Christian Retailing

Meet the Actor
Meet the Actor: HARRIS III PDF Print E-mail
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:03 AM EDT

EntangledIllusionist Harris III stars in the new autobiographical dramatic documentary Entangled: For Everything, There Is a Key... (793573209986, $14.99), releasing Nov. 19. The Destiny Image Films release integrates Harris’ personal story with scenes from his live show. 

Is Entangled a movie or a documentary? 

People have been asking us for years at our shows. People come up and ask if they can see a full show, hear the message, because what we do is so unique. So we set out to make a live show DVD. But then we thought, “Let’s make it more creative, and this old Vaudeville style theater rented out, and do big illusions, such as the water tank escape and sawing the lady in half. The story we tell throughout the show—we thought it would be fun to make a film that goes along with it, so we kept writing this little screenplay and we ended up making a full film and combined it with a live film. You’re watching a movie and it fades to the show—it goes back and forth through the entire film—to tell one story. It’s kind of unique. No one’s really done anything like that as far as we know. 

What do you say when someone asks what  an illusion has to do with the faith message? 

It’s a common question. With the water-torture illusion, I could do an entire show with a message-based approach to it. I believe I use the greatest tool in the world to teach people how they are deceived. People are tricked into believing lies about themselves, and they affect our decision-making processes. All these things in the Bible tell us to live our life not by what we see or feel. I can’t think of a better tool other than the art form of magic and illusion as a way to teach people that seeing is not believing. 

What is your story, which is portrayed in the movie? 

I was doing megachurch shows, corporate events and doing pretty well. A few months later, we found ourselves in other countries. We realized we were deceived and tricked into believing all these lies about success. When I started digging, I discovered the process of how I was deceived, how I was tricked by the world. It is the art of misdirection. All of these principles of misdirection are universal. The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers. As illusionists, we temporarily blind the audience by taking away their senses and the way they think. I teach people how they are deceived and how they can spot lies in their lives and how the truth sets them free. The story in the film, my personal testimony, is shared throughout the live show. It’s about this magician who was deceived in the world and it almost cost him his life—and how the truth can set us free. 

Do you reveal your secrets?

I prefer not to give away the actual secrets of how the illusions work. I show the audience how something works and in the process of showing them, I fool them again to keep everyone on the edge of their seats, to keep them guessing. Sometimes I do tricks where the audience can clearly see what’s going on, but I get a volunteer on stage who doesn’t. The situation where the audience can see it, but someone else can’t see it, and he’s completely baffled and amazed. It’s a powerful moment for the audience to realize that. 

You did a Kickstarter campaign to finish the project and raised $26,000. How did that happen? 

We knew what we needed to get the movie done. It was like a football game, and you’re at the 10-yard line and it’s almost done, but we needed another $20,000 to get the ball to the finish line. We matched our goal and raised more than $6,000 extra. It was humbling to be a part of it and realize there were that many people out there to get behind the project. 

How do you feel about the finished product?

We are getting some positive feedback about how the gospel is presented. It’s not super confrontational or cheesy. I just did it the way I’ve been doing it for years. Before you know it, you’re listening to the gospel. I believe we succeeded at our goal in making something that’s high quality and professional. It has been reaching a broader audience, and some super-critical people are saying, “This is well done.” Christian families can sit down with their neighbors and watch it and have conversations about the gospel. That’s awesome.

 
Meet the Actor: Bruce Marchiano PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 10:15 AM EDT

Best known for his portrayal of Jesus in the Visual Bible Series: Matthew, Bruce Marchiano reprises the role in Encounter, released on DVD this month by PureFlix Entertainment.

 

What’s Encounter all about? 

marchiano_bruce

Well, you have a handful of people on a lonely stretch of highway in a terrible storm and they seek refuge in a roadside café. It’s very mysterious; it’s almost Twilight Zone-ish that this café would be out there in the middle of nowhere. Little do they know that the sole proprietor and the waiter and the cook—the one guy in the café—is Jesus in present-day life. He meets them in the middle of all of their struggles—in the middle of all of their life questions.  

 

How did you come to be a part of the project? 

I just received a phone call from the director/producer, David A.R. White. After reading the script, I had a couple of questions and I explained to him, “Look, if you want me to play Jesus, which I would love to do, the thing that’s very, very deeply important to me and—I’ll say this humbly—I think to the Lord, is that everything that’s done—every conversation, every answer to every question—must be done in fullness of love. The people have to see that the heart of God breaks over their pain. They have to see it in every glance; they have to hear it between the lines.” He just smiled, he understood that, and he said, “Yeah, let’s go for it.” The next thing I knew, we were on the set shooting. 

 

What was the shoot like?

It was equally exciting and grueling. It’s been said that making movies is a little bit like going to war. You’re thrown in with this group of people and they more or less become your family. You’re with them around the clock in a very intense situation. We started shooting at 6 p.m. and we ended our days at about 6 a.m., sometimes 8 a.m. We did that straight through—I think the shoot was a solid seven days. You can imagine by the end of that everybody was pretty depleted and pretty exhausted. At the same time, it was remarkably exciting because we’re dealing with the heart of the living God in this film.

What was it like playing a modern-day Jesus?

 For me, the only thing that changed was the costume. I basically did the same thing I did in Matthew, which is basically just love the people, desperately love the people, just feel heartbreak over their pain—deal with them hands-on, face-to-face, eye-to-eye, intimately, involved in their life and speaking truth even when it hurts.

You’re inextricably linked with playing the person of Jesus: Is that ever a burden? 

Yeah, there are times—only in the sense that I’m a guy who loves making movies. I’m an actor who loves creating characters, and once you play Jesus, it’s hard for the movie world to see you in any other capacity. So many Christian films have been made, and I’ve often been asked, “How come they didn’t ask you to play that part?” A lot of times the answer is that they just can’t imagine me outside of the robe and sandals and the beard. So there are times when it’s a burden, but it’s a very tiny, tiny burden because it truly is the honor of honors, the privilege of privileges. I say this and really I mean it. If I never play another character as long as I live, I’m the happiest guy in the world.

 


Listen to the complete conversation at meettheartist.christianretailing.com.

 

 
Meet the Artist: Mike Nawrocki PDF Print E-mail
Written by Aaron Crisler   
Thursday, 03 June 2010 08:24 AM EDT

Co-creator of VeggieTales and now vice president of creative development for Big Idea, Mike Nawrocki oversaw the production of the July release VeggieTales: Sweetpea Beauty-A Girl After God's Own Heart, the first-ever episode just for girls.

What's different about this release?
It's our first ever VeggieTales episode just for girls. We've done stories in the past with female leads-Madame Blueberry, Esther-but we wanted to deal with an issue in this episode that girls especially face in this culture-beauty. How does the world around us define beauty compared with how God defines beauty?

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