Category: The Median

The Media Land of Opportunity!

by Dan Rupple, Mastermedia CEO

160712 eMedianhollywoodsign1
A few weeks ago, I was speaking to 25 Christian university film students who were visiting Hollywood. One young man asked me the all-too-familiar question, “How do I get into the business?” My standard answer a dozen years ago was, “Get yourself to Hollywood or New York and build as many relationships as you can. Then begin the arduous task of knocking on the doors of the five or six studios and the four TV networks, and then visit as many production companies as will let you into their lobbies.”

All part of making the rounds to the Hollywood powerbrokers—the men and women who create and control what the world will and won’t see on our screens. And if there weren’t any openings, you had few alternatives. They were the only game in town!

Still a good strategy. These traditional media companies continue to wield a powerful sword of influence. But no longer are they the only game in town . . . not by a long shot!

The digital explosion has flung the doors of opportunity wide open. With the flood of new digital platforms, the rise of independent film festivals dotting the map, and vast international audiences racing to the box office, the possibilities are limitless for the next talented Spielberg “wannabe.”

Supply and Demand
What created all of these new opportunities? Innumerable channels, websites, streaming companies, digital platforms, and expanded global audiences—all of which sparked an insatiable demand for content to fill the world’s screens in our new “screen dependent” culture.

According to an internet analyst at Morgan Stanley, in 2015 Americans spent 7 hours 44 minutes a day gazing into a screen. Assuming we sleep the national average of 6.8 hours a night, 43 percent of our waking life we are engaged in the virtual world—and disengaged (at least partially) from the real world.

Today the influence of this expanded media landscape has soared to an all-time high. To apply a digital-age paraphrase to Plato’s statement regarding the influence of storytellers, “Whoever controls the ‘screens,’ controls the culture!”

Walking through Open Doors
As today’s generation navigates this wild media frontier, it often finds itself stumbling in the dark, trying to make sense of a fallen world, and searching for answers to the big questions in life. Undoubtedly, our greatest impact will be offering hope and a solution for the spiritual hunger of these emerging cinematic voices . . . leading them, through intentional relationship, to “the way, the truth and the life.” This has been—and always will be—the mission of Mastermedia!

End of Wonderment in the Information Age


by Dan Rupple


Liam arm around Zayden (002)Growing up in the shadows of Disneyland, throughout my childhood I visited the Magic Kingdom two or three times every year. The absolute wonder engendered by my first visits filled my imagination for months afterwards. My amazement faded over time as the magic became familiar and predictable.

Twenty-some years later, I became a father. As I took my kids through those colorful gates and raced towards “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the excitement of my own childhood returned. Seeing Disneyland afresh through my kids’ eyes, I was reminded of the wonder that captivated me as a child.

I even welcomed with gladness that insidious repetitive song, “It’s a Small World After All!” As the boat turned the corner into each new land, the charm of the tune crept back into my head, resulting in my unbridled, at-the-top-of-my-lungs vocal stylings.

Another twenty-some years later, I returned once again with my grandkids. A whole new generation of wonder was launched. Wonder is a precious gift from the God of all creativity.

But in this age of information, where the answer to every question we ponder is just a click away, is wonder doomed to extinction? After all, if I wonder when—in his head-first flight towards his feast—does a mosquito turn his body to land his rear-end stinger deep into my arm, Google’s answer is immediately displayed on my omnipresent smart phone.

What if I wonder who was the first person to think it was a good idea to drink whatever came out of a cow’s udder?

Wikipedia doesn’t leave time for the milk to sour before I know it was the Central Europeans about 7,500 years ago (although I believe that the Bible would suggest that the “land of milk and honey” knew about milk much earlier).

The kick-off question that sparks the story of most writers is “What if . . . ?” That question is interchangeable with “I wonder what would happen if . . .”

Wonder ignites imagination, which finds its expression in creativity. We must pause every now and then to look to creation with wonder. Wonder about the answers to the big questions in life.

Let’s never lose the WONDERment of our childhood.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Psalm 19:1).


Making Work Meaningful


by Susana Zepeda Cagan
Sr. Director of Talent Development & Studio Relations, Fandango/NBC Universal

meaningful-workI struggle at times in my work to find meaning in the day-to-day. The stalled projects, long meetings, endless emails and phone calls pile up like noise or a cloud covering the real work I feel called to do. And like many of you, I ask, “Is this what I should be doing with the time I have Lord?”

My friend, Jaki Granger, gave me a book years ago written by Pastor Lloyd John Ogilvie. He wrote a prayer that I read on days like this, and I’d like to share it with you. May it lift you up as it does me and realign your days of struggle . . .

“When I Need Meaning in My Work”

Gracious Father, who has given me life, bless me today in the work I will do. I praise You for work that can be done as an expression of my worship of You. I bring the meaning of my faith to my work rather than trying to make my work the ultimate meaning of my life. With that perspective, I seek to do everything to Your glory. I pray for mental alertness, emotional stability, and physical strength to achieve excellence in all I do.

Thank you for Your companionship in tasks great and small. It is awesome to contemplate that You who are in control of the universe have placed me in charge of what You want to accomplish through me.

Fill me with Your grace and make me a cheerful person who makes others happier because I am with them. Make me a blessing and not a burden, a lift and not a load, a delight and not a drag. It’s great to be alive! Help me make a difference because of the difference You have made in me.

Sometimes my long days of work and my nights of too little rest run together. I need You. I praise You for Your love that embraces me and gives me security, Your joy that uplifts me and gives me resiliency, Your peace that floods my heart and gives me serenity, and the presence of Your spirit that fills me and gives me strength and endurance.

I dedicate this day to you. Help me to realize that it is by Your permission that I breathe my next breath, and by Your grace that I am privileged to use all the gifts of intellect and judgement that You provide. Give me a perfect blend of humility and hope, so that I will know You have given me all that I have and am and have chosen to bless me this day. My choice is to respond and to commit myself to you.

I thank you for the attitude change that takes place when I remember I am called to glorify You in my work and to work with excellence to please You. Help me to realize how privileged I am to be able to work, earn wages and provide for my needs. Thank you for the dignity of work. Whatever I do, in word or deed, I do it to praise You. Amen.

Excerpts from Praying Through the Tough Times, by Lloyd John Ogilvie