With an impressive 11 producers, 3 directors, and a story line that spans some six thousand years, husband and wife team Mark Burnett ("The Apprentice," "Survivor",
"The Voice") and wife, actress Roma Downey, ("Touched by an Angel") take their seats as executive directors for the 10 hour, 5 part mini-series, The Bible.
The mini-series, now airing on Sundays on the History Channel was shot in Morocco where Burnett did one of his installments of the Adventure Race--the Eco-Challenge. Interestingly, the music score is by Hans Zimmer and singer Lisa Gerrard who have not worked together since the two teamed up on the theme to "Gladiator."
As Christians who say they believe the Bible is the “living word of God,” Downey and Burnett have partnered with many of the country's biggest churches to promote the production, among them Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House in Dallas and prominent evangelicals, including Jim Daly of Focus on the Family and Sam Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. The series' website includes lesson plans for pastors who want to incorporate the show into Sunday sermons and study groups. - Huff Post
On a recent Sunday afternoon at their seaside home in Malibu, Calif. -- between attending the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., and the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles -- the spouses sat down over mugs of hot Irish tea to talk about the series, starting with an anecdote from Roman Catholic Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga -- one of those eligible to vote on the replacement for outgoing Pope Benedict XVI.
Burnett recalls for Zap2it, "He said, 'Thank you. It's about this time that Discovery Channel, History channel will put things on that sow doubts in the minds of people who do believe in the Bible. I'm so grateful for History channel and to you and Roma for putting this on during Holy Week. It's the opposite of what's traditionally being done around this time.'
"So that was nice."
Says Downey, "We started with the premise that the Bible is the truth. These are true stories, and it was our job to bring them to life on the screen. We're not saying, 'Maybe this happened,' or 'According to the Bible,' we're just telling the story as written."
"So," adds Burnett, "someone who believes will recognize it and love it for that. Someone who doesn't, and isn't going to, will still feel the emotional pull of the story and will be informed in a different way, without being talked at."
Downey says. "It speaks to the center of a belief system. It's done beautifully. It delivers through the emotional climax, and you're left with a feeling of upliftment and hope. You feel loved. It's deeply satisfying on that level."
She tells how the series is also truly educational "From a point of view of people being able to learn from it, it's exciting, it's compelling, and it's dynamic -- because nobody wants to be taught."
Megachurch pastor Rick Warren, the founder of Southern California's Saddleback Church and an adviser to the film, said he will host a webcast on the series on Saturday and plans to use it in the church's weekly study groups. "I have seen probably every film made on the Bible in the last 50 years. This is by far the best one,” Warren said.
Joel Osteen, pastor of Houston's Lakewood church, the country's largest house of worship, screened the series for his 40,000-member congregation in January and is in the midst of a seven-week promotional effort. Saying it showcases the Bible in a “compelling and powerful way,” Osteen told The Huffington Post he believed the show would reach “believers and nonbelievers alike.” - Jaweed Kaleem/ Huffington Post
Downey recalls filming a scene between Jesus and Jewish religious leader Nicodemus (Gospel of John, Chapter 3, Verses 1-21), in which Jesus speaks of being reborn in the spirit, saying, "The wind blows where it wishes, and you don't know where it comes from or where it goes. And so it is when the spirit enters you."
Describes Downey, "Out of nowhere, on the stillest evening, a huge, sustained wind whistled through the village, took Jesus' hair, Nicodemus' robes ... thankfully, the actors held in their roles. There was no wind machine."
"We've had a lot of Holy Spirit experiences." - Source: Inside the Box
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