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April 25, 2008


I believe that the LDS film industry has peaked with "God's Army" and countless LDS slapstick comedies.

Richard Dutcher was the best hope for mainstreaming LDS films.

Mormon film is so much more than an industry, and its history is so much deeper than the handful of theatrical films that have appeared since 2000 (see the history by Randy Astle in BYU Studies 46.2 from last year). We have to open ourselves to appreciate the full range of films that have appeared through many decades, and to look for the good that can come through the innovative creative tools and distribution methods now available to us. We are neither at the beginning nor the end of Mormon film by a long shot!

This is for Zelph.

What about Saints and Soldiers, New York Doll, Book of Visions, and even Napoleon Dynamite? Dutcher's films weren't anywhere near the beginning, nor are they going to be anywhere near the end of Mormon Film. We are going to see both more mainstream films created by Mormon filmmakers and culturally aimed LDS films that are of a higher quality and receive greater accolades than any films in the past. Mormon Film, though it's been around for a hundred years, is really just getting going. Wait and see.

Nice calls Gideon. Speaking of byu student films, I might add that for the last 2 semesters, I've been requiring my students to create video podcasts of their 4 short documentaries they make in my class (we're up to 35 total films). I'm going to be discussing a central location we can post links too all these, perhaps on our dept website? next week and will try to remember to get back to you. (Currently, each feed is scattered on the web on each student's personal "podbean.com" page.

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