Day 2 at 2011 Gideon: Inspiring moments with the country’s best Christian entertainment personalities

Christian Movie Connect's Cheryl Wicker talks to producer and director Christopher Shawn Shaw at the 2011 Gideon. (Photo credit: Donna Botts)

My second day at the 2011 Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival began sitting in on the second shoot day of the 168 Hour Film Project mini-shoot; then listening to an inspirational devotion message delivered by the very talented comedian/actor/writer Torry Martin. He challenged the audience to seek the Lord in their career and to keep Him first in their lives. He encouraged them to not be afraid to step out in faith and let God work through them in their careers. The long-haired, bearded funnyman shared many stories of how God had helped him through his own personal challenges; a timely message for us all. Torry also shared tips on how to network in a Christ-like way today, ”The Power of Networking”.

Cheryl Wicker (2nd from right) with Arledge Armenaki and Abi Taylor at the 2011 Gideon (Photo credit: Donna Botts)

Over lunch I was able to plan my interviews schedule with award-winning cinematographer Arledge Armenaki, who is credited for more than 30 movies and television documentaries, including “Dennis the Menace,” “Club Fed,” “Focus on Africa,” and the well-received faith-based film “Wesley,” about the life of celebrated preacher John Wesley. Arledge and his team of 3 Western Carolina interns will be working with me and Donna Botts all week at Gideon Film School’s Dogwood 5 classroom.

Comedian Torry Martin addresses workshop participants about "The Power of Networking" at the 2011 Gideon.

The afternoon was spent getting the first podcast for the 2011 Gideon up and running. The technical side of putting together a podcast and blog can be very time consuming, especially when problems arise and the podcast getting delayed a bit. But we persevered and it paid off. The podcast and blog have been posted…as I am sure you can already tell!

I had the privilege of sharing a dinner table with “The Grace Card” lead actor Michael Joiner, Rusty and John Whitener, Ted and Bonnie Johnson, and my assistant Donna Botts. I was so nervous I could hardly eat! Why? Because I was shooting a scene for Michael following dinner for his workshop on Monday. Amid the lighthearted conversation and laughs, which helped ease my tension, I’ve discovered that comedians are my favorite people. I just love to laugh! Michael is hilarious! The shoot seemed to go fine…I’ll get my critique in class tomorrow!

My Christian Movie Connect interviews hit in the evening, starting with Angela Walker, executive editor of, the biggest news source for the Christian film industry. I met Angela last year and am really looking forward to attending her marketing workshop.

Christian Movie Connect's Cheryl Wicker talks to producer and director Christopher Shawn Shaw at the 2011 Gideon. (Photo credit: Donna Botts)

Up next was Christopher Shawn Shaw, a very talented up and coming producer and director known for his award-winning 168 Film projects. Christopher in currently in development with “Youth Group,” a romantic comedy feature with comedian Thor Ramsey, host of “Bananas.”

I loved writer and director Tracy Trost’s film, “The Lamp,” a delightful and heartwarming film about adoption and hope, which was screened at the end of Gideon’s second day. Unfortunately, Trost was unable to make it to the screening in person because he just had a new grandbaby. But thanks to the marvels of new technology, conference participants were able to talk to him via Skype. Stay tuned for more interesting and fun updates at the 2011 Gideon here! See you tomorrow!


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)