Category Archives: Meant to Be

The Gideon Experience? Priceless!

by Michelle Cox

Have you been wondering why YOU should attend the Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival this year? There was an awesome discussion about Gideon last week on Facebook and I wanted to pass some of the comments along because I think they might help some of you who haven’t attended the conference and film festival yet to understand why the Gideon Conference & Film Festival experience is something you don’t want to miss.

When asked about how the cost of Gideon compares to other film festivals, Lori Marett (Gideon co-director) replied “The Gideon is 1/3 film festival and 2/3 conference. Unlike other film festivals that screen films from morning til evening, we offer workshops from 9:15 am – 5:15 pm, and then screen our films in the evening and have a Q&A following with cast and/or crew. Compare our rates with any other Christian or secular conferences and you will find we are comparable with their fees.”

So what do you get for your money from the Gideon experience? Co-director Rodney Marett says, “Well, let me tell you some stories. Have you seen October Baby? The writers for this story met at the first Gideon. They didn’t know each other before then. The film Meant to Be, it just came out, is written by my wife, Lori. She got the gig from meeting one of our faculty members the first year of Gideon. His name is Torry Martin. He in turn introduced her to another writer, Marshal Younger. When a director from LA wanted Marshal to write his next film, Marshal couldn’t do it, so, he and Torry talked about it and introduced the director to Lori. These are just a couple examples of what goes on at Gideon and I could go on with many other examples but I think you get the point. Hope that clears some things up for you.


Gideon attendee Jurgen Beck shares, “I want to chime in on what Rodney and Lori have stated, but from the perspective of having attended the Gideon. Depending on your location and how well-connected you are, the Gideon’s main focus as an individual involved in filmmaking or media is not the festival, as wonderful as it is. The true gem lies in the networking opportunities and the ability to start lasting relationships with folks in the industry. As you know, in our industry it truly matters who you know, and especially who you click with. Gideon is an opportunity to do this over the course of several days with a chance to get to know some of the people that may be influential in your career either now, or down the road. And of course, vice versa is the case as well. There may be people who can learn from your experience and expertise.”

In the vein of the MasterCard commercials: “Participating at the Gideon? Priceless!”

From my own perspective as both an attendee and a faculty member, I think you’ll discover that Gideon is unusual on many levels. I’ve never been around people who are more loving and giving. Often in this industry, people are super protective of contacts and information, but at Gideon there’s such a sweet spirit of helping and you’ll often see people who are tops in the world of screenwriting and making films who will sit with a newbie sharing their knowledge and skills. Or you’ll overhear comments like, “Oh, I need to connect you with __________. I think they could help you.” You’ll discover that Gideon isn’t just a conference, it’s a family.

The faculty is phenomenal and the classes are so informational and presented from a faith-based perspective. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see many of the faith-based films before they release. I’ve seen some amazing networking take place at the conference and seen results that are literally touching the nation and the world.


Gideon pulls in some impressive instructors, including Dr. Ted Baehr – media critic, publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Movieguide and Chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission; Brian Bird – writer, producer, Touched By An Angel, The Shunning, Saving Sarah Cain; Michael Catt – Sr. Pastor, Sherwood Baptist Church, Executive Producer, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, Courageous; Dr. Linda Seger, writer, author, one of the top script consultants for Hollywood; Todd Starnes, radio host, news personality, author, host of Fox News & Commentary on Fox Radio; Phil Vischer, voice actor, writer, songwriter, director, puppeteer, producer, creator of VeggieTales; Ken Wales, actor, producer, executive producer, Amazing Grace, Christy, Revenge of the Pink Panther; Muse Watson, actor, NCIS, Prison Break, End of the Spear; and the list goes on and on.

John William Doryk says, “I’ve attended and taught at many world class secular and Christian conferences and film festivals and have found the folks at Gideon to be warm, welcoming, and have a great spirit of sharing and teaching while keeping both their doctrinal standards and caliber of production quality in teaching and screening high.”

For Lori and Rodney Marett, the Gideon Conference is a labor of love. They direct the Gideon year after year because “the body of Christ tells us this type of venue is so desperately needed.”

Jenny Cote shares, “In addition to all the above, you will find a bastion of supporters who will rally behind your work. In this industry, what a rarity to find a group of fellow soldiers who seek to partner with excellence to lift fellow soldiers up. And we have a ball together – it’s not just work, but a lot of fun play!”


Now, seriously, don’t you want to be there with us in Orlando this July? Register for the conference through the website and then get ready to watch God do big and amazing things at the Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival.


“For I Know the Plans I Have for You…” in 2013 (Jeremiah 29:11)

Blog written by Gideon Director, Lori Marett

With each New Year, most of us take the opportunity to look ahead, consider plans, set goals, and make resolutions. Personally, I have a list of things I’d like to accomplish in 2013. But I have to be careful with all those well laid plans – I need to leave room for God to intervene and to bless me with projects and opportunities I could never imagine, because this happened to me in 2012 and continues to spill over into 2013.

Those of you who attended Gideon 2012 were blessed to hear our Banquet & Awards Night keynote speaker, Jon Erwin, producer/director/ writer for the movie October Baby.  Jon shared how he was inspired to write the script after he had heard a woman speak about her life as an abortion survivor. Many of us have seen the movie and know what a powerful and inspiring film October Baby is, but what you may not be aware of is that this film is having a resurgence as pro-life groups and churches celebrate January as “Sanctity of Human Life” month.

October Baby Resources

*October Baby resources* 

Consider community outreach, a Bible study, or a women’s small group session with these resources 

“Sanctity of Human Life” Sunday is held on the closest Sunday to the anniversary of the Jan. 22, 1973 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize abortion in the Roe v. Wade case. During the month of January, pro-life advocates will be promoting the sanctity of life through sermons, Bible studies, music, film, television, and offering information on adoption to women who are considering abortion.

While October Baby may speak to women who are considering abortion, a new television series, “Surrender the Secret” will speak to the hundreds of thousands of women who are struggling with the guilt and shame of having had an abortion. This ground-breaking television series was created by Cecil Stokes, a producer with October Baby, and can be found on KnockTV, an emerging leader in the Christian television marketplace.

Surrender the Secret

KnockTV programming is currently available on-demand, 24/7, on the Internet.


Interestingly, at the time that Jon and Cecil were considering making a movie about abortion, I had been approached by producer Bradley Dorsey because God had also given him a vision to create a movie tackling the topic of abortion. At the time, I did not know that Jon and Cecil were creating October Baby, nor did they know about our film, Meant To Be. While our projects were completed independently of each other, I am humbled and honored that God is now using our works to promote the message that ALL life is precious. God has plans for each of us, a set of blue prints if you will, even for the unborn.

So as we move through 2013, know that God has a set of plans for each of us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It’s okay to draw up our lists, set our goals, and make our resolutions. We just have to leave some space for God to bless us in ways that we could never have imagined!

Happy 2013 and God bless!


*Gideon Networking Notes: As Jon Erwin shared during his keynote at the Gideon 2012 Banquet & Awards night, he did not know Cecil Stokes until they met at Gideon 2008. Subsequently, they became friends and felt God leading them to come together for October Baby. I would not have met Jon or Cecil if it weren’t for Gideon 2008, and now here we are in the same pro-life camp with our projects. But Meant To Be would not have been possible if Torry Martin, whom I also met at G2008, had not recommended me to screenwriter Marshal Younger, who was tied up with another script and could not write this for Bradley Dorsey. But because of Marshall’s generosity, God blessed Marshall by freeing him up to lend his talents to the script a week before MTB went into production. This is a perfect example of the body of Christ exhorting and uplifting each other and allowing God to use us to glorify Him! I’m so looking forward to the people I’ll meet at G2013!