Frequently Asked Questions
FIREPROOF: TWENTY QUESTIONS
1. What is a church doing making a movie?
It’s doing church—speaking to today’s audiences in today’s language. Several years
ago, Senior Pastor Michael Catt challenged his staff to lose any notion that a small town
church could never make a difference in the world. The church motto became “Reaching
the world from Albany, Georgia.” Not long after that, Associate Pastors Stephen and
Alex Kendrick survey saying more people go to movies than to church. That settled it.
The Kendricks had long wanted to make the kind of movies “we could take our families
to.” With clearance from Pastor Catt, they developed a script, recruited church members,
rigged lights from the hardware store, and shot a film called “Flywheel”—the story of a
used car salesman who secretly cheats his pastor. When the pastor prays, “Lord, do for
him what he’s done for me,” the plot takes off. So far, “Flywheel” has sold more than
2. Then came “Facing the Giants”?
“Facing the Giants” was shot in 2004 and released in 2006. Relative to “Flywheel,” the
budget was much larger—all donated, none solicited. Again, cast, crew, locations,
catering, etc., were all volunteer. This time Sherwood produced the story of a coach
facing the giants of fear and failure. When Coach Taylor cries to God for help, he and his
team get a lesson on what winning really means.
3. With a small budget and non-professional cast, how in the world did a church-
made indy film get national distribution?
Sherwood would tell you “with God, all things are possible.” The church was seeking
permission from Provident Music Label to use a song by Third Day, unaware that
Provident was a) owned by Sony and b) had opened a film division. Provident Films saw
the movie and wheels turned. “Giants” opened in 401 theaters and spread to more than
1,000. It made $10 million plus at the box office and sold more than a million DVDs.
4. What is Sherwood Pictures?
Sherwood Pictures is the not-for-profit that produces Sherwood films, headed by
Sherwood Church Senior Pastor Michael Catt, Executive Pastor Jim McBride, Associate
Pastor Alex Kendrick, and Senior Associate Pastor Stephen Kendrick. Donations to
Sherwood movies go to Sherwood Pictures.
5. Who releases the film?
Samuel Goldwyn Films is the theatrical distributor. On both FIREPROOF and FACING
THE GIANTS, Goldwyn, Provident Films and Sony’s Affirm Films unit worked together to
devise and execute a marketing strategy to blend traditional theatrical marketing with an
aggressive grass roots and faith based outreach. Provident held screenings across the
country and provided resources and materials for pastors and churches to spread the
word about the film. Through its vast network and databases, Provident created
opportunities for them to bring the film to their respective areas and generate excitement
within their communities. Provident Films is a sister company in the Sony family and part
of Provident Label Group, the home of Casting Crowns, Third Day, and Michael W.
6. Why this story for Sherwood’s next movie (and do all the titles start with “F” for a
The “F” titles are a fluke. And the story came as Alex and Stephen Kendrick were
praying for an idea. Alex was jogging around a bend when it came to him: an action-
packed love story about a firefighter, his wife . . . and a marriage worth
7. Sherwood Pictures uses amateur actors, so why bring on Kirk Cameron?
Kirk watched “Facing the Giants” with his son, then his entire family. Then he got to know
the makers of his family’s new favorite film. As his friendship with the Kendricks grew, so
did his interest in their new film. Before he could join the cast, he had to audition—
something like the twelve labors of Hercules: Alex tested Kirk on the nine toughest
scenes, and Kirk got in. Kirk donated his fee from the film to the camp for kids and their
families that he and his wife founded.
8. Who is Erin Bethea?
Erin is an Orlando-based entertainer who grew up attending Sherwood. She cut her teeth
on the church’s missions to think outside the sanctuary and “reach the world from Albany
GA.” To play Catherine Holt, the woman too burned to stay in her marriage, Erin took a
leave of absence. And though she plays a married woman, Erin is single.
9. How were the other actors chosen?
As with Sherwood’s two previous movies, auditions were held first inside the church and
then beyond. Actors were chosen for authenticity to the part and acting ability. But the
determining factor was faith. Sherwood has learned that once a movie releases, every
actor is an ambassador to the movie’s message. They can’t screen for perfect Christians
but they work to enlist people who can continue to represent the movie’s message in
God’s name. Interestingly, this time many of the actors have ministries in real life:
leading youth groups, Sunday School, teaching, etc.
10. Can you give a synopsis of the “Fireproof” story?
At work inside burning buildings, Capt. Caleb Holt lives by the firefighter’s adage to never
leave your partner behind. At home, in the cooling embers of his marriage, he lives by his
own rules. Now Holt is about to face his toughest job ever: rescuing his wife’s heart.
“Fireproof” is a realistic picture of the love, hope, hard work, and faith that strong
marriages require—a story that says with commitment to God even the toughest
marriages can withstand life’s inevitable fires.
11. What is the response to the film so far?
A growing list of marriage and family ministries visited the set or have seen the
outtakes—and they’re on board. They want to promote “Fireproof” to their audiences and
make the most of its theater release. Currently Focus on the Family, Gary Smalley,
Family Life, American Family Association, Growthtrac, American Assoc of Christian
Counselors, Dr. Gary Smalley, Marriage Co-Mission, Les Parrot, MarriageToday,
Outreach are confirmed to endorse and promote this uncommon love story. Other
partnerships are in the works.
12. What does Sherwood Pictures—Sherwood Church—do with the profits?
Like cast and crew, neither the Kendrick brothers nor the actors receive money making
the film. These are pastors and filmmaking is part of their ministry. Any profit from the film
goes into church ministry and outreach—specifically a new 80-acre park built by the
church for the city. Currently with money from “Facing the Giants,” the park is coming
together with horse barn, fishing pond, sports fields, and more.
13. When and where does “Fireproof” open?
It’s currently scheduled to open in theaters in fall 2008.
14. How will the film be promoted?
The film will have a traditional theatrical marketing campaign that includes national
media. On a secondary level, because the Christian audience is strongly grassroots—
word-of-mouth endorsements go a long way to turn out viewers. To get endorsements
flying, Provident will pre-screen the film around the country to “influencers”—church and
group leaders, and others—rallying people to use the film to build up the church and
reach out to others. Theater seats draw viewers that pews don’t. In many ways, on
many levels, “Fireproof” is a mirror for audiences to ask: How is my marriage? How do I
love? What would it mean to know I had God’s unconditional love?
15. What do you tell churches or individuals who want to get “Fireproof” to a theater in
We tell them first that if “Facing the Giants” did well in their town, they’re likely to see
“Fireproof.” Then we remind them to watch the website www.Fireproofthemovie.com for
the growing list of signed theaters. Third, if the movie isn’t scheduled for that town, they
can “pull” the movie there by purchasing 1,000 tickets in advance, then selling them
through churches and other groups. More than 400 towns saw “Facing the Giants” this
way, and it was a great success.
17. How are churches using the movie’s Resource DVD?
That’s one of our favorite questions. In advance of the movie, the “Resource DVD”
primes people with a marvelous collection of movie scenes and lessons from the
“Fireproof” message. Remember the death crawl in “Facing the Giants”? That scene still
plays in Sunday Schools, boardrooms, and locker rooms across the country. “Fireproof”
scenes come together with the same powerful impact.
18. How are churches planning to capitalize on opening weekend?
That’s another favorite question because the ideas we’re hearing are creative and
exciting. Some will host “date nights,” using high school classes to help with the
babysitting. Some are encouraging couples to take friends and go out for coffee
afterwards. Speaking of afterwards, many marriage ministries are planning to go online
after the movie—because the movie will spur a lot of thinking. As churches come up with
various outreaches, we’ll post the best on the website.
19. Why is it all-important to see this movie on opening weekend?
A movie’s first-weekend box office is its scorecard. The scorecard determines whether it
stays in theaters and expands to new ones—or quickly disappears. Keeping in mind that
theaters attract more people than churches, a banner opening means more people, more
couples, more marriages to benefit from seeing “Fireproof.”
20. What is the “Fireproof” Action Squad?
In various communities, Fireproof Action Squads are groups of folks joining to support the
film: to promote opening weekend awareness, buy out theaters or show times, highlight
marriage resources available in the community, and other creative things.
For information contact:
Julie Fairchild 214-536-0037 Julie@Lovell-Fairchild.com
Nancy Lovell 214-536-2329 Nancy@Lovell-Fairchild.com
Monique Sondag 214-536-4319 Monique@Lovell-Fairchild.com