul 2013 Dr. LoreneWales

The Holy Spirit and the Life of the Artist’s Mind

No Comments Building Christian Leaders, Foundation of Excellence

Regent University - drawing“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.” ~William Faulkner

A while back, I wrote a blog on the Holy Spirit and the Life of the Mind. It told the story of how the Holy Spirit worked not only in my own life, but also in my work as a teacher. I recently looked back on that and realized one very important factor was missing. I talked about the life of the mind, but not really my mind as an Artist (capital A!). Read more

23 Apr 2013 Dr. LoreneWales

Casting God: Who Knew? “The Bible” Mini-Series Surprises Hollywood

No Comments Foundation of Excellence

Regent University - film setI was all ready after the first night of The History Channel’s “The Bible” mini-series to announce its demise. There was so much in that first night that I was sure audiences, although tuning in out of curiosity, would certainly abandon the series by the flowing week. Boy was I wrong. The first night of the series garnered a whopping 14 million viewers. The second week it got 13 million viewers. The publicity online shouted its success beating “American Idol” the first week. Who knew? Hollywood is certainly scratching its head. The makers, Mark Burnett, and wife/actress Roma Downey have said in interviews how thrilled they are that it has resonated with such a large audience, and for that, I do applaud them. Read more

21 Feb 2013 Dr. LoreneWales

And the Award Goes to…

No Comments Building Christian Leaders, Foundation of Excellence

Okay, so here it is again, award season. Every year, the entertainment industry holds numerous awards shows: the Oscars, People’s Choice, Golden Globes, SAG, DGA, WGA, PGA (Producer’s Guild, has nothing to do with golf). Most of these you’ve probably heard about. However, did you know there are even more award ceremonies that don’t get on television?  Consider these groups that give out awards each year: Read more

20 Dec 2012 Dr. LoreneWales

Bring Change

No Comments Foundation of Excellence

Regent University film set

So when I first thought about a blog for December, I had in mind a review of Christmas films old and new that I could recommend. I wasn’t going to recommend the obvious ones, like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “The Homecoming.” I was going to suggest some off the beaten path that some people may not have seen, you know, to make it more interesting.

Then last Friday happened. Suddenly discussing cheerful Christmas movies that offer us more fantasy than reality just did not feel …right. As a mother of elementary age children, like many of you, I wept when I heard about those babies, and how they died. And it got me thinking about what’s really important, what really matters in this life.

 

Do movies really matter? Read more

17 Dec 2012 Dr. LoreneWales

Artists in the Making

No Comments Blueprint for Change, Foundation of Excellence

Regent film students- photo by Jordan ImhoffRight now, I’m teaching a course called “Christian Role in the Arts.”  It’s a class where we look at the multitude of issues facing students as growing artists. We look at what the Bible says about the arts, the imagination, good and bad Christian art, and more. This is the third time I’ve taught it. Each time, I learn something new about, not only myself as a “Christian Artist” or as we sometimes say an “artist who’s a Christian,” but about my students. The class always has a variety of perspectives. Some will graduate and work at CBN, right across the street. They will spend their careers producing testimonies about God’s faithfulness and what He has done in people’s lives.

Others will not. Clearly, many of them are called to work outside the Christian bubble. They are called to go into the world and be creators, influencers, changers of the fallen culture. These are the ones I see struggling the most. They are more confused about their future, seeing the path ahead of them clouded with unknowns. However, these students are the ones that make me love teaching here at Regent. I spend the semester probing their thoughts, their feelings on who they are as an artist. We engage in art projects, imagination exercises, discussions about books like The Shack and movies like Facing the Giants and The Matrix.

It’s in these discussions that we discover who we are and who we could be as artists set out to glorify God through a painting, a play, or a film.

Around the time of Thanksgiving, I was reflecting on what I’m thankful for, and these students came to mind. I’m thankful, of course, that I get to wake up in the morning under the blankets of a warm bed, drink my essential morning coffee and go to work. I’m even more thankful that I can spend my time speaking over and into the lives of others. Regent gives me that freedom, to explore all of the possibilities for their lives. Just last week a student told me that my class was his favorite class. Now, I’ve been teaching a while, so I always take those comments with a grain of salt. But, he followed that by saying he was really beginning to figure out what he might do with himself after he graduates.

So that’s what I’m thankful for, for playing a small part in helping someone figure out what to do with their life. What’s even more astounding is that I get that opportunity every day here, with hundreds of students; this really is a great place to be.

10 Dec 2012 Dr. LoreneWales

What’s So Great About Time Management? I Just Want to Make Movies

No Comments Building Christian Leaders

Regent University - clockAt the beginning of the semester, I was asked to speak to new students coming into their first semester about time management. I guess because I teach Producing for film, I’m seen as the organized type. Or maybe it’s because I’m pretty much a type A personality. I believe in getting things done on time, if not early. I guess I would call myself a time management geek. I wasn’t always this way. Growing up, I was pretty much laid back, getting things done when they got done. Then, I went to L.A. to begin my career in motion pictures. I started out working on what I nostalgically call the “Kill ‘em bang ‘em shoot ‘em up” films. These were independent films that went straight to video and made a ton of money overseas. I LOVED my job, working on sets from 5 or 6am till 7 or 8 at night. I was young, single and working in the movies. Surviving on 4 to 5 hours sleep a night working on movie sets that shot one

movie every four weeks taught me to manage my time well. Here’s a few things I learned and try to pass onto my students:

  • No one is late, EVER, in professional film production, there’s just no such thing.
  • If it seems impossible, it isn’t, like getting 30-40 setups in one day.
  • If the producer wants the production report by 12 p.m. the next day after shooting, he really means 9 a.m., the next day after shooting.
  • If you can get it done now, do it now, procrastination is death on a production.
  • Get everything done quickly and well. Just quickly doesn’t count.
  • If production is chaos and you can’t remember everything you need to do, make a list, even if you’re not a list person. Better to get it done than to forget it and lose your job.
  • 10-12 hour days don’t feel like 10-12 hours if you love what you do.
24 Oct 2012 Dr. LoreneWales

The Holy Spirit and the Life of the Mind

25 Comments Building Christian Leaders

Regent University - Psalm

Integrating faith, learning and living into our individual callings; that’s a challenge.  Seven years ago, I had it down; I had a scripture for every class I taught. I had a devotional or chapter and verse for each class, and knew how to apply it to that day’s lesson. I prayed with students and guided them according to scriptural principles. It was all going so smoothly. If anyone asked, I could give them my philosophy of teaching, how I believed teaching through relationships and meeting each student at their need was how the Lord equipped me to integrate faith into my teaching. I had it down.

Then the bomb dropped. An event took place that changed everything I felt about God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus and myself. After waiting all my life to have children, I had a son. I was so ecstatic when I got pregnant, having spent many years trying and failing. Once again, as in my work, I had done everything right. I went to the doctor, took the vitamins, drank lots of water. It was all supposed to be okay. We were supposed to have a beautiful little boy who would grow up and play football for the Dallas Cowboys. He would succeed in life like his parents had, with six advanced degrees between the two of us. Isn’t that what God promised?

But that’s not what happened. I awoke at 5:30 in the morning and was rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-section. After he was born, the pediatrician came to me, as I lay there, literally still cut open. I still remember her words. “He generally seems fine, but I see something in the facial structure.” That was when the Lord pulled a veil over me. If I had fully tried to take in what was happening it would have been too much. My son, Zane, was born with Down Syndrome. Everything that happened in the next couple of weeks seemed so surreal. This was not how it was supposed to go. I didn’t know it then, but the Holy Spirit was about to play a huge part in my life. Little did I know that the Holy Spirit would show me not only how to have patience and raise a child with challenges, but He would teach me how to listen and understand when there are no words, as my son cannot speak. At one point, we took my son to a healing prayer service. When we brought him up for prayer, the preacher looked at me and said, “You need a miracle.” I said, “Yes we do.” I was so touched by the man’s sensitivity to what we needed. A few years later I was in my office, counseling a student who had some very real problems regarding his schoolwork and home life. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and I said to the student, “You need a miracle.” Funny how the Holy Spirit will sustain, inform, comfort and equip, not only in raising a challenging child but to use my experience with Him, and my son, to minister to my students, to show them a perspective on life that is filled, not just with ambition and intellect, but with love and passion.

08 Jun 2012 Dr. LoreneWales

Top Summer Films to See or Avoid

1 Comment Pillars of Knowledge

Theater Adult Education at Regent University

Looking for a summer film? Dozens of websites tout the top 10 films of the summer.  As a film educator, I understand the players, the buzz and the anticipation of these films.  Here are some tips on navigating the top 10, as well as other coming attractions

GOOD ESCAPIST ENTERTAINMENT
Batman also returns in The Dark Night Rises, (July 20) with Christian Bale returning and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. Director Nolan is very good adding substance to an otherwise comic book storyline, so it should be interesting.The blockbuster action hero is back in the much-anticipated The Amazing Spider-Man, (July 3).  This film features a new “Spidey” in Andrew Garfield (The Social Network).  What’s interesting is fairly unknown director, Marc Webb. He’s critically acclaimed for 500 Days of Summer, but untested in the blockbuster market. Whether it’s a great film or a dud, the special effects are sure to be good.

If you like these kinds of movies, and I do, they won’t change your life or give you any insights into the human condition, but they can be great fun.

And then (finally) is a comedy.  Men in Black 3 opened Memorial Day after a four-year lapse in the franchise and is doing well. The Avengers, which had the biggest box office opening weekend ever, showed that audiences want heroes with some humor who don’t take themselves so seriously.  Will Smith deliver’s that.

FOR THE KIDS

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (June 8). The kids will love it. This series does have some interesting characters, so the parents should enjoy it too.

Brave. Pixar film finally with a girl hero!!!  June 22 can’t come soon enough.

On July 13, Ice Age: Continental Drift opens. Will Scrat, the acorn-pursuing squirrel, finally get his acorn? The other films of this series have done big box office, so the kids should love this one as well.

On August 3, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days opens. The first movie based on the popular book series was very good so this is promising. Definitely a good family movie night pick.

And, just a word about Ted.  Yes it’s a cartoon, but it’s NOT for kids. One reviewer called it a feature length Family Guy episode. If you’ve ever seen the series you know what I mean.  If you haven’t, don’t bother, as it contains lots of sexual innuendo and cynicism.

ONES TO AVOID

The Bourne Legacy has a new face in the lead role, Jeremy Renner. He’s a good actor, but the franchise has lost steam. Better to rent later.

Total Recall, a remake of the 1990s Schwarzenegger film.  This is one film that doesn’t need to be remade.

Magic Mike stars fairly known actors and is about male strippers. Director Steven Soderberg is a fantastic director, but I can’t see many people, male or female wanting to see this one.

Piranha 3D. Piranhas – 3D – enough said.

Sparkle, starring American Idol winner Jordin Sparks. The story centers on a Motown era girl group.  Hmmm, singer does a movie, sounds like Mariah Carey’s failed Glitter.  And you can’t beat Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls, so why try.

GI Joe: Retaliation. The first one flopped, so I doubt the second one is going to be like Godfather II (better than the first).

DIFFERENT AND PROBABLY MORE INTERESTING

June 29 – People Like Us. A relationship film starring Chris Pine (Star Trek).  The story centers on Pine and his half-sister after the death of their father. Michelle Pfeiffer also makes an appearance. Looks like lots of emotional twists and turns – in other words, an actual story.

August 10– Hope Springs, the new Meryl Streep film. As with any Meryl film, even if it’s bad, she’s a joy to watch.  The rest of the cast is interesting – Tommy Lee Jones is her husband, and Steve Carrell plays their therapist.  Should be hilarious, a good date night movie.

August 15 – The Odd Life of Timothy Green. The trailers look very intriguing for this story about a childless couple who find their perfectly described child on their doorstep. This could take you on an emotional roller coaster, which is what great cinematic films should do.

For me – I’m eager for The Dark Night Rises because I love action films with emotional substance, and Brave, because I can’t wait for my daughter to have a hero that’s not a princess with a 10-inch waist who only finds happiness in landing a man.