CELEBRITY PRAYER FOCUS

“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.” Sidlow Baxter 

Celebrity Prayer Focus: Pete Docter

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Peter Hans Docter (born October 9, 1968) is an American film director, animator, screenwriter, producer, voice actor and chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios. He is best known for directing the animated feature films Monsters, Inc. (2001), Up (2009) and Inside Out (2015) and as a key figure and collaborator at Pixar Animation Studios. He has been nominated for eight Oscars (two wins thus far for Up and Inside Out – Best Animated Feature), seven Annie Awards (winning five), a BAFTA Children’s Film Award (which he won), and a Hochi Film Award (which he won).

Before joining Pixar, Docter had created three non-computer animations, “Next Door”, “Palm Springs”, and “Winter”. All three shorts were later preserved by the Academy Film Archive. He was a fan of the company’s early short films, but he knew nothing about them otherwise. He commented in an October 2009 interview, “Looking back, I kind of go, what was I thinking?”

He started at Pixar in 1990 at the age of 21, and began work the day after his college graduation, as the tenth employee at the company’s animation group, and its third animator. He first met owner Steve Jobs when Jobs came to lay off some older workers. Docter instantly felt at home in the tight-knit atmosphere of the company. He has said, “Growing up… a lot of us felt we were the only person in the world who had this weird obsession with animation. Coming to Pixar you feel like, ‘Oh! There are others!'”

Docter had been brought in with limited responsibilities, but John Lasseter quickly assigned him larger and larger roles in writing, animation, sound recording, and orchestra scoring. He was one of the three key screenwriters behind the concept of Toy Story.

Docter has been an integral part of some of Pixar’s most seminal works, including Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug’s Life and Monsters, Inc., all of which received critical acclaim and honors. He contributed to these animated films as a co-author to the scripts, and worked with CGI stalwarts such as John Lasseter, Ronnie Del Carmen, Bob Peterson, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, and Joe Ranft. In 2004, he was asked by John Lasseter to direct the English translation of Howl’s Moving Castle. Docter made his directorial debut with Monsters, Inc., which occurred right after the birth of his first child, Nick. Docter then directed the 2009 film Up, released on May 29, 2009.

In May 2009, Docter remarked retrospectively to Christianity Today that he had lived “a blessed life” so far. He has been nominated for eight Oscars (winning two), three Annie Awards (winning two), a British Academy Children’s Award (which he won), and a Hochi Film Award (which he won). He also won a Bafta for best animation for Up. Accepting his Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, he said, “Never did I dream that making a flip book out of my third-grade math book would lead to this.” Docter served as Vice-president of Creativity at Pixar Animation Studios through June 2018, and following Lasseter’s step-down from the role, is the studio’s chief creative officer (read more about the change here).

[Career summary from Wikipedia]

Docter is also a devout Christian. Though he incorporates his personal morality into his work, he has said that he does not intend to ever make a movie with an explicitly religious message. About the relationship between his faith and his filmmaking, Docter has said:

“I don’t think people in any way, shape, or form like to be lectured to. When people go to a movie, they want to see some sort of experience of themselves on the screen. They don’t come to be taught. So in that sense, and in terms of any sort of beliefs, I don’t want to feel as though I’m ever lecturing or putting an agenda forth.” [quote from Christianity Today]

Pray with us for Pete Docter, especially as he takes on his new role at Pixar. Ask God to be near him during this time of transition, and pray that it will go smoothly for Pete and his family. We pray that Pete’s relationship with God will grow deeper every single day, and that God continues to equip him to live and work in a way that glorifies God. Pray that Pete’s employees and coworkers would see Jesus through him and the way he lives. We praise God for the success and wide audience of Pete’s work, and we pray that everyone who sees his films will also see God in the characters, stories, and themes.

Celebrity Prayer Focus: Sandra Bullock

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Sandra Annette Bullock, born in 1964, is an American actress, producer, and philanthropist. She made her acting debut with a minor role in the 1987 thriller Hangmen, and made her television debut in the film Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989), and played the lead role in the short-lived NBC sitcom Working Girl. Her breakthrough role was in the film Demolition Man (1993). She subsequently starred in several successful films including Speed (1994), While You Were Sleeping (1995), The Net (1995), A Time to Kill (1996), Hope Floats (1998), and Practical Magic (1998).

Bullock achieved further success in the following decades in Miss Congeniality (2000), Two Weeks Notice (2002), Crash (2004), The Proposal (2009), and The Heat (2013). She was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side (2009), and was nominated in the same categories for her performance in Gravity (2013). Bullock’s greatest commercial success is the animated comedy film Minions (2015), which grossed over US$1 billion at the box office. In 2007, she was one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses. She was also named “Most Beautiful Woman” by People magazine in 2015.

Bullock announced on April 28, 2010 that she had proceeded with plans to adopt a son born in January 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bullock and James had begun an initial adoption process four months earlier. Bullock’s son began living with them in January 2010, but they chose to keep the news private until after the Oscars in March 2010. However, given the couple’s separation and then divorce, Bullock continued the adoption of her son as a single parent. In December 2015, Bullock announced that she had adopted a second child, and appeared on the cover of People magazine with her then ​3 12-year-old new daughter.

In addition to her acting career, Bullock is the founder of the production company Fortis Films. She has produced some of the films in which she starred, including Two Weeks Notice, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, and All About Steve. She was an executive producer of the ABC sitcom George Lopez, and made several appearances during its run.

Most recently, Bullock stars in an all-female spin-off of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise, titled Ocean’s 8, which is directed by Gary Ross. The film released on June 8th, 2018.

[Bullock’s career summary taken from Wikipedia]

Pray with us this week for Sandra Bullock. We ask God to make his presence known to her and that she would know the deep and complete love of Jesus. We thank God for her heart for adoption, and pray blessings over her children, Louis and Laila. Pray that their family is full of love and support, and is a place of peace and comfort. We also pray that with the release of her new film, she will be protected any negative and hurtful media coverage or social media comments. Pray that God provides her with authentic friendships with people she trusts and can confide in.

Weekly Prayer Focus: Alan Silvestri

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Alan Silvestri is an American composer and conductor. He is known for his film and television scores, with a career that spans the last 46 years. Silvestri was raised in New Jersey, and his musical interests began with playing jazz guitar. He attended the Berklee College of Music for two years, after which he began performing and arranging professionally. He moved to Hollywood at age 22, where his composing career kicked off with the film The Doberman Gang (1972).

Silvestri’s rhythmic, synth-pop stylings served as the score for the TV series CHiPs from 1977 to 1983. He then developed a strong working relationship with producer Robert Zemeckis, and beginning with Romancing the Stone (1984), Silvestri has since scored all of Zemeckis’s films. These include the Back to the Future trilogy (1985-1990), Forrest Gump (1994), Cast Away (2000), Beowulf (2007), A Christmas Carol (2009), and The Walk (2015).

Silvestri has also composed the score for films directed by James Cameron and Stephen Sommers. His recent film work includes The Avengers (2012), The Croods (2013), and Ready Player One (2018). He also scored the new film Avengers: Infinity War (2018) which is releasing later this week.

Silvestri has been nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. He also has been nominated for four Grammy awards, of which he won two. Silvestri now lives with his wife in California, where they own a vineyard. Silvestri is quoted on his website, saying “There’s something about the elemental side of winemaking that appeals to me. Both music making and wine making involve the blending of art and science. Just as each note brings it own voice to the melody, each vine brings its own unique personality to the wine.”

Pray with us this week for Alan Silvestri. We thank God for the musical talent he has given him, and pray that Alan would grow closer to God as he continues to create music. Pray that Alan encounters the Lord through music, in a way that is meaningful and personal to him. We also pray that in Alan’s recording sessions, whenever he collaborates with other musicians, and when he serves as a conductor, his interactions are full of patience and compassion along with his drive for excellence. Pray that Alan would build relationships with people, especially other musicians, who can demonstrate God’s love and grace to him.