The following comes from an October 9 Angelus article by Mary Rezac:
What’s it specifically like to be a Christian in the film industry? To find out, we reached out to John Paul the Great Catholic University in Escondido, California. Also known as JP Catholic, the school has a unique mission to form the next generation of Catholic filmmakers in both their faith and their craft. They were able to connect us with some of their professors and lecturers who know what its like to be a Christian while working in the film industry.
Dean Batali, a writer and producer perhaps best known for his work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “That 70’s Show,” said the fact that he was a churchgoing Christian got brought up practically every day while writing for the latter show.
“On that show were two gay guys and a lesbian and a woman who slept around a lot, and me a Christian, and all of us were kind of teased for who we were,” he said, “but that’s just kind of the nature of being a comedy writer.”
“That 70’s Show” usually got poor ratings from the Parent’s Television Council for as the morality of the content, but Batali said it would have been worse without a Christian present on the staff.
“We’re called to be salt and light in this world,” he said. “Salt can bring flavor, but sometimes, all salt does is stop the decay. You have two pieces of meat and put salt on one and leave them for a week, one will be more rancid than the other.”
“I think we as Christians are called to be salt to stop the decay of something, and that’s why I think we as Christians go to places that are sometimes messy, within reason,” he said.
Nathan Scoggins is a writer and director of “The Least of These,” a drama that takes place in a Catholic school setting. Scoggins also co-wrote for the film “The Perfect Summer” and his commercials have won three Doritos Super Bowl contests.
A non-denominational Christian, Scoggins is also an adjunct professor of film at JP Catholic. He said he’s found that his faith is usually more intriguing to people, as long as it’s approached in a way that’s not defensive but rather as a normal part of life.
“That’s not just the teaching of Jesus, that’s just kind of how it is — if you’re defensive about your stuff people kind of become defensive around you, but if you’re just seeking to engage like a normal human being, then I think it creates opportunity for relationship and dialogue rather than hostility,” he said.