Saturday, December 10, 2011

Academy Awards--Director, Writer, Cinematographer

 T. C. Christensen is the master genius behind "17 Miracles."  He did most of the research for the movie; he wrote the script; he was the director and the cinematographer.  I have already previously written on this blog of my admiration for him as a person and as a movie maker.  If there were academy awards given out, surely he should receive several of them--best picture, best directing, best could go on.  While T. C. may sound like a one man show, he doesn't come across that way on the set.  He is quiet in his directing. (Don't believe the scene with him throwing a chair that you see in "Behind the Scenes.." in Treasure in Heaven.  You can tell he was having some fun with his cousin and the others that helped make that movie.)    
     Everyone should have the opportunity to watch T. C. at work.  You can almost feel the creative inspiration going from him to the actors/actresses when you watch a take.  There is an element of perfectionism, without feeling the pressure of it, that comes forth from those involved.  Watch the children for a great demonstration of it.  You would think that T. C. would have had to tell them exactly what to do.  But he didn’t.  He would quietly encourage them and direct them.  Then, patiently wait for them to be able to do it.  Very impressive.
     So yes!  An academy award to T. C. Christensen.  I am sure that he has many awards.   The award for this movie should be the most excellent.  Congratulations,
T. C.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Academy Awards--an extra's viewpoint

   There were many other characters in the movie that touch our heartstrings through their portrayal. Ann Rowley's experience and faith were portrayed in a very sensitive manner.  In this sequence we see the incredible talents of T. C. creating the most powerful emotions in us through the window he allows us into Ann's experience.  The angles of the takes, the darkness of the scene, even the simplicity of the dialogue moves our souls to cry out with Ann.  Her painful  plead to the Father reminds us of our supplications in our extremities.  Her remembrance of the sea biscuits, her preparation of them, and then the factual approach in her faith filled prayer with her children bring floods of emotions as we relate to her endurance.  The story would not have been so poignant without Natalie Blackman.  Her talented portrayal of Ann emerges us into the depths of emotions.  We share in the anguish that a mother would feel when she is helpless to care for her children.  Tears fall as I watch.  I have sat by my daughter’s side, helpless to care for her, as spinal meningitis ravaged her small 5 year old body.  Like Ann, I had only one place to turn.  Like Ann, my pleads were answered.  My daughter is now the   mother of five intelligent, lovely children.  God did hear and answer prayers.  He still does.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Academy Awards--an extra's pick

    Some of the acting was "superb," as Albert would say. My first pick for the "academy awards" would definitely be Jason Wade. Jason Wade did an amazing interpretation of Levi Savage.  I believe I mentioned how I would tear up during the take when he was making his warning speech to the saints.  During one of the breaks, my daughter and I went to get a drink.  I told her that I couldn't wait until we were through taking that scene (we seemed to do it an innumerable amount of times).  In answer to her question why, I said that Jason was doing it with such emotion every time, that I,  knowing what the future would hold for those saints, could not hold back tears.  It was emotionally draining me.  Just then Jason came to the refreshment tent also.  My daughter told him what I had said.  His response to this was revealing and we learn why he played Levi so well.  He humbly stated that he hoped that when he met Levi Savage, that he would be pleased with his (Jason's) portrayal of him.  That was the thought foremost in Jason's mind as he portrayed Levi.  My opinion is that Jason succeeded entirely.  We understood Levi's motivation, we marveled at his humility, we felt his distress, we blushed with his embarrassments, and we grew to love him as a man of God.  Jason was the vehicle for that to happen.  Don't you look forward to the time when you can meet Levi also?  I would like to tell him "Thank you"--thank you for your strength, for your example, for your courage, for your sacrifice, for your help to my great grandmother, for your faith."  Learning more about Levi Savage strengthened me.  The movie made him so real!  He was a hero.

     I will talk about other "academy" winners later.