Q & A with Mark and Roma, producers of The Bible miniseries
Epic miniseries premiers on the History Channel, on March 3.
Catholic Online has a Q & A from Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, creators of The Bible, an epic miniseries event that will run on the History Channel beginning on March 3. Enjoy the Q&A and be ready to watch or record The Bible when it airs.
Jesus as depicted in the miniseries.
ROMA: Our faith is very important to us, and we both love the Bible. We love its stories of love and redemption and God's heart and hope for his people. So Mark and I started talking over breakfast one morning about how someone really needed to bring this love story to the screen, to tell the overarching story of the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation. We were excited to be able to bring our combined talents and strengths, creativity and experience to the series, and we were both involved in all areas of making it. This was our first professional collaboration as husband and wife. We worked closely on this for three years, and we're still speaking to each other!
MARK: The Bible is most-read book of all time. It has touched the lives of billions of people across the planet and has significantly shaped history, culture, literature, art, politics and human behavior - and continues to shape the world we live in today. You don't have to believe the Bible to be affected by it.
Also consider how influential the Bible has been on popular culture. Ever heard the phrase "the blind leading the blind?" "Eat, drink and be merry?" "The handwriting's on the wall?" "You're the apple of his eye?" "How the mighty have fallen?" "Out of the mouths of babes?" All of them, every last one, is from the Bible.
ROMA: What we have tried to do is tell the grand narrative of the Bible - in a way people haven't seen before on television. It is a powerful, inspirational, moving book that deserves to be presented in a fresh way through powerful, inspirational and moving filmmaking.
We hope that millions will watch this, beginning March 3 on HISTORY and running for five consecutive Sundays, ending on Easter, for the spiritual refreshment that comes from these powerful stories of faith and love and joy and sacrifice and God's never-ending goodness.
What makes this project unique?
MARK: There's a tremendous legacy of depictions of the Bible, both on the big and small screen, from King of Kings and The Ten Commandments all the way through The Passion of The Christ. Our desire was to tell these unforgettable stories through the use of live action combined with state-of-the-art CGI techniques.
ROMA: We filmed in Morocco because we wanted the feel of the real locations in the Bible, and the landscape there provided it. We augmented that with CGI work in order to render as faithfully as humans can the miraculous power of God. Those who've seen parts of the series have been very gracious and complimentary about how the two approaches have meshed together.
What are your hopes for the series?
ROMA: This will be a success for us if what comes through onscreen is what comes through on page after page of the Bible itself: God's sacrificial love for the world.
MARK: We've been fortunate to be involved in some pretty successful TV shows: "Touched by an Angel," "Survivor," "The Voice," "The Apprentice," Shark Tank." But we know this Bible series will be seen by more people, all over the world and for years to come, than all the shows we've ever been involved with combined.
ROMA: Our prayer is that the dramatization of these stories will drive viewers to go to the Bible itself and drink in the actual text, because it is a book that changes lives.
How did you determine who to consult with on this, and will you talk a little about the writing process?
MARK: There is no shortage of people who know the Bible - chapter and verse - better than we do. That's why we worked from the beginning with scholars, theologians and pastors of varying denominational stripes. With their help and guidance and the expertise of our team of writers, we pray we have captured the heart of the biblical stories that move and inspire so many.
ROMA: We don't claim to be Bible teachers; that's a role reserved for churches and pastors. We simply hope to be Bible illuminators, capturing the essence and inspiration of the Scriptures we love.
How daunting a task was it to take on some of the Bible's best-known stories from Genesis to Revelation?
ROMA: This is a book thousands of pages long, written across centuries. And the more you study the stories, the more you realize the awe-inspiring, complex genius that went into weaving them all together Remember, this is the book that inspired the greatest writers and artists across all history - Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Shakespeare - the list is endless. ...
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