Updated: Mar 24
Cameron Arnett's recent interview with Joshua Phillip of The Epoch Times reveals how this filmmaker is standing by principles to create films of value.
BY Pivotal R. Sales
March 7, 2021
"God said, 'Camy, don't make a film that has a great message without living a great life.'" This statement guided actor and filmmaker Camy "Cameron" Arnett on his journey of faith and integrity out of Hollywood into Christian film.
Arnett became known for his stance of leaving Hollywood at the height of his career. Having been on hits like Miami Vice, Doogie Howser M.D. and Star Trek: The Next Generation, he'd just been offered his own television series. When it required partial body nudity, he refused to compromise his values and walked away from the industry.
Regarding his choice, Arnett maintains that, "Our job is to always choose Christ. It's not
Christ or career. But make sure if you can only have one, that it's Christ you choose. If you're going to have a career, make sure He's over it."
Out of this conviction, the Christ Over Career campaign emerged. People all over the country have found encouragement in his rise from bankruptcy upon leaving Hollywood to becoming one of the leading actors in Christian film.
Actor and writer Tonja Rene stated, I was given this shirt (and wearing it with pride) by my friend Cameron Arnett and his amazing bride BJ Billi Arnett at Content 2020 Film Festival Media Summit. I’m so blessed to be part of so many friends in the entertainment and media industry who are unashamed to stand for Christ and truth rather than sacrifice these things for a career. Our journey is unapologetically Christ over Career.
So what are those values that Arnett stands by and how have they translated into the rest of life? Principles of integrity and ingenuity are core values of Camy Arnett Production Studios, of which Arnett is CEO. Arnett told Philip, "The principles within my company are principles of my own humanity. Your team, your church, your business ought to be a principled centered business, a principled centered Church. You don't want to hear Him say 'I never knew you.'"
Arnett also spoke on the importance of Christian filmmakers esteeming the different messages within faith based content. Just as there is the five fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers within the church, there are also distinct purposes within the industry.
"All of the five fold handles a multifaceted God and are called to different sectors. Film is the same way. Some are called to evangelize the society. Others disciple and give principles. We have to esteem them all. We have to be able to promote Christ with each other and not just tell a good story."
Arnett maintained that those filmmakers with a principled centered message are as important as those with a more overt message. They prepare people for receiving Christ through the promotion of values such as marriage, family, brotherhood and overall civility. They all work in tandem and must be respected as such.
Philip stated that the quality of faith based content has grown in recent years largely due to the contributions of filmmakers such as Kevin Sorbo and the Kendrick brothers.
He maintained that the foundation of a great film is seeing the heroes grow. It's them overcoming trials by changing themselves through the process of overcoming.
To this, Arnett heralded the Kendrick brothers' ingenious style of framing relatable stories.
"What I loved about the Kendricks and Overcomer, is that at every point and time I can find a piece of myself in every character. You can identify with everyone at a different point and time in your life. It's about putting a life being lived in pictorial form and having someone say, 'Ok I can do that.'"
Arnett maintained that out of all that has come with success, "The most important thing is working among people whose lives have changed. There is nothing more satisfying than watching God illuminate someone. It's the entrance of God's Word that brings light. When they are able to emulate a life that they saw happening and find God's answer based on a film that they saw, I'm thrilled."
Follow Cameron Arnett on IG @CameronArnettActor.
For more go to cameronarnett.com today.