Joe Goodman: The Good Country Pictures’ vision carries the distinctive mark of Joe Goodman – a mark made possible by his decision more than fifteen years ago to produce a more wholesome brand of entertainment despite a lack of any industry experience. Through self-education, trial and error, and a tremendous amount of hard work, Goodman produced two TV movies for Lifetime Networks before moving on to the Left Behind project. With characteristic foresight, Goodman acquired the rights to Left Behind before it became a bestselling book. After the pitch for the film was rejected by Hollywood, he implemented an innovative fundraising and marketing campaign; the result of which was a DVD release so successful that Goodman was able to then partner with a major distributor to release Left Behind in theaters nationwide. Left Behind enjoyed considerable financial success (even without A-list talent participation) because of Goodman’s confidence in the work’s appeal to a wide audience and his ability to link together different social groups – each with an interest in entertainment based upon strong religious and moral themes. Goodman’s marketing strategy was ahead of its time and remains in wide use today, e.g. Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004), Sherwood Pictures’ Courageous (2011), and Quaker Media’s The Mighty Macs (2011).
Following the success of Left Behind, Goodman made six more films and turned down several lucrative, in-house development positions with major studios. After the completion of his last film in 2008, he began to focus full-time on the search for more meaningful art on which to base independent films. In 2011, after more than five years of research and negotiation, he closed the final deal in the following portfolio of high-quality art:
- Film rights to Flannery O’Connor’s novel, The Violent Bear It Away;
- Film rights to The Violent Bear It Away script;
- TV rights to 30/31 of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories;
- TV rights to both collections of Flannery O’Connor’s letters;
- TV rights to Flannery O’Connor’s only collection of lectures;
- TV rights to Flannery O’Connor’s only authorized biography;
- Film rights to Charles Williams’ All Hallows’ Eve;
- Film rights to 5 other Charles Williams’ novels; and
- Full ownership of Pontius Pilate, a screenplay by Emmy Award winning writer Kirk Ellis.
It is upon this foundation that Goodman launched Good Country Pictures with two other like-minded investors -- Frank Hanna and Deal Hudson. Goodman is the chief executive officer of Good Country Pictures and the architect of its current development strategy.
Ralph Winter: Ralph Winter is an A-list producer and director who has helped produce over forty films from 1984 to the present. Winter has worked on films that include the Star Trek franchise (1984 – 1991), X-Men (2000), Planet of the Apes (2001), X-2 (2003), Fantastic Four (2005), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Reagan (2012, pre-production), and Mary, Mother of Christ (2013, pre-production).
Deal Hudson: Deal Hudson is a founding investor in Good Country Pictures. Hudson holds a PhD in Theology and Literature, is the author and/or editor of eight books, was the publisher and editor of Crisis magazine for ten years, and has long been a national commentator with articles published in periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, The Spectator, and by the Associated Press. Hudson acts as the primary link between Good Country Pictures and both the academic and media worlds. In this role, he assists Goodman with fundraising and the development of Good Country Pictures’ internal vision for highly respected novels, short stories, screenplays, and its public relations strategy.
Brett Grayson: Brett Grayson is an attorney and trusted deputy of Good Country Pictures' founding investor, Frank Hanna. Grayson serves as Good Country Pictures’ general counsel. Prior to joining Hanna’s family office, Grayson served as a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps.
Abel Sandman: Abel Sandman, Partner, has over twenty years of marketing and branding experience, with ten of those specifically involving film consulting.
Wojtek Frykowski: Wojtek Frykowski is a graduate of Poland’s famed Lodz Film School and the producer of Thr3e (2006) and House (2008).
Brenda Steele: Brenda Steele, Media Relations Director, taught public school in Georgia for many years and was development manager for Inside Catholic, a Catholic online magazine. She has over 25 years of editing experience.