‘Duke of Hazzard’ Star John Schneider Explained How Faith-Based Films are Getting Better

by Josh Lanier

For decades, there wasn’t much of a market for faith-based films. Despite there being millions of movie-going Christians, the makers of those movies lacked Hollywood’s infrastructure. Few companies distributed those films. And there weren’t any high-end trailer houses creating slick-looking teaser trailers. These factors kept profits low, which in turn kept many filmmakers who were Christian away from the genre. There was just more work in secular entertainment. But John Schneider says that’s changing.

The former Dukes of Hazzard star said the quality of Christian movies is improving. That’s thanks in part to filmmakers using the visual language of Hollywood to tell a Christian story.

“Yes, it has gotten better,” he told Viral Hare. “A lot more talented people are making them, and also, a lot of people that started making, shall we say, milquetoast Christian films, have learned a lot about how to make palatable, interesting stories for outreach rather than just proselytize, with scripts that actually work and tell a great story, and gets you involved.”

Schneider singled out filmmakers such as David A.R. White and Kirk Cameron. He felt Cameron’s 2008 movie Fireproof was a turning point for Christian films.

“… Not only did it have a great message, but it had a really terrific story, and it was well shot,” John Schneider said. “And faith-based films prior to that, didn’t, and prior to David White, gosh I can’t remember the first one I did with him, he (David White) was a real filmmaker, he wasn’t somebody that went to church and said I’m going to make a movie, he was somebody that made movies and went to church. He said, ‘hey I think I’ll make a great movie which is important.’ Like anything you have to know what you’re doing.”

John Schneider: They’ve ‘Put in the Work’

John Schneider said the volume of Christian movies in recent years is also on the rise. This, he said, has allowed those filmmakers to improve their skills. And that raised the bar for others working in the genre.

“I think that a lot of times when people first start their just proud they made a film and that’s great, but eventually you’ve got to get your skills honed,” he said. “Just like anything, if I decided to be a world-class golfer, I can make that decision all day, but it’s not going to happen if I don’t put in the work.”

Not everyone has this opinion. However, it’s hard to argue that the number of Christian movies that have reached mainstream notoriety isn’t astronomically higher than before.

This is partly because more actors with name recognition and pop-culture figures want to work in the genre. Actors like Tyler Perry, John Schneider, Kevin Sorbo, Melissa Joan Hart, and Dean Cain have starred in faith-based films. Even members of the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame appeared in some Christian movies.