Today, Heather sits down with Jeffrey Harmon, the chief content officer of Angel Studios, to discuss the art, craft, and unconventional marketing strategies that have made both The Chosen television series and the film Sound of Freedomsurprise hits in their respective mediums. Based on the true story of a US government agent who quits his job to devote his life to rescuing children from global child traffickers, Sound of Freedom stars Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) in the lead role of Tim Ballard.
Jeffrey Harmon says a key goal of the film is to put a spotlight on the global movement to end the trafficking of minors by successfully distributing the film to a worldwide audience. But even as it outperforms erstwhile blockbusters like Indiana Jones and Mission:Impossible, controversy and skepticism have surrounded Sound of Freedom, with some leaders of anti-trafficking ministries and organizations leaders concerned that it overly sensationalizes the real work of battling traffickers and rescuing abducted children. Other critics allege that it’s linked to the extreme-right QAnon conspiracy movement. Heather asks Jeffrey about the QAnon connections head-on. Tune in to hear his impassioned response to those questions and much more on how Angel Studios learned to make its projects go viral.
In this episode Heather also talks with her best friend and co-blogger Scarlett Longstreet in Safe Space, a new segment in which Heather and Scarlett discuss social media and popular culture. Today, they talk about whether or not parents should take their kids to see Barbie. It was announced this week that the film became Warner Bros.’ best-selling global release of all time reaching more than $1.2 billion in sales.
Heather and Scarlett are totally different. They don’t share the same religion or background, but they’ve done a good job of creating a Safe Space for both meaningful and casual conversation.
Jeffrey Harmon is a cofounder and chief content officer of Angel Studios. He’s also a cofounder of the Harmon Brothers advertising agency, which has helped clients drive over $350 million in sales with over 1.3 billion online views. Based in Utah, Jeffrey hails from a Mormon family—another topic of intense discussion in the evangelical spaces that he often occupies.
- For a free ticket to Sound of Freedom, go to angel.com/freetickets
- You can sign up for Heather’s encouraging email, which goes out every Friday night at 7 p.m. EST, at www.heatherthompsonday.com/links
Heather Thompson Day is an associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She is the author of eight books, including I’ll See You Tomorrow and It’s Not Your Turn. Reach out to Heather on Twitter @HeatherTDay and on Instagram @heatherthompsonday.
Viral Jesus is a production of Christianity Today
Host and creator: Heather Thompson Day
Executive Producer: Ed Gilbreath
Producer: Loren Joseph
Associate Producer: Azurae Phelps
Mix Engineer: Alex Carter
Director of CT Podcasts: Mike Cosper