'Mom's Night Out' Marks New Front in Faith-Based Filmmaking
Producer Rich Peluso says the new comedy Mom’s Night Out isn’t another Son of God or Heaven Is for Real.
“This is about some people who happen to be Christians, dealing with obstacles and issues in their lives,” says Peluso, senior vice president of Sony’s Affirm Films. He compares his studio's film to the 2011 sleeper hit Soul Surfer. “It doesn’t have a salvation message.”
It does have Emmy-winner Patricia Heaton, country superstar Trace Adkins and a bellyful of absurd moments parents everywhere will recognize--and wince at, most likely.
The film follows an exasperated mom (Sara Drew) who finally gets the chance to put on high heels and have a night out without her children. Too bad nearly everything that can go wrong does. Suddenly she’s scrambling to find a lost baby with the help of a biker named Bones (Adkins).
Peluso, who spoke with Breitbart News during a shooting break on the film, is creating faith-friendly movies with budgets far greater than past hits like Fireproof and Courageous. The costs still don’t compare to many mainstream films, but Peluso doesn’t think that should hamper filmmakers eager to tell their stories.
“When you don’t focus in on big effects, big budgets ... it taps into our natural desire for ingenuity and teamwork,” he says.
Mom’s Night Out may lack an overtly spiritual message, but it has something often lacking in the marketplace according to Peluso.
“It is a fun, clean family comedy ... you won’t have those awkward moments,” he says.
Sony Pictures began Affirm Films after acquiring the indie film Facing the Giants. The mega-studio realized the power that movie tapped.
“Sony is like, ‘we need to do this for real ... lets focus on it,’” he says.
Now, it’s Peluso’s job to make quality films that build on the success of past hits without massive marketing budgets or fast-food tie ins. To do that, he's reaching out to bloggers, pastors and groups that may be amendable to the content in films like Mom's Night Out to help spread the word.
"If they love it, they wanna tell their people about it," he says. "Our focus is, how do we find allies around this picture?"