Michael Flaherty Interviewed by CCM

Michael Flaherty, President of Walden Media, was interviewed by CCM in the February edition of CCM magazine. Thanks to fantasia_kitty for the transcript and to Forbe for the article.

CCM: Since the “Chronicles of Narnia” series has such a loyal, even fanatical following, there’s bound to be huge expectations of “Lord of the Rings” proportions for a film like The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Flaherty: I know! But I love it because the director, Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Shrek 2), totally “gets it.” As a company we also made a decision that we’d take an approach that would be completely faithful to the book. For example when Holes first came out, we made sure the author was intimately involved in adapting his book to the screenplay.

CCM: It seems that there’s an element of faith in all the films you’ve made with Walden Media.

Flaherty: Throughout human history most of the great events and figures have been motivated by faith. So you’re not a good storyteller if you avoid that aspect. But then, at the same time, if it’s not in the DNA, you can’t apply it like makeup– like “Oh, we’ll put a faith scene here to appeal to the church crowd.” They are a sophisticated audience, and they know when something isn’t genuine and authentic.

CCM: Tell us a little bit about what a day at your job is like for you.

Flaherty: I have a 6-year old daughter. And I have a 4-year old and a soon-to-be-3-year-old, so it always varies in terms of when the day starts. I’m in Los Angeles about a week a month; but when I’m in Boston, things are pretty mellow until about noon. And then once everyone arrives in the Los Angeles office and the studios, things begin to bget very busy; and that pace keeps up until about 6-7 at night. During the day I spend a good part of the time working onthe marketing campaigns for the films, finding new projects, and reviewing scripts.

~ From CCM issue of February 2005.