NRB 2014 Day 3: Patricia Heaton chats with CMC about “Mom’s Night Out”

Patricia Heaton and CMC host Cheryl Ariaz Wicker

The “Mom’s Night Out” screening was one of the big draws of Day 3 at the 2014 NRB Convention. This is a comedy featuring Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton, Andrea Logan White, and Trace Adkins set to open in theaters on May 9. “Mom’s Night Out” is a family film that takes a humorous look at parenting.

Cheryl and Patricia Heaton

Christian Movie Connect had a tentative interview set with Patricia Heaton following the screening. We were getting ready for the interview in the ballroom when I saw Patricia leaving with her entourage. I was told by her publicist they had another appointment to make and the only way we could get the interview was “talk and walk.” I ran back go get my videographer, Kenneth Sutton, and my PA/photographer, Miranda Waite, and we all took off running through the convention center to catch up with them. By time we reached them, I was so out of breath from my little “jog,” I could hardly talk but I jumped in the middle of the  group next to Patricia and did my thing in a paparazzi-style interview! It was totally crazy but great fun. We’ll be posting this interview in the next couple of days so you won’t want to miss that!

Victoria Jackson Cheryl Wicker

We also had an interview with Victoria Jackson, most remembered for her stint on Saturday Night Live. She has also appeared in a number of films. I loved her role in the Pure Flix movie, “Marriage Retreat.” In fact my favorite part of that movie is the campfire scene where she played her ukulele and sang. Victoria had ukulele in tow today, so we put it into commission and asked her to share a song on video. What a fun interview! She is a delightful lady. Special thanks to Torry Martin for lining this up for us.

David Mullins, brother of the legendary late Rich Mullins also stopped by to talk about the movie “Ragamuffin,” the story of Rich’s life. Rich Mullin’s music has so impacted Christian music but there is also an incredible story of his life that will make this a must-see movie. George Escobar of Advent film group also gave an update on “Alone, Yet Not Alone” as well as made an EXCLUSIVE announcement about his new projects. (Yep, exclusive. You’ll hear it first here on CMC, folks!)

An unexpected treat was the opportunity to meet and interview Chonda Pierce, the “Queen of Clean” comedy. I ran into her publicist and was able to slip a quick interview into the schedule. She talked about her DVD “Girl Talk” which is hilarious!!!! The Spanks stories will leave you rolling on the floor! And she talked about some of her work in movies. Chonda made a big deal about my hair. She said she wanted her hair cut like mine! So if the next time you see Chonda and she’s sporting my new “do,” you’ll know how that happened!

This year’s NRB featured a first ever Film Pitch-A-Thon. It gave filmmakers a chance to pitch their film or idea to distribution and production companies, which included Mission Pictures, Bridgestone Multimedia, Movie to Movement, Parables TV, WORD Network, TBN and many others. I decided to participate in this one myself to pitch my client Scotty Sanders’ book, “Quest of the Keys.” It was different making a formal pitch like this than the informal approach like what I am used to. It felt a little like auditioning for a movie role or doing pageant interviews to me…standing outside the door, rehearsing the pitch, take a deep breath and then go in and sparkle! I had a very positive experience myself and found it to be a great addition to the NRB offerings this year. I highly recommend filmmakers come out to NRB next year to participate in this.

Media consultant Phil Cooke led a panel discussion on the controversial “Noah” movie starring Russell Crowe. Phil, who worked as an adviser on the film, said that Paramount worked hard to be as accurate as possible, making sure to make the ark to spec. However there was a bit of creative license used which many will take issue with. He recommended that Christians use this movie to open the door to meaningful conversations about the Bible.”

A Conversation with Eric Metaxas and Ben CarsonLife, God and Other Small TopicsThere was an evening event called “A Conversation with Eric Metaxas and Ben Carson.” Eric is an award winning author, speaker, and founder and host of Socrates in the City and Ben is a brilliant neurosurgeon, columnist, and sought-after speaker. Both were recent speakers at the National Day of Prayer ceremony. They challenged people to speak out the truth with grace and love. On a lighter note, Eric Metaxas began the session with a group singing of the Hee Haw song “Where O Where Are You Tonight”. Hope no one got spit on!

Today, I made quite a bit of room for hanging with friends, missing a few evening events in order to do so. My good friends Mike and Paula Parker were in town for the day met with me, Gary Ray Moore, Francine Locke and Denny Brownlee. We also visited briefly with Kenny and Erica Saylors beforehand. It was sort of like a Gideon Film Festival reunion!

After dinner, Fatima Eid and I decided to relax and chat over cocoa. We were soon joined by Marcy Grams, Brad Mix, Tim Wilson, Gary Moore and Deborah Ann Sweezy, and Scott Link until we had a table full! Then for the real night owls, there was another Late Night Film Talks. This one feature Jason Jones of Movie to Movement. I loved him hearing him speak about what he does…he is very passionate about his work! One more day to go!

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