BCN exclusive interview with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett by Holly McClure
FOUNDING EDITOR’S NOTE: My friend and fellow prophetic writer, Holly McClure, writes on Hollywood movies to the Christian world. Now, “Holly on Hollywood” writes an exclusive article on The BIBLE Miniseries for BCN.
This is her personal interview, in the home of Christian Actress, Roma Downey (“Touched By An Angel”) and her husband Mark Burnett, Also an avid Believer, (producer of “Survivor”, “Shark Tank” and “The Voice”). This unique angle focuses the interview on the making of The BIBLE Miniseries.
We’re pleased to give you this behind-the-scenes interview PLUS provide you with the ability to get a first come-first served PRE-order of The BIBLE Miniseries on DVD or BLUray. (Available April 2nd) PRE-Order your own set now by clicking on this link: (http://www.elijahshopper.com/Video_The_Bible_DVD_p/vid-thebible_dvd.htm) –Steve Shultz, BCN.
“Holly on Hollywood” on the New Bible Miniseries
(Malibu, CA)—The Bible is full of stories that Hollywood has been telling since the beginning of film. Ever since Charlton Heston parted the Red Sea as Moses in the epic 1956 film, “The Ten Commandments, Tinsel Town has been enamored with Biblical epics. And it appears Hollywood is once again interested, with soon-to-be releases like; Steven Spielberg’s “Moses”, Russell Crowe’s “Noah”, and Will Smith’s “Cain & Abel”.
However none of those movies can compare to the epic, 10-hour miniseries premiering on the History Channel, from Executive Producers Mark Burnett (of “Survivor”, “Shark Tank” and “The Voice” fame) and his wife, Roma Downey (“Touched by an Angel”). The Bible Series was written under the guidance of many theologians, advisors and Biblical experts. It begins with Genesis and continues through Revelation to tell one story. The entire series is truly family-friendly entertainment for young and old, with teachable concepts and poignant Christian messages. (Photo: bibleseries.tv)
Filmed in the desert of Morocco with a crew of over 400, there are special effects of Biblical proportions, a beautiful musical score by Hans Zimmer, and an international cast that includes popular Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado, as Jesus, and Roma Downey as his mother Mary. (Photo: bibleseries.tv)
Recently I had a chance to sit down with Mark and Roma at their home in Malibu, California, and talk about this unique and incredible project.
Holly McClure: What inspired you to tackle an enormous project like The Bible? How did you begin to decide what to tell and what not to tell? (Photo: Roma Downey and Mark Burnett/bibleseries.tv)
Mark Burnett: The greatest stories in the world are in the Bible. We believe the Bible and decided that there’s only one way to approach it.
Roma Downey: Yes, to tackle the Bible as a series, clearly we didn’t have the time to tell it all. We knew it was too big a project to tell in little stories, so we had to break it down and choose to tell five stories from the Old Testament and five from the New Testament. We only had 10 hours to tell it in but we believe it’s enough to get people interested in reading the Bible again.
HM: I love hearing what goes on “behind the scenes” when movies are filming. Since this is a story of faith and about God, were there any “God” moments on the set? (Photo: bibleseries.tv)
Downey: Oh there certainly was. We had so many moments where the Holy Spirit showed up and said, “Here I am!” One of those moments was one night when we were shooting a scene at 1:00am in the desert and the air was absolutely still. As Jesus began to speak about the Holy Spirit, the wind blew his hair and clothes and in fact, it blew throughout the camp. Our actors didn’t break character so when this happened, we left it in the scene. What you see on screen is actually the Holy Spirit blowing through, right on cue! And all of us there that night knew that God had literally appeared in our scene. (Photo: bibleseries.tv)
Burnett: The actor who we cast to play Sampson: as a little boy he was rather large and was made fun of for being so large, he said he always thought about Sampson. Before he read for this part, he was in his church in London and they asked him to read out loud. The story they had him read was about Sampson. He read it out loud and then, 30 days later, he got the part in our movie! When you see his performance you’ll see God in it. (Photo: bibleseries.tv)
Downey: One of the angels in our series, his real name is Angeli. One day when he was in a swimming pool, we had a chance to see his body and, unbeknownst to us, he was entirely covered in Arch angel tattoos! They were all over his body, on his back and arms.
Burnett: We didn’t even know it when we cast him as an Arch angel.
HM: Were there any people whose faith was changed by being involved with this project? (Photo: bibleseries.tv)
Burnett: Anybody who spent 4 years on a Bible series has to be touched. Also Roma would pray on set with actors because maybe not everyone was of faith, she would pray over them. Many were touched by that.
Downey: It was a God thing for us to be working together and we knew that what we were working on was something important. We made sacrifices being away from our three children for six months and that was hard. But this has deepened our faith as a family and deepened our love and our marriage, so that’s a gift from God.
HM: And what about the special effects, I saw some of the clips and it looks incredible and believable! (Photo: bibleseries.tv)
Downey: Well, we have three teenagers and one of the things they said to us was, “Please, whatever you do, don’t make the special effects lame!”
Burnett: We showed our kids, at the beginning of this project, a movie we had grown up on, “The Ten Commandments”. They were rolling their eyes at the visual effects that were 50 years old. So what we’ve done is bring a fresh approach to the greatest story ever told. The series cost less than $22 million to produce, which is cheap by Hollywood standards.
HM: How do you see your series affecting the world?
Burnett: We hope and know that this will change many who see it. We think a million will either open the Bible or reopen the Bible . . . maybe even a billion after seeing our series. (Photo: bibleseries.tv)
Downey: We are all aware that what we’re doing is bigger than all of us. I think people are hungry for hope and hungry for God and ultimately, it will really connect in their hearts. We’ll be long gone but hopefully this series will still be seen, still touching lives, and still offering hope and inspiration with a story of redemption and love.
Holly McClure is a multimedia personality with over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. Her extensive background as a film critic, media consultant, filmographer, film and television producer, author and marketing promoter, has made her a recognized name and advocate for family-friendly entertainment and the faith-based community. (Photo: Holly McClure/hollymcclure.com)
Holly’s stance for family and faith based issues made for regular appearances on FOX, CNN, MSNBC and others. She was a regular guest for five years on Politically Incorrect, as well as various radio and television programs.
Currently her “Holly on Hollywood” movie reviews and entertainment content can be seen on numerous syndicated networks like Daystar, GOD TV, Family Net, and more. She recently served as Executive Creative Producer for Parables.TV and has been the Executive Creative Producer for shows like; Helpline (CBS) and Rise To Success with Dani Johnson (TBN).
Source: Holly McClure – Parables.TV