The earliest known press release regarding this project was issued on April 30, 2001, at which time the plan was to produce an IMAX film titled "Safe Passage." In September 2002 this project was re-annunced as a series of feature films called collectively "A Voice from the Dust," with the first film (not an IMAX film), titled "Journey to the Promised Land." We do not know how long the official website, at http://www.voicefromthedust.com, has been online. The URL was registered by Steve DeVore on 16 May 2002.
The home page for the "Voice from the Dust" website is a splash screen dominated by a large graphic upon which sits a menu to the site's sub-pages. The main background graphic is a golden plate upon which "Book of Mormon" text is inscribed. This merges into golden sands of an Arabian desert. A small camel caravan, seen in silhouette, traipses across the sands at the top of the graphic. In front of this image, on the right side of the screen, is a collage of 6 people from Book of Mormon times: four men and two women.
The figures are in the collage of people are: Lehi, Nephi, Sariah, Miriam, Laman and Lemuel. Nephi is the young man with black hair whose face is in the front. Next to him the young woman is Miriam, doubtless Nephi's wife in the planned movie. The Book of Mormon does not actually name Nephi's wife. The filmmakers are giving her a name and enlarging her role for storytelling purposes. Lemuel (Nephi's older brother) is the shirtless, muscular man holding a rope in the center of the collage. The older, bearded man with white hair in the top righ-hand corner is Nephi's father Lehi. The middle-aged man with the dark hair and beard in the top left-hand corner is Nephi's oldest brother, Laman. In the bottom, right-hand corner the older woman is Sariah, Nephi's mother.
The menu is to the left.
Above these images, superimposed over the sky, is a logo: "A Voice from the Dust" in large letters which appear to be 3D gold metal. Beneath this, "Journey to the Promised Land" appears in smaller, black letters. An even smaller subscript appears in bright gold/yellow letters: "The Book of Mormon Motion Picture."
The Menu features the following options:
In small print, at the bottom of the splash screen, the following words appear in a small typeface: © copyright 2002 Timpanogos Entertainment All rights reserved
JOURNEY to the PROMISED LAND
The Book of Mormon Motion Picture
The first episode, Journey to the Promised Land, chronicles the astounding journey that Lehi and his family made from Jerusalem to the Promised Land. Our young hero, Nephi, surmounts obstacle after overwhelming obstacle to obey his father and the command of God to "go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded..." with stunning faith rarely seen, for he "was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which (he) should do." The Book of Mormon is an ancient record similar to the Bible and revered by the world's 11 million Mormons as holy scripture -- confirming the spiritual and historical record of the Old and New Testament.
The producers of A Voice from the Dust, Timpanogos Partners I, LLC, are excited to have you join us at this website for continued updates about the movie -- the first time this chronicle of faith and sacrifice, as recorded by ancient prophets has been brought to the big screen.
Within these pages, you will find background information about the
production team, news related to the production and release
schedule, forums for discussion of production-related questions,
and resources for Book of Mormon research and study.
The Book of Mormon is considered a sacred scripture by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the foundation of their faith, and is referred to as "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ". It was brought forth "from the dust" by Joseph Smith, the Church's founding prophet, who proclaimed that he received the book in the form of gold plates bearing ancient inscriptions, from an angel who directed him to the location where they had been buried in a stone box. With a set of ancient interpreters provided with the plates by the heavenly messenger, Smith translated the record. Since its publication in 1830 when Smith was but 25 years old, The Book of Mormon has been translated into over 100 languages and more than 117 million copies have been published.
The Book of Mormon narrative begins in 600 B.C. in Jerusalem and tells the story of a Hebrew prophet named Lehi who is commanded by God to leave Jerusalem with his family and journey to a promised land. After years of traveling across the foreboding deserts of Arabia, and taking years to build a unique ocean-crossing vessel, the intrepid travelers make their voyage and arrive in the New World -- America. Their story in this new land makes up the bulk of the one thousand year history of God's dealings with this people. Their history was recorded through the centuries on gold plates made by a succession of prophets and compiled into a summary record by one of the last of their ancient prophets, Mormon. Mormon's son, Moroni, buried the gold plates in a hill he called "Cumorah". There, the recorded history of this great people remained undisturbed until it was revealed to Joseph Smith by the angel Moroni, the same Moroni who buried the plates.
Like the Bible, the stories and characters in The Book of Mormon are dramatic and powerful. Remarkably, these captivating stories have never been produced into a major motion picture. The great producer/director, Cecil B. DeMille, when asked why he made Biblical movies, reportedly said that he didn't want to see thousands of years of promotion go to waste! For decades many have wondered when the dramatically potent stories of The Book of Mormon would be produced into a major motion picture. A Voice from the Dust will respond to this pent-up interest, providing the dramatic view of these events that so many have waited for.
A Voice from the Dust is intended to entertain and inspire,
and is not an evangelical event or doctrinal statement of belief.
Thus, while the producers have deep sensitivity to the sacred
nature of the scriptural record and have undertaken extensive
research into matters of authenticity, certain dramatic judgments
must be made in bringing such an epic to the screen. For insight
into the process of taking the scriptural account to the screen,
we invite you to visit this website from time-to-time for interviews
with the writers, the director, producers and historical consultants
who are involved in the making of A Voice from the Dust,
and of course, please register to receive our email newsletter.
A special team of award-winning filmmakers with experience in creating critically acclaimed motion pictures has been assembled for production of the first feature:
Producer - Writer - Director
Karl Malden, former President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Academy Award winning actor, recently said of Johnson, "If I were a producer and had a script that I wanted to do badly, the first man that I would hire to direct it would be Peter Johnson." Formerly Director of the BYU Motion Picture Studio, Johnson has devoted much of his film career to producing and directing dramatic, richly textured, history-based films. This, along with professional experience in the commercial film industry has made Johnson uniquely prepared to write, produce, and direct A Voice from the Dust: Journey to the Promised Land. Credits include: as Director, The Mountain of the Lord, A More Perfect Union (regional EMMY award and nominated for national EMMY), Man's Search for Happiness, The Restoration, Zion's Camp. Producer and/or Director of The Witching of Ben Wagner (Disney), Encyclopedia Brown (HBO), How Rare a Possession, Journey of Faith, and Between Heaven and Earth. Writer of Disney's 1988 top rated Sunday Night movie, Thanksgiving Promise, with Blaine Yorgason. Other experience includes: The Sting, Part II (Universal); Twilight Time (Dan Tana Productions); SKAG (NBC); Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (Irwin Allen Productions); Miracle on Ice (ABC); Word of Honor (CBS); and The Streets of San Francisco (ABC).
DeVore is founder of SyberVision Systems, one of the world's most successful specialty audio/video publishing and distribution companies. With experience from producting 60 programs at SyberVision, generating nearly $500 million in worldwide sales, DeVore will apply his expertise to the creative development, implementation of creative marketing, and distribution of A Voice from the Dust. One of DeVore's biggest successes (a video-based program he developed, wrote, produced, and marketed) generated over $120 million on an initial investment of $25,000. DeVore also spent seven years working with the Stanford University School of Medicine's Neuropsychology Research Laboratories where he studied the power of media to persuade. Using his innovative resourcefulness, knowledge and experience of distribution in niche media markets, DeVore will orchestrate the introduction and rollout of A Voice from the Dust to the LDS market.
Peterson brings his expertise in marketing and product development to the core management team. With an MBA in product innovation, he has pioneered extremely profitable marketing and distribution systems for artistic products in niche markets. Peterson's proven business acumen and artistic sensibilities will be brought to bear on the logistical innovations necessary to create and distribute the epic great motion picture A Voice from the Dust: Journey to the Promised Land.
Producer - Production Manager
Veteran producer, Swofford produced the IMAX box office hit Mysteries of Egypt for National Geographic, Olympic Glory with Frank Marshall, and Amazon, which received a nomination for an Academy Award. His company, Vineyard Productions, has produced seven other IMAX films and Swofford has personally produced seven independent films. He has produced in 31 foreign countries, including 6 months in Japan for Columbia Pictures. This wealth of experience makes him one of the most successful event film producers today.
Newell has written more than a score of plays and screenplays, published a novel, and his byline has appeared on more than 40 articles in national publications. Over the last two decades he has taught writing at college and university levels. He currently teaches writing at Brigham Young University and is a professional writer for the LDS Church. He received a MFA degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California.
Director of Photography
Recipient of the distinguished Kodak Lifetime Achievement award, Smoot has utilized his perceptive and imaginative visual talents as Director of Photography on many educational, documentary, and feature films for television and theatrical release. These include: Legacy and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey for Walt Disney Pictures; the critically acclaimed NBC Miniseries, The Long Hot Summer; and the Academy Award winning documentary feature, The Great American Cowboy. He has specialized in the photography of major event films, including: Cirque de Soleil's Journey of Man, Mysteries of Egypt, Yellowstone, Olympic Glory, and Galapagos.
With talent enhanced and experience forged by association with such film legends as James Cameron and Joel Schumacher, Broberg's sense of telling the story through picture and sound editing is exceptional. Film Editor credits include: Children of the Struggle, Angel, Baby!, and the Network/Airline versions of: Men in Black, A Knight's Tale, Ali, Finding Forrester, Godzilla, Riding in Cars with Boys, Deep End of the Ocean, Random Hearts, Blue Streak, Mirror Has Two Faces, and Terminal Velocity. First Assistant Film Editor credits include: Titanic (Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Film Editing), That Darn Cat, Squanto: A Warrior's Tale; other experience includes, The Parent Trap, Father of the Bride II, Phenomenon, Father Hood, Forget Paris, Alive, Oscar, Three Men and a Little Lady.
A key industry consultant for A Voice from the Dust: Journey to the Promised Land, Coleman is Director of Worldwide Co-Productions and Acquisitions for Warner Brothers. He is responsible for furthering relationships with directors, producers, and sales companies, while tracking, screening, and acquiring both English and foreign language films for worldwide distribution. His scope of interest ranges from completed films to co-ventures, negative pick-ups, and pre-buys. Coleman's entertainment background includes motion picture acquisitions analysis and database design at 20th Century Fox; ownership of a 24 track recording studio; and vocal contracts with Phonogram and MCA/Curb Records.
Jamison's artistic background, knowledge of ancient living skills, and ability to re-create historic accouterments resulted in the job of technical advisor, set designer, and prop maker for the 1980 motion picture, Windwalker (nationally acclaimed for its authenticity). The experience sparked a 20-year film career specializing in films requiring historical authenticity. Credits include: Testaments, Legacy, The Great American West, Yellowstone, Down the Long Hills, Hidden Secrets of the Grand Canyon, The Restoration, The Witness, Lamb of God, A More Perfect Union, and The Mountain of the Lord.
Production Artist - Designer
In creating a great motion picture, many artistic renderings will be created to facilitate the actual photography of the Motion Picture. The aesthetic perceptions of artist Brickey will be of tremendous value to the overall development of the artistic expression of A Voice from the Dust: Journey to the Promised Land. Described as a "breathtaking rendering" of sacred scenes of the birth of Christ, Brickey's book of paintings, When Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem, was an immediate success. Brickey paints in the style reminiscent of the Old Masters through his use of color, light, form, composition, and a profound use of symbolism. Brickey believes that "art should both measure up in the museum and capture the common heart. The greatest art is that which generates the greatest good." His award-winning paintings have been displayed in both the prestigious Springville Museum of Art and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building as well as in LDS Church publications. He also has paintings in the Salt Lake Temple and the Salt Lake Temple Square Visitors Center. He is currently painting the murals for the LDS Copenhagen Temple.
Supervising the budget accounting of a large motion picture requires highly specialized expertise. Roberts has vast experience working with many multi-million dollar productions. Roberts was the Production Accountant for various projects with Lions Gate Entertainment, the Vice President of Finance and Physical Production for Mediacube USA, and the Director of Production Control for Morgan Creek Productions. His films include: The Untouchables, Last Man Standing, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Matinee, The Babe, Dad, Dead Again, Flight of the Intruder, Pretty in Pink, Rocky IV, and The Cure.
Contemporary filmmaking, with its high demand for many different locations such as A Voice from the Dust: Journey to the Promised Land requires exceptional logistics in the movement of people and equipment to accommodate a strict schedule. Padovich's extensive experience has put him in a variety of demanding locations, and includes transportation work on: Amistad, Waterworld, Vegas Vacation, Monkey Bone, Inventing the Abbotts, The Insider, The Magnificent Seven, Blackwood, and The X Files
S. Kent Brown
Professor of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University and one of the foremost authorities on The Book of Mormon and the history of the ancient world, Dr. Brown will serve as the Motion Picture's lead historical and cultural consultant. He has lent his expertise and insight in the refinement of the screenplay to ensure that the historical and cultural events depicted in the film are accurately portrayed. His expertise will also be used in set and wardrobe design to assure the highest degree of accuracy in portraying the characters' environment and dress. Dr. Brown is also the central contributing scholar in the Motion Picture's companion documentary Journey of Faith.
Meridian Magazine, 25-Sep-2002: "A Journey of Faith: Trapped in the Land of Lehi on 9/11" by Peter Johnson
The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
An online copy of the text of The Book of Mormon is available for reference or study at http://scriptures.lds.org/.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
For questions related to doctrine of The Book of Mormon or The Church of Jesus Christ, please refer to the excellent resources at www.mormon.org and www.lds.org.
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Shortly after the release of God's Army, Richard Dutcher mused to me one day that he was surprised a cluster of LDS movies had not followed in the wake of his success. He need wonder no more. There are more new "Mormon genre" movies in release or being made than the market can likely support. Some will be great. Some will be OK. Too many will be disappointing. A few are likely to be awful.
From a really wonderful web site, ldsfilm.com... comes an almost shocking list of "Mormon movies" announced, in production, promised or being created in the most fanciful of day-dreams kept afloat by nothing but faith. Here is what Mormon movie goers can look for in near future -- presuming of course they get funded, finished and finely made.
Editor's Note from Maurine Proctor: Meridian's film editor, Kieth Merrill, is a sort of father figure to the rising generation of LDS filmmakers. At Meridian, we get hundreds of letters from the hopeful asking Kieth for everything from his help breaking into film to his opinion on the latest offering in the world of "Mormon Cinema". People look to him not only because of his long list of successful films, his many awards--including an Oscar -- or his filmmaking gems, Legacy and Testaments, but because his savvy and insights have been honed in a few trips around the filmmaking block. So, finally it was my turn to ask a question.
"Kieth," I said, "What do you think about the two announcements of forthcoming films on the Book of Mormon?" Here is his answer.
Maurine is the master of inspiring her writers by stretching their brains on the proverbial horns of a dilemma. What I think with my head and feel in my heart are very different.
As a Mormon I want these films to be all that I've imagined.
As a moviemaker I know the ominous challenges ahead.
As a Mormon I am tingling with anticipation.
As a moviemaker I am terrified for my courageous colleagues.
The buzz has begun. The genie is out of the bottle. The Book of Mormon movies have been announced and are "coming to a theater near you."
Gary Rogers announced his plan to produce The Book of Mormon Movie, Volume One at a Salt Lake City news conference on October 29th.
Almost a year ago Steve DeVore and his team of seasoned LDS filmmakers announced their plans to produce A Voice From the Dust: Journey to the Promised Land.
I can define my expectations in subjective terms. I can fill a notebook with a thousand suggestions on how the movie should be made. (Like every other LDS film maker on the planet, I have diagramed the Book of Mormon stories as movies every time I read them.)
Ultimately, it occurred to me that what I think is much less important than what you think. You are the target audience. They are making these movies for you.
So here's the deal. I will tell you what I know about these fascinating projects. Then you must give me feedback. You must use the email address provided to let me know what you think and how you feel. Once I've heard the chorus of the target audience, I will answer Maurine's question not with a self-absorbed soliloquy -- which is so very tempting -- but rather the collective voice--a choir or cacophony--that just may be of benefit.
We will write an open letter to the filmmakers so they can also hear your voice.
I have spoken to the key creative people and moving forces behind the projects, Gary Rogers, Peter Johnson and Steve DeVore. This is what I know, what I think, and what I think I know. It's only the beginning of your homework.
Let us begin by stating the obvious. The irresistible notion of a narrative feature-length movie based on Book of Mormon characters, stories and ideas seems ingrained -- perhaps genetically -- in the Mormon psyche.
Almost everyone who has ever read this extraordinary book and felt the power of its stories has imagined the day that these great characters would come to life on the silver screen. Some of us have already seen the movie play over and over in the theater of our minds.
Almost everyone within even the most improbable striking distance of actually making such a movie is almost paralyzed by the responsibility of re-translating the keystone of Mormonism into a Hollywood epic -- a process that demands the subjective compromise of something called "artistic license" -- and this time without the benefit of the Urim and Thummim. Daunting.
In his October news release Rogers said:
"To members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Book of Mormon is a sacred record. This is a very unique motion picture. Virtually every member of the Church I've talked to has told me they have waited all their lives to see a movie about the Book of Mormon!
It really is a filmmaker's dream. However, the biggest challenge will be to produce a film that satisfies the audience. Most of the nearly 12 million members of the Church have already "seen" the movie many times in their minds! The prospect of meeting the expectations of millions of people is a very frightening but exciting challenge."
He has said it well for any and all who venture into the "sacred realms" of our favorite scriptures and presume to interpret the people, places and preachments on the silver screen. Rogers is right about two critically important things.
1) The expectation of the target audience is enormous.
2) The challenge and responsibility of the filmmaker is ominous.
In profiling your thoughts in the follow-up article, I will describe with some detail the nature of the challenge and the burden of responsibility.
I have quoted President Kimball so often that you must wonder if he was the last General Authority I ever listened to. He isn't. But few of the Brethren have articulated the vision and power of Mormon media and movies any better.
"The full story of Mormonism has never yet been written nor painted nor sculptured nor spoken, [nor filmed]. It remains for inspired hearts and talented fingers yet to reveal themselves. They must be faithful, inspired, active Church members to give life and feeling and true perspective to a subject so worthy.
"Our writers, our moving picture specialists, with the inspiration of heaven, should tomorrow be able to produce a masterpiece which would live forever. Such masterpieces should run for months in every movie center, cover every part of the globe in the tongues of the people, written by the great artists, purified by the best critics."
We believe in prophets. Prophecy defines our lives and bolsters our confidence in the future. We all imagine and even foresee that the day of the epic Mormon films will come. Some have mistakenly hailed "Mormon Cinema" as the dawning of that great day. For a lot of reasons -- with a few isolated exceptions like Other Side of Heaven -- with a big enough budget and broad enough appeal to have a shot at crossover -- it isn't.
Is the buzz we hear about Book of Mormon movies the opening of that ultimate era? Are these "epic" Book of Mormon films a shimmer of prophecy rising? Probably not. Neither project is designed nor destined for "every movie center" nor "every part of the globe," at least according to the respective producers.
I don't pretend to know the future of these ambitious projects. I do know a lot about making films. I understand-- and share -- the highest expectation of the audience. With even more empathy and awe, I understand the challenge and responsibility the filmmakers face in making these movies work.
Lofty expectations and confounding challenges aside, great things are possible. It is an exciting, if precarious, time.
I am really anxious to know your thoughts. Your perspective. Your delight. Your expectations. Your concerns.
But just before you start, you have one homework assignment left. You need to visit the web sites of the respective projects. You need to read the short summaries of the projects, plans and players that follow.
Please go to the respective web sites to get your own subjective impression of each project and a glimpse of the future.
A VOICE FROM THE DUST:
JOURNEY TO THE PROMISED LAND.
Visit the website - http://www.voicefromthedust.com/
|The Story - The first episode, Journey to the Promised Land, chronicles the journey that Lehi and his family made from Jerusalem to the Promised Land. Our young hero, Nephi, surmounts obstacle after overwhelming obstacle to obey his father and the command of God to "go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded..." with stunning faith rarely seen, for he "was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which (he) should do."|
|Production Company - Timpanogas Partners 1- LLC|
|Estimated production budget - 8 million|
|Location - Utah, California, Yemen.|
|Cast --SAG actors in principal roles. (Screen Actors Guild)|
|Format --35 mm|
|Distribution Plan -- Contract pending with Hollywood-based distribution company specializing in niche markets. Release to theaters in LDS market. Video and DVD release. Referred to as "Episode I". No other plans announced at this time.|
|Target audience -- LDS church membership with hope for "crossover" markets.|
|Companion documentary, Journey of Faith, to be released. Documentary was shot on actual locations of Lehi's trail by members of production team as prelude to the project.|
|Production Team: Peter Johnson -- Producer, Writer, Director |
Former Director of the BYU Motion Picture Studio. Films include The Mountain of the Lord, A More Perfect Union (regional EMMY award and nominated for national EMMY), Man's Search for Happiness, The Restoration, Zion's Camp. The Witching of Ben Wagner (Disney), Encyclopedia Brown (HBO), How Rare a Possession, Journey of Faith, and Between Heaven and Earth. Writer of Disney's 1988 top rated Sunday Night movie, Thanksgiving Promise, with Blaine Yorgason. Other experience includes: The Sting, Part II (Universal); Twilight Time (Dan Tana Productions); SKAG (NBC); Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (Irwin Allen Productions); Miracle on Ice (ABC); Word of Honor (CBS); and The Streets of San Francisco (ABC).
|Steven DeVore - Producer |
Founder, SyberVision Systems, one of the world's most successful specialty audio/video publishing and distribution companies. Program Producer. 7-year media study: Stanford University School of Medicine's Neuropsychological Research Laboratories. Distributor, niche markets.
|Craig Peterson -- Producer |
MBA in product innovation. Extensive experience in marketing and product development.
|Scott Swofford -- Line Producer/Production Manager|
Veteran Producer. Films include: Mysteries of Egypt for National Geographic, Olympic Glory with Frank Marshall, and Amazon, [nomination for an Academy Award] His company, Vineyard Productions, has produced seven other IMAX films. Swofford had produced 7 independent feature films and he produced Legacy and The Testaments for the LDS church.
|Neil Newell -- Writer|
Professor of writing at BYU. MFA, writing USC. Published novelist and writer of scores of plays, screenplays and articles.
|Reed Smoot -- Director of Photography |
Most notable LDS cinematographer working today. Recipient of the Kodak Lifetime Achievement award. Smoot's films include; Legacy and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey for Walt Disney Pictures; the critically acclaimed NBC Miniseries, The Long Hot Summer; and the Academy Award winning documentary feature, The Great American Cowboy. He has specialized in the photography of IMAX-format films, including: Cirque de Soleil's Journey of Man, Mysteries of Egypt, Yellowstone, Olympic Glory, and Galapagos.
|S. Kent Brown -- Historical Consultant |
Professor of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University and one of the foremost authorities on The Book of Mormon and the history of the ancient world. Central scholar in the Motion Picture's companion documentary, Journey of Faith.
|Liaison with LDS Church - Production is wholly independent of the LDS church but filmmakers intend to maintain "unofficial" liaison.|
|Funding -- Private investment sources. Funding not completed as of Nov 1.|
|Promotional comments -- "A Voice from the Dust is intended to entertain and inspire, and is not an evangelical event or doctrinal statement of belief. Thus, while the producers have deep sensitivity to the sacred nature of the scriptural record and have undertaken extensive research into matters of authenticity, certain dramatic judgments must be made in bringing such an epic to the screen." [Official website]|
BOOK OF MORMON MOVIE, VOLUME ONE
Visit the website - http://www.thebookofmormonmovie.com/
|Story -- The story begins with Joseph Smith and the visit of the Angel Moroni. From there it goes to the story of First Nephi, Lehi and his family in the wilderness and the crossing of the sea. The story ends with the separation of the brothers in the Promised Land.|
|Production Company - Gary Rogers Productions|
|Estimated production budget - 2 million|
|Locations - Utah and California. Second unit background shots Middle East.|
|Cast - Project will not use SAG actors in principal roles (Screen Actor's Guild). Production plan based on non-paid volunteers to play extras.|
|Format -- Decision pending - 35 mm or 24P digital hi-def video.|
|Distribution Plan -- In-house directly to theaters in LDS market. Video and DVD release. Intended as the first of several feature films (8 or 9 volumes over several years) eventually covering the entire book of Mormon.|
|Target audience -- LDS church membership with hope for "crossover" markets.|
|Book of Mormon Movie, Volume One will be Mr. Rogers's first feature film effort.|
Gary Rogers - Writer, Producer, Director
Writer, Actor, Producer, Director in hundreds of TV productions. Clients include Rockwell International, Coca-Cola, Nissan, Motorola, Mitsubishi, Honeywell, AT&T, Dow Chemical, Lucent Technologies, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rogers formed International Television Productions [ITP] that was recently sold. Rogers and ITP have won many awards.
|Lance Williams -- Producer|
Lance Williams is listed on the web site as producer but he told me that he is no longer involved in the project.
|Tillman Boxell - Script Consultant/Co-Producer|
Actor, Writer, Producer, Director Masters Degree in Theater and Film from Brigham Young University. Co-Producer on the motion picture Charly. Major and minor roles in scores of feature films, industrial films, plays, television and radio commercials. Teaches Acting, Film Studies, Communications and English for Salt Lake Community College.
|Robert C. Bowden -- Music Composer|
Composer, arranger, conductor, musical director. Performed in world's finest concert halls. 25 years as director of Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus and former associate conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Studied under the late Arthur Fiedler, famed conductor and founder of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Musical Director and Conductor for Promised Valley Playhouse. Composed and arranged hundreds of musical scores including two musicals and three oratorios. Written scores for films produced by the LDS Church. Recordings include a weekly radio series, PBS and television specials. Over 30 record and compact disc recordings. His television special "Christmas World," won an Emmy
|Lisa Rogers - Production Manager |
Choreographer, actress. Graduated BA in Communications, University of Utah. TV commercials, corporate videos, stage productions and feature films. Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Franklin Covey. Former Utah state officer and national speaker for DECA. Production assistant for ITP.
|Liaison with LDS Church -- Production is wholly independent of the LDS church but filmmaker's intent to maintain an "unofficial" liaison with selected brethren for review of the script.|
|Funding -- Private investment sources. Funding not completed as of Nov 1.|
|Promotional Comments -- Project is described as "epic" in scope in the tradition of Ten Commandments and Lawrence of Arabia. The Book of Mormon is the draw, not the actors. "Rogers has written a script and will direct the first movie, which he said was inspired by Cecil B. De Mille's Oscar-winning 1956 version of The Ten Commandments. "Stories found throughout the Book of Mormon are among the greatest stories ever told," Rogers said. "Now for the first time, you will be able to see these great stories come to life in an epic, multimillion-dollar motion picture on the silver screen." [Book of Mormon Coming to the Silver Screen, Vice, Jeff, Deseret News 11/1/02)|
* * * * *
SO WHAT THINK YE?
They are making these films for you. To be successful these films must attract you -- and everybody you know -- to theaters and thereafter entice you to purchase them on DVD and video. Ultimately YOU are the most important part of the equation.
Your voice has power.
Here is a chance for the filmmakers to hear the choir of the target audience. Even if you've written to me or to Meridian once before on this issue, please write to us again.
We want to know what YOU think.
We want you to express your joy at the prospect.
We want to hear your candid concerns with the process.
If you're flat out worried then let us know.
We would like to hear your hopes and your fears.
We want you to articulate your grandest expectations.
We want you to tell us how you feel about the long awaited "epic" coming soon to a theater near you.
We want to know how confident you are that one or both of these films will get there.
This is your chance to speak directly to the filmmakers.
Please be pithy, terse and to the point. This is NOT the time to send me your own 260 page screenplay, NEPHI , HERO FOR ALL SEASONS or your five-part TV miniseries, THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE SONS OF MOSIAH.
Focus on the projects at hand. Translate your thoughts, your feelings and your vision of what can and ought to be into short statements of expectations, advice and your personal encouragement and appeal to the filmmakers.