“Double-crossed and on the run, an assassin for the British East India Company seeks to redeem his past…”
Three years ago, Beyond the Mask was simply an idea. Now, after countless drafts of story outlines, treatments and scripts, months of development and preproduction planning, 54 grueling days (and nights!) of shooting, and four months of assembly editing…the semblance of a Christ-centered period action movie has begun to emerge.
Last week, members of the BTM creative team met at Postproduction Headquarters (Southern IL) to review the first rough-cut of the film. While thousands of hours of work still remain, we are very encouraged by the progress to date. Even at this early stage, we are especially excited about the performances of the leading and supporting cast.
On Thursday afternoon, we reviewed the edit with Stephen Kendrick (producer of Fireproof & Courageous). As we watched and discussed each sequence, Stephen shared ideas for trimming or stretching each scene to insure the audience can engage with the story threads as they converge towards the film’s climax.
Here are few still shots from the edit:
We are so grateful for how the Lord has moved and provided for this film production, in many cases through the encouragement and support of you guys! Please continue to remember the team in prayer as we press forward with the edit, and continue making plans for pick-up shooting, soundtrack, visual effects, and the release. Also, pray that the story would powerfully impact a generation of young people with the hope of finding identity in Christ. Stay tuned!
With principle photography behind us, you might have been wondering what the BTM team has been up to. Other than catching up on a little reading and sleeping over the Christmas holiday (along with a hotly contested game of Axis & Allies), we’ve been working to wrap out the sets and locations used during the filming, and preparing for the next major phase of the project: postproduction.
“Postproduction” is the process of taking the footage that was shot (in our case, over 17 terabytes of data!), and turning the raw images into a final film. The first and perhaps most important step is the editing. We currently have three editing systems in operation, each with their own copy of the footage. We estimate the editing will last into the early summer of this year. Once we have completed a locked edit, we can release the film to the music, visual effects, and audio teams who can work simultaneously toward completion of the project.
As we are diving into the editing, we are reminded again of how God directed and provided in ways we could never have expected through every detail of the project. We were blessed and honored to work with an unbelievably talented and dedicated cast and crew. We couldn’t be more pleased with the footage that was captured.
In the coming months, we plan to post weekly or bi-weekly updates to keep you in the loop with how things are progressing. We would appreciate your prayers for guidance, protection, and provision as we face the significant challenges represented in the final half of the project. We are excited to see where the Lord leads next in this journey, as we seek to point a generation of young people to hope in Christ through this action/adventure film.
Long before morning broke, the Beyond the Mask crew packed up their gear and headed to Independence Hall for the day’s shoot. Independence Hall proved to be much closer than Philadelphia, though, at the Henry Ford museum near downtown Detroit. What a treat to be filming at such a stunning location!
Producer Aaron Burns talks about choosing this Michigan landmark for a shoot: “Originally our team had discussed potentially traveling to Philadelphia for this scene with Independence Hall. How surprising it was to film such an accurate and impressive replica so close to our home base and studio lot.”
Dating back to 1929, Independence Hall at the museum represents one of the most impressive replicas of an historic building. When planning the towering structure, Detroit architect Robert O. Derrick suggested to Henry Ford that they correct the design mistakes from the original when constructing the replica. Ford replied, “Oh, no! Make it exactly the same, put in all the mistakes.” (http://www.thehenryford.org/exhibits/pic/2004/may.asp#more)
Despite the sleet and early hours, working at the museum was truly remarkable for cast and crew alike. The team pulled together to recreate the exciting atmosphere of 1776 Independence Hall.
The past nine weeks have been full of adventure and fun times, but the best thing of all has been the amazing group of people that God has brought together. Here everyone crowds around the camera’s little screen as the operators play back a one take wonder stunt shot.
The vicar’s robes don’t mask the face of an assassin.
This stunning view of Meadowbrook Hall illuminates the night as the crew captures one of Beyond the Mask’s most beautiful shots.
Lighting technician Josh Hedrick, doubling as an extra, begins packing the grip truck after the day’s shoot.
Doctor Harrow, played by Tom Mahard, is Charles Kemp’s scheming assistant in his evil plans. Tom has been absolutely wonderful to work with and so much fun to have on set.
The impressive architecture of Meadowbrook Hall made for an amazing set as the home of the infamous Charles Kemp.