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New Hollywood Jesus owners = dudes from Grace Hill Media

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Thanks Alan for the invite, my concern right now is continuing to make adjustments to my life. A part of those adjustments was going to be The Virtual Pew concept on Hollywood Jesus. I actually left my job, and didn

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Thanks Alan for the invite, my concern right now is continuing to make adjustments to my life. A part of those adjustments was going to be The Virtual Pew concept on Hollywood Jesus. I actually left my job, and didn

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Pardon me if I don't "get it". So 2 Grace Hill principals are now co-owners of Hollywood Jesus. What, exactly, is the big deal from your POV? I think I understand the gist of your answer(s) - that the integrity of the website is now in question. And, as I have continued to respond, that would be a true statement IF Grace Hill was indeed influencing what we do and how we write. Despite my endless rants and reassurances that this is not the case, my "defense" has fallen on seemingly deaf ears.

To close out the matter (at least on my end) I will repeat what I said earlier:

You have 2 Hollywood Jesus writers affliated with this group - as well as the Faith & Film Critics Circle (i think i'm still in F2C2). If there is indeed any "dirty laundry" going on at HJ - "dirty laundry" defined as Bock and Gartner "putting us on the payroll" by telling us which films deserve special attention, unnecessary praise, and whatnot- one of us will be the first to let you know. Darrel isn't one to mince words and (as much as I've been reprimanded by various A&F'ers) neither am I. If there is dirt, I will call it out myself. I've done it before (I b**ched and moaned the loudest when Rick Bonn came on board!). I'll do it again.

Trust me...I'm sure David Bruce takes a deep long breath whenever he sees my phone number as an incoming call. I'm certain I get on his last nerve!

6 months later...

To quote one of the most famous lines in "Malcolm X"...

I've been misled.

I've been had.

I've been took.

I've been hoodwinked.

Bamboozled.

Led astray.

Run amok.

You guys were right. Dead right.

I was wrong.

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:blink:

Uh...

What happened, Chris?

I mean, yeah, to me the Hollywood Jesus site seems to be shouting with Grace Hill Media advertising*. The reviews are tucked away in the closets for those who want to go looking for them.

But what changed your mind?

*You know what makes me want to run screaming from "Thou Shalt Laugh"? Getting bombarded by ads like those that shout at you when you go here.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

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But what changed your mind?

As I looked and looked and prayed and prayed, the obvious was made clear: David Bruce's vision got sold to the highest bidder. Here is how the way see "the takeover" (as I told it to my HJ inner circle):

>Vision is the key component to this issue. David Bruce had a vision that

> God obviously gave to him. As long as he stirred up his gifts and

> operated in the vision God gave him, he was blessed. Eventually, God gave

> him us. We as writers shared with his vision and helped to make Hollywood

> Jesus such a beautiful place.

>

> The danger is that other folks are constantly glancing from a distance at

> your vision. They watch with wonder and wish that they could be a part of

> your vision. That's where discernment comes in. Discernment will show

> you who to allow into your vision and who to keep out. Bottom line, it's

> your vision. It must be protected at all costs.

>

> The good folks at Grace Hill basically took the vision that God gave David

> and turned it into their own vision. And they hired an editor with a

> vision that was so far away from the vision that God gave David. HJ was

> never called to be, to quote Rick Bonn's introductory statement, "to be Yahoo!

> or AOL...to be for faith/media what ESPN is for sports." You know this is

> true. That was never our calling! Our calling was to the lost ones - the

> people out there who are searching for God but cannot find Him because

> they're stuck in the fog and mire of religion. Everything that made us

> great - that made our writing great - stemmed from David Bruce's vision.

> That vision has been lost.

>

> The look may now be glossy. The colors may be bright and shiny. The

> layout of the new site may be flashier than ever. But, in the end, it's

> not David's vision. It's not what I signed up for.

>

Edited by utzworld

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Hi Chris,

Had actually been wondering how you were doing as our paths haven't crossed too much recently.

Really sorry to hear that things have turned out how they did. I'm trying to find something helpful to say but struggling (it is 5:45 in the morning over here).

I do admire you for revisiting this thread and saying what you just did.

Matt

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utzworld wrote:

: Bamboozled.

That was precisely the word that another HJ insider used when I discussed this with him/her a couple months ago. I've been wondering about this ever since, especially when there didn't seem to be any HJ types at the Nativity Story junket, of all things. (Don't worry, Darrel, I haven't forgotten that you were at the screening -- but you live in L.A. and you weren't at the junket, per se, right?)

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To quote one of the most famous lines in "Malcolm X"...

I've been misled.

I've been had.

I've been took.

I've been hoodwinked.

Bamboozled.

Led astray.

Run amok.

Well-stated. I am sorry to hear that things have gone this way for you and hope that you quickly regain your critical footing in another venue.

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utzworld wrote:

: Bamboozled.

That was precisely the word that another HJ insider used when I discussed this with him/her a couple months ago. I've been wondering about this ever since, especially when there didn't seem to be any HJ types at the Nativity Story junket, of all things. (Don't worry, Darrel, I haven't forgotten that you were at the screening -- but you live in L.A. and you weren't at the junket, per se, right?)

Well, I would have done interviews if I weren't working on Sunday morning. I think it was a bit of embarassment for GH that they didn't have any HJ folk available for that.

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Hi Chris,

Had actually been wondering how you were doing as our paths haven't crossed too much recently.

Really sorry to hear that things have turned out how they did. I'm trying to find something helpful to say but struggling (it is 5:45 in the morning over here).

I do admire you for revisiting this thread and saying what you just did.

I expect retaliation and accusations of being a hypocrite any second now from the new owners. I'll probably end up getting ostracized from HJ or something.

Well-stated. I am sorry to hear that things have gone this way for you and hope that you quickly regain your critical footing in another venue.

I don't know if I'll ever review anything again. That's the honest truth. And that's not just because of the fallout from the HJ Takeover. I'm at a point where I would rather write my own stuff rather than write about other people's stuff.

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Okay, and here's the bombshell for the week, I suppose...

Jenn and I have just been hired to replace Rick Bonn at HJ. We're not direct employees, but are freelance editors on contract

(for whatever that's worth). In the email that HJ's owners (David Bruce, Jon Bock, and Ted Gartner) just sent out to the staff they freely admit their assessment of the current state of the site: to quote, "It stinks!"

Jenn and I are being asked to address one part of the four-prong approach to "fixing" HJ -- that is, getting it back to the vision that kind of got lost during the transition from a "pure ministry" to "a business." We're focusing on editorial flow for content.

We're going to be quite busy for a while, and Past the Popcorn isn't disappearing. So the frequency with which I post around here will be decreasing dramatically; but by all means, if you have any questions or comments whatsoever about what's going on at HJ, do not hesitate to post here, PM me, or send me an email.

I'm very easy to find!!!

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Great news. When do you start getting our reviews? I have a couple in the pipeline with Rick at the moment.

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Great news. When do you start getting our reviews? I have a couple in the pipeline with Rick at the moment.

Thanks! I'm getting the keys to the, er, FrontGate, as it were, from David on Saturday. I'll be in touch then about priorities and flow.

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Great news, Greg! God's blessings, and all that!

Thanks, Peter! And don't forget the prayers, too... To a certain degree, I kind of feel like Daniel going back into the lion's den!

No, seriously, I think we'll have fun working to build HJ back up again. Sometimes progress is only possible when things get shaken up badly; and it's too bad that there must be casualties along the way. Someone ends up taking one for the team, and that's never fun. Right now it kind of feels like an Abraham/Isaac thing, though, because we'd thought that we were permanently listed among HJ's casualties!

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I haven't followed this much at all - just picked up some of the vibes really - but it seems to me from a complete outsider/non-US perspective that this is a very exciting development. Greg, I've really enjoyed our interactions so far on A&F and I have a lot of confidence in the perspective which you'll be bringing to the role. But it sounds like it could be a tough few months turning things round - I'll be praying. And keeping a closer eye on HJ!

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To a certain degree, I kind of feel like Daniel going back into the lion's den!

Just remember, the lions were the ones who were prevented from doing what came naturally [tearing Daniel apart and eating him], and Daniel just had to put up with the inconvenience of living in a lion habitat and constantly having to lint-roller his clothes. :lol:

Edited by TexasWill

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lol

Things are moving well, spoke with David yesterday and will likely speak with Greg again this afternoon. The change has been wonderful and something a number of us has been praying for for some time. Chris has even posted a few reviews.

As I told David yesterday, I think we have a way to go, but we are at least going forward. I can't think of anyone better than Greg and Jen to be there helping out and Grace Hill even bothered to call several of us and speak of our concerns. Something that should also be noted in their effort to get things "back on track."

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