The following is part of a series on how NRB membership has benefited Christian media and ministry professionals who have joined the association through their organization or as an individual.
When actor, writer, and comedian Torry Martin was planning his trip to Nashville to attend the 2015 NRB Convention, he had no idea how things would change for him.
It all started at the NRB Pitch-a-Thon event, an event that allows Christian writers to have short meetings with entertainment power players. “I presented a one-page overview of my screenplay Helen of Troy, Tennessee to Scott Mednick (300, Superman Returns, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) of Paramount,” explains Martin. “Within 24 hours, he’d read my script cover to cover.” Soon, Mednick and Martin (along with co-writer Marshal Younger) entered into an exclusive 18-month film option agreement. Today, Helen of Troy, Tennessee marches toward production.
But Helen of Troy Tennessee wasn’t Martin’s only Convention-related success.
He also met Nathan Nazario, producer of Old Fashioned, at the Convention. Nazario optioned Martin and Younger’s screenplay The Boonies, a family action-adventure film about a group of kids searching for the lost treasure of Daniel Boone.
Martin turned another corner at the Convention and met Michael Young, an Emmy Award-winning producer who optioned his screenplay The Little Wanderers, a Christmas story about the trains that carried orphans to find new homes in 1920s America.
Then, his phone rang. His friend Kay Arthur, an NRB member, wanted Martin to meet with her in the Convention hotel restaurant. Unknown to Martin, she’d invited executives from Harvest House Publishers. Before the meeting was over, a book deal was in the works: Martin’s book, Of Moose and Men, will hit store shelves April 2016.
When asked if NRB membership has made a difference for him, Martin responded without hesitation: “Yes! NRB membership opens doors because it means the same thing to everyone: you’ve been vetted, and you are legitimate.”
Martin also encourages aspiring entertainment professionals to attend the NRB Convention:
“We all know that 75 percent of the jobs in the entertainment industry go to those already inside the entertainment industry; because of the incredible networking opportunities, attending the NRB Convention allows people to get inside.”
NRB also opened up many other opportunities for Martin. The Vetter brothers hired him and Younger to be the script doctors for the feature film The Matchbreaker; Director/Producer Gary Wheeler cast Martin in his feature film Mountain Top, as did Producer Rick Eldredge in his film The Ultimate Legacy; and Martin found much of the cast and crew he used for the faith-based comedy Heaven Bound (co-written with Younger and Rene Gutteridge) at NRB Conventions. One cast member was Victoria Jackson (“Saturday Night Live”), who was a guest speaker at NRB.
Martin’s final words: “My advice to any Christian who wants to break into the entertainment industry? Join NRB and attend the Convention. It’s an investment in your future. Oh, and bring a box of business cards. You are going to need them.”
To learn more about Torry, visit www.torrymartin.com.
To inquire about joining NRB as a member, contact Melissa Sturgis, NRB Director of Membership, by calling 703-331-4502 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By NRB Staff
Published: December 3, 2015