Former president of Paramount Pictures and Production Chief for Walt Disney Studios and Touchstone Studios.
Co-founder, Good News Holdings, a company dedicated to positive value entertainment.
David Kirkpatrick: Hollywood Pioneer Moves to a New Front
The 700 Club
David Kirkpatrick has 30 years of executive experience in the entertainment industry. He is the former president of Paramount Pictures where he worked for over 17 years, starting there as the studio’s story editor. He is also the first person ever in the motion picture industry to hold two studio production chief jobs simultaneously when he ran both Walt Disney Studios and Touchstone Studios.
As a motion picture executive, Kirkpatrick has overseen some 200 movies including Forrest Gump, Top Gun, The Firm, Ghost, Witness, Ordinary People, Hunt For Red October, Terms of Endearment, Dead Poet’s Society, Elephant Man, An Officer And A Gentleman, Reds and Little Mermaid.
He also was responsible for such successful franchises as the Indiana Jones, and Star Trek series. In the 1980s, Kirkpatrick also oversaw the most successful exclusive arrangement with an actor and a studio in the last 50 years with Eddie Murphy.
As the responsible executive for Eddie Murphy, Kirkpatrick oversaw such early classics as 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop I and II, Trading Places and Coming to America. The pictures on which Kirkpatrick worked have a collective worldwide box office gross of over 10 billion dollars and have garnered close to 400 Academy Award nominations and 163 Academy wins.
Recently, Kirkpatrick became the co-founder with George Barna of Good News Holdings, a company dedicated to positive value entertainment founded on Judeo Christian principles.
“We thought that there was a tremendous need to lift the bar in Christian entertainment in terms of excellence,” he says. “We thought we should devote the rest of our lives to creating entertainment that’s pleasing to the Lord. There’s a major spiritual battle out there, and we want to be an alternative voice.”
The company will launch a full slate of sound and motion product in 2008 known as “Spiritainment,” which is to be distributed on all platforms including mobile, Internet, traditional TV and theatrical motion picture screens. According to Kirkpatrick, one of the purposes of ‘Spiritainment’ is to create entertainment that refreshes the spirit, encourages virtue and pleases God.
“Everything we’re looking to do has strong storytelling with a biblical worldview. We’re looking to focus on the narrative,” he says.
At Good News Holdings, Kirkpatrick is in charge of traditional media including movies and television where he plans to bring to the global market a new vitality to Christian filmmaking.
Good News Holdings has selected a 1,000 acre tract in Plymouth, Massachusetts as the target location to build their large-scale movie and production facility which will be the first in the Northeast. The studio will feature back lots, sound stages, editing facilities and on-site production of commercials, major movies and television series.
As a producer, Kirkpatrick has been the recipient of the Golden Globe, the Emmy, and the Independent Spirit Award. He is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America and an active member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. He was the first recipient of the Peter Stark scholarship awarded by the Walt Disney Foundation. Kirkpatrick sold his first screenplay to Paramount at the age of 17 while still in high school and was teaching screenwriting at California Institute of the Arts at the age of 18 where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1974. Kirkpatrick sits on several boards for worldwide charitable organizations.
Growing up in Ohio, Kirkpatrick was raised in the Catholic tradition, and rededicated his life completely to Christ about three years ago, and since then, his life has undergone a complete transformation. Kirkpatrick found that working in Hollywood as a Christian is no different than working anywhere else.
“As a Hollywood executive, I was completely removed from life, but I never put anything out there that celebrated violence and salacious sex,” he says. “It’s difficult being a Christian in any environment. I choose to love instead of judge.”
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