A reader is skeptical about some of the particular issues I have with the veracity of the 'Expelled' production team. For example, my critic notes that I've inferred that Premise Media produces evangelical-friendly fare, and writes:
You've yet to establish that Premise Media is "evangelical"...
Fair enough. Here's what I've got, so far. All the names listed can be found on the Premise Media site under 'Principal Bios'. Anybody else with more info, please do pass it along....
Co-founder A. Logan Craft is identified as a minister and TV producer on the American board of the Canadian Center for Cultural Renewal. These facts are curiously absent from the Premise Media web site. Craft spills the beans to a Southern Baptist site, but plainly thinks the filmmaker's religious identity irrelevant:
"Understand that although all the producers are Christians and we have, let’s say, complementary views about most moral issues, I can’t say we came to this project with any uniform view or underlying agenda."
Yet, in the same interview, Craft remarks that Ben Stein was chosen in part because one of his colleagues "had a real insight, we believe, into the necessity to have a person, first of all, who wasn’t overtly Christian or overtly religious."
Screenwriter Kevin Miller is an evangelical Christian who describes his background as "four years of Bible college, one year of seminary, and nearly ten years of researching and writing Christian books under my belt" prior to entering the film industry. These facts also not on the Premise site, but I dug them up in this blog of his.
Producer Mark Mathis is interviewed here by YEC Carl Weiland. Mathis is coy on the age-of-the-Earth but otherwise delivers the sort of boilerplate statement that I associate with evangelicals and Biblical literalism. I can sympathize with his points, I just don't share his perceptions. You can decide for yourself. By the way, both Mathis and Craft are New Mexicans who were on the record as pro-ID a few years back. No agenda? Ahem!
Marketing Director Paul Lauer worked on grass-roots marketing for previous films targeting evangelicals, among them The Passion of the Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia. His web site talks about tapping into the 'Faith and Family Market'.
To get an idea of his schtick, check out this Slate article on his promotion of "The Polar Express." Very slick. Does that make him an evangelical? Maybe not. Does it make him an expert in the advertising industry on marketing to evangelicals. Oh, yes. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then....well, you can see where I'm going with this. My skeptic adds:
...and you presume the money is coming from them.
Or being funneled through them, as some suggest, through investors. However, interestingly enough, the CEO is a software engineer who retired at age 32 with $120 million worth of Microsoft stock back in 1998, a fella named Walt Ruloff. Lord knows what he's worth now. If he's not a billionaire, he's close. This is a guy who doesn't need investors to make a film! On the other hand, he doesn't need either investors or a film to share HIS evangelical roots.