Saturday, December 11, 2004

Passion of Christ miracles documented

Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" has increased the faith of millions of viewers...but perhaps that is not all! If this new documentary is correct, many physical miracles have also resulted from its viewing.

"Changed Lives: Miracles of The Passion" is a 1-hour program that captures, in their own words, people's inspiring and documented accounts of relationships restored, diseases healed, the dead resurrected, atheists coming to faith and even a confession to murder.

"It is truly unprecedented the way God has used 'The Passion' to bring healing, reconciliation and peace to people across the nation and around the globe," says Executive Producer Jody Eldred.

An Emmy-winning cameraman, director and writer, Eldred has directed and shot hundreds of documentaries and news reports for ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and BBC, as well as segments for "20/20," "Primetime Live," "Good Morning America," "Dateline NBC," "48 Hours" and others, and works closely with Diane Sawyer and Peter Jennings.

Eldred took a personal leap of faith when he decided to produce a documentary about "The Passion of the Christ's" true impact on the hearts of viewers. Since it was completed, "Changed Lives: Miracles of the Passion" has received high acclaim wherever it has been shown.

"Here's powerful and poignant evidence of how God has used Mel Gibson's movie to change lives in remarkable ways," said Lee Strobel, author of "The Case for Christ" and "The Case for a Creator."

Read the article here.

Note: Definitely a must see! I talked to one lady who had a hearing/ear problem cured during her viewing of the Passion -- someone I've known for several years. Worth a viewing...

UPDATE: I bought this DVD and watched it over Christmas, and in my opinion it doesn't live up to its hype. It's not worth the money, imo. Not well researched, or well shot...second-rate storyline and interviews...there were a lot more people they could have interviewed, with more compelling stories. Frankly, I think this DVD was made for the money, to make a buck off of the Passion success...

UPDATE II: After reading the comments of the executive producer and writer of this DVD, I feel badly about saying this was made "to make a buck off of the Passion success." That was impugning motives of which I had no objective knowledge, drawing wrong inferences from advertising and production. Please read the producer's comments below, and take those into account!


Anonymous said...

As the executive producer, writer and director of "Changed Lives: Miracles of The Passion", I'd like to clarify a couple of things for you.

It's OK that you didn't care for it. This kind of work is subjective. The broadcast version had clips from the film whereas the DVD had artwork (Icon wouldn't license clips for the DVD), and you might have preferred the broadcast version.

As for it being poorly shot, I take exception to that. I had several of the best cinematographers in Hollywood and the US shooting this (with several Emmys between us), and we regularly work on 60 Minutes, 20/20, Prime Time Live, National Geographic, Dateline, among other highly-rated dramatic shows and feature films. It was shot in Hi Def with the Sony F900 CineAlta, and it was beautifully shot. I am not sure what you are comparing it to.

My segment producers have also won Emmys and worked for major network news programs, and my editors were top-of-the-foodchain storytellers (one was a lead editor on "Survivor" and "The Apprentice".) Again, there's no right-or-wrong here, but there are loads of viewers who have strong opinions in stark contrast to yours. This program is in no way similar to so much of the second and third-rate "Christian" programming created by well-meaning people who are working way outside their giftings.

As for the money, I SURE didn't do it for the money! I took out a second mortgage on my home to personally pay for the project, and it was not sold when I began doing it. It was a huge risk. Even after licensing and DVD sales, I have barely broken even. I definitely didn't do it for the money, and was prepared to lose my shirt. I did it because God impressed upon me the concept and value of it, so I followed where He led. That's all.

As for there being plenty of other people we could have interviewed, this documentary was created-- from the first shoot day to airdate-- in 40 days. I had to wait for "The Passion" to screen, wait for the expected miracles to happen, find out about them, verify them, get the subjects to go on camera, film the segments and race to get them edited and music scored, with titles and effects. We could not even begin filming until a week or more after the film opened, leaving us about 3 weeks until airdate (and you have to get the program to the network several days in advance.) It is a miracle that we got what we did.

The program has been very well received, and any hype we got was based on the program, nothing more. I had no Hollywood publicist (nor money for one). The book I wrote for Harvest House (based on the special) has sold out of its first printing, and the DVD has done over 250,000 units. People-- most people-- love it.

It is OK that you don't, but it's really not fair to mischaracterize its origins, my motives, and its production value.

Get the book. You might like it better. (I'll even send you one if you can't find it.)

True stories of God's miracles working through that film. THAT is the story here.

Loy Mershimer said...

Thank you for your detailed response, ejody. You indeed clarify things and it's really helpful to get an "inside look" at the reality behind the perception.

First, please forgive me for impugning your motives. This is perhaps the most egregious of my errors, here. So I apologize for that, sincerely and humbly. And, I'll change the original post to reflect this apology.

Secondly, as to it being poorly shot, I'll have to revisit this in order to detail my response -- as it has been too long since I viewed it.

Thirdly, as to the storyline issues, it is very helpful to understand the constraints you were working under. That makes more sense now, as to how limited you were by production and scheduling demands.

All that said, my criticism did not come lightly. I'm not a person that pans art or work indiscriminately. I felt like I had to give that disclaimer because I didn't want to give a false promotion on my site. I promoted it based on its advertising claims alone, then when following it up with viewing, realized that I had to amend my original, breathless "must see" pre-view assessment.

What I CAN applaud, unequivocally, is your courage, your faith to step out and do something you felt called to do, regardless of the difficulty! Our world needs more of that, without question.

Thanks again for your comments and your insight, and many blessings to you!