So you’re probably wondering who makes this kind of a movie? Take a look at the bios of the three main culprits ... err, creatives ... and the company behind them. If you’re more visual, just look at these great shots from the road to Lord, Save Us From Your Followers.
Dan Merchant makes his debut as a documentary director (and jumpsuit-wearing bumper-sticker man) in Lord, Save Us From Your Followers—the product of an amazing three-year journey to the front lines of America’s so-called Culture Wars. The film is (finally) scheduled for theatrical release in September 2009.
Dan has (somehow) made a living by writing, producing, directing, and talking people into his ideas. Dan’s creative brain rarely slows down and he’s currently applying his unique vision to a heartwarming, web-of-life ensemble drama about grace, fittingly titled Grace Finds Beauty. Dan is also developing The Armor, an exciting, supernatural action-adventure tale inspired by the biblical battle between the “seen and the unseen worlds.” He recently optioned the screenplay You Make Me Sick, (co-written with James Melkonian), a raucous teen comedy about a high schooler who fakes a terminal illness to improve his social standing.
Dan has had the privilege of speaking about Lord, Save Us at colleges, churches, conferences, and summer camps from coast to coast. Dan enjoys the gift of engaging directly with an audience and hopes to do more (hint, hint). He is represented by the Ambassador Agency.
Ambassador Speakers Bureau
In Dan’s spare he has started work on his latest novel, Greetings From Nashvegas, the story of a young singer/songwriter chasing her big dream … but who discovers that sometimes the dream ends up chasing you. On deck is Take Me to the River, the story of a bitter, ailing man making a cross-country journey home to die—accompanied by his pugnacious young grandson and a lifetime of regrets.
But enough about Dan—let’s talk about his most recent book, the wildly successful Lord, Save Us From Your Followers, the companion book to the documentary that was released by Thomas Nelson in March 2008. A follow-up book, Loving Kindness Actually Works, is underway. Previously, Dan published The Great American Stay At Home Wives Conspiracy (MPress).
Dan also likes television. He was executive producer/writer of VH1’s critically acclaimed anthology series, Strange Frequency, hosted by The Who’s Roger Daltrey. He was the creator of Soccer Moms, an hour-long drama pilot script for CBS/Warner Bros. He also contributed scripts to Seattle’s classic regional Emmy-winning sketch comedy show Almost Live!
Dan began his career at CBS affiliate KOIN-TV (Portland, Ore.) were he won an IRIS award for We’re Makin’ Movies, and three Northwest Region Emmys for writing/producing The Dr. Wilderness Show and the original Bill Nye the Science Guy pilot.
Dan, a self-described expert on the loom, has been happily married for twenty-one years (in a row, to the same woman) and is the father of two teenage boys who are both better looking and smarter than him. Merchant and his family live in the rainy woods near Portland, Oregon (it’s really dreary, so don’t move here; seriously, you wouldn’t like it).
In the summer of 2005, Jeff set out to put together the talent and funds to produce Lord, Save Us From Your Followers. (He’s wondered why many times since.) Over the next four years, he focused his life and commitments to achieve the goal of getting this film made and distributed.
Jeff is currently developing a new documentary project entitled, The Wrong Side of Right, another “guaranteed” conversation-starting project that examines conservative politics.
Jeff also produced Nellie, A Life Worth Living, an uplifting story of a quadriplegic college football coach. It won the Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival, Best Short Documentary at the International Family Film Festival, and the Grand Jury Award at the New York International Independent Film Festival. He also was Executive Producer of the award-winning short film, Quinn.
Jeff has a long career in the creative business in both New York City and Portland, Oregon. From 1985-2001, he helped build Creative Media Development (CMD), into one of the world’s largest corporate creative firms. He sold his share of the business in 1999 and left CMD in 2001. (They are still looking for him.)
Tim Abare is a relentless builder of people and organizations. Whether in a boardroom or leading an important project, he is a well-received and highly trusted leader, ideator, and strategist with more than two decades of hands-on experience.
Tim facilitates meaningful growth as he works closely with many of today’s most respected leaders and companies in business, entertainment, and ministry. Through the creation and leading of strategic growth initiatives, developing mass audiences, building brands, and leading projects that have the potential to change lives and shift culture, Tim has mobilized tens of thousands of churches, millions of people, and generated nearly $500 million in client revenue.
Tim is an idea-generator, action-leader, and consensus-builder who is constantly developing new and innovative approaches to the most vexing challenges faced by his clients, which include filmmakers, studios, television networks, universities, seminaries, event planners, promoters, publishers, and non-profit organizations.
Among his many successful ventures, Tim led one of only 15 organizations retained by Icon Productions to develop and execute the marketing plans for The Passion of the Christ, one of the most successful films ever. Tim got his start helping launch Teen Mania’s highly successful Acquire the Fire youth conventions, which reach hundreds of thousands of people annually.
As CEO of Big Finish, Tim leads a well-connected group of thinkers and doers: ideators, strategists, professors, pastors, authors, C-suite leaders, serial entrepreneurs, creatives, luminaries, and an unrivaled workforce of passionate, get-it-done people. The company creates and carries out unparalleled marketing, promotional, and distribution initiatives of all sizes.
Here are some of the well-known organizations with which Tim has worked:
ABC News, ABC Television, Barna Films, Bearing Fruit Entertainment, Bent Pyramid Productions, Big Idea, CBS Television, CGR Creative, Cloud Ten Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Compassion International, Entertainment Events, Fox Searchlight, Icon Productions, Impact Productions, INSP, Max Lucado, Man in the Mirror, North American Mission Board, Oncore, Outreach Cinema, PAX Television, Preacher Films, Prison Fellowship, Real Impact Missions, Reformed Theological Seminary, Regal Theaters, Smalley Marriage Institute, Student Leadership University, The Maker’s Diet, Teen Mania Ministries, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., WorkLife Network, World Relief, and many others.
Every single frame of Lord, Save Us From Your Followers was in some form shot, edited, manipulated, or adapted by Jim Standridge. His cinematography for this film took him to Ethiopia, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Dallas, Minnesota, Oregon, and a whole lot of other places. All the footage found its way to his No Middleman Productions editing studios where his magic as an editor and graphics producer was performed.
Jim is a seasoned pro with more than 27 years of experience in film and video production and has an extensive range of skills. He has won several awards for cinematography and editing. His eye for nuance and creative flair make him an invaluable team member and throughout the process.
Jim’s career highlights span the globe, including corporate film/videos and commercials for Sears, Pepsi, Intel, Weyerhaeuser, Consolidated Freightways, Warn Ind., Hollywood Entertainment, Nike, and many more.
Prior to his work on Lord Save Us, Jim served as a one-man studio as Director, Cinematographer, Editor and Graphic Artist for the Bibleman series.
Lightning Strikes Entertainment, LLC, is located in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Lightning Strikes was founded to create quality motion pictures, television, and home video that express spiritual truth through engaging stories of grace, redemption, and forgiveness. There is an obvious void in the marketplace for wholesome, mainstream entertainment; Lightning Strikes helps fill that void with dramatic, moving presentations of Truth.Return to top