“They call us The Beards,” said an old man draped in black, a hood almost covering his furrowed eyes. And he laughed.
This man is a Pharisee from the era of Jesus’ time on earth. And I got to meet him last Tuesday in Midlothian, Texas.
You heard me right. I’m a student at Trevecca and last week I got to visit the film production set of the biblically-based television show “The Chosen.” This show follows the life and ministry of Jesus and his disciples through many of the stories presented in the Gospels. I was mesmerized by every episode, watching well-known scriptures come to life on screen.
Even more mesmerizing was being on the set where the show was actively being created right in front of me. Viewing the physical places where “The Chosen” was filmed helped me better appreciate the content of the series and learn practically as a filmmaker. This was an incredible experience that went beyond the amazing feeling of being transported to an ancient era because, for me, the trip applied directly to my career.
As an aspiring filmmaker, I love to observe how films involve costume and set design and use colors and mood lighting to create the tone of the show. On the trip to “The Chosen'' set, I got to witness the superb amount of detail and dedication that went into building the sets and making the costumes. We got to tour the houses that served as the homes of the disciples and we learned about costume production straight from the head costumer himself.
It was breathtaking to see firsthand the designers sewing embroidery onto costumes, tech operators carrying massive cameras on their shoulders and the director calling out ‘action’ and ‘cut.’ I witnessed movie magic in person and after learning from these wizards of story and film, I’m more ready than ever to work on a set myself!
I got to see Bible stories that I’ve known from childhood come to life, and I got to fulfill my dream of watching a large-scale professional film set, which has been on my bucket list since I was 12. It may surprise you to know that up to 50 percent of the workers on “The Chosen” are actually non-believers. Leaders of the show told us that they find it important to not simply look for employees that have a certain set of beliefs, but also for talented people who are going to perform well and treat their fellow filmmakers with kindness and respect.
This is not the norm for the film industry at all. Generally, secular film productions are cutthroat, competitive and heated on difficult filming days. Everyone I met on “The Chosen” set told me to soak in this experience, because it is such a unique production where every person is treated well and has a good attitude.
The lasting impact of the trip for me was seeing Christians come together to create works of art that God has called them to, establishing a healthy workplace and making excellent content. These exemplary elements are truly a witness to the faith. On the set, I was inspired as I saw firsthand that “The Chosen” is the perfect example of how strong faith, pure talent and technical skills come together to create something incredible, impactful and straight up fun.