Day 4, 5, 6, 7
The past couple of days have been filled to the brim with rain (pun-intended), early mornings, and a great selection of shots. We travelled to a few of the most significant places in Luther’s life, including both Eisleben and Wittenberg.
Day 3 — Eisleben
We woke up to another cold and wet day. It was a constant battle to keep our filming out of the rain and on schedule. Thankfully, in between the six of us we were able to hold enough umbrellas to keep both ourselves and our gear dry.
Eisleben is the town where Luther was born and where he died. It is now home to 24,000 people. Narrow stone-laid streets are flanked by old buildings tucked tightly together. When we arrived to the home Luther spent time growing up in, we ran into an Australian crew filming a production on Martin Luther for an Australian Christian TV channel. It was interesting to hear of the production they were putting together.
The rest of the day was spent travelling across town filming various b-roll locations. All in all it was a good, productive day.
Day 4 — Wittenberg
If it rained on this day it would put a serious kink into our plans. This day was dedicated to filming a majority of the narration scenes in and around places of interest in Wittenberg. Wittenberg is home to many of the keystone events in the Reformation. Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church, it became home to the first Lutheran churches, Martin and his wife Katharina lived their for a majority of their life, and it was from this city that the reformation spread like wild fire. Suffice to say, it is an important city in our trip and many of the scenes we film with Barry are located in Wittenberg.
Let me take a moment to talk about our narrator, Barry Cooper. Barry was born in Epsom, England and currently works as the director of product development at Christianity Explored Ministries located in the UK. Before working for CEM, Barry had started a career in comedy. This transitioned to several years of being trained and subsequently working as an actor. After making a move away from acting he has written several books including, Can I Really Trust The Bible, and has recently produced and co-hosted Life Explored, a seven session exploration of all the places we look for happiness and where it can be truly found. Barry brings professionally passionate delivery to his role as narrator and language crafter in the Martin Luther Documentary.
Back to Wittenberg. On our hour-long drive to the small city it was raining. Not good. But as we entered the outskirts of the city the clouds began to clear up, the rain stopped, and we could see some blue-skies and the sun peeking through! Praise God! The rain held off for the entire day as we went from location to location, filming quite a few picturesque scenes with significant landmarks in a majority of them. It will be interesting if some of you will be able to spot all of the places!
It was a very long, very successful day here in Germany. The next few days are travelling days, so expect to not hear much from us! We are on our way to Rome through Munich and the Alps. Martin Luther took a similar journey almost 500 years ago and it will be fascinating to see what he saw as he travelled to his integral confrontation with the papacy.
Day 5 — Travel to Rome
Drones + Mountains = Awesome.
Day 6 — Rome
Today we finished recording Barry’s lines in front of St.Peter’s Square in Rome. We attempted to film inside the square but were promptly told to leave by some very attentive police. After recording a few takes we went into the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. If you have never been and want to go some day, prepare to stand in line for a LONG time. During these long waits, our team had the chance to ponder a few things.
Namely, the commercialization of the Vatican seems strikingly similar to what Luther was so angry about in the 1500s. While there may not be promises about rescuing loved one’s from the clutches of purgatory, it is nonetheless focused on money, your money, and getting as much of it as possible. With all of that said, seeing the work of Michelangelo and the architecture of the Vatican buildings was incredible. What talented people can accomplish with money, man-power, and effort is truly remarkable.
Currently, we are on the road once again. For several of the member’s of the team this is their final days and two of us will remain in German to continue filming b-roll for a few more days.
Day 7–Five Countries
On our journey from Rome back to Frankfurt (where 4 of the team members will depart home) we crossed the alps and five different country lines — Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and last but not least, Germany. Over the coming days we will be getting some pickup b-roll shots as well as interviewing one of the leading Lutheran scholars, Dr. Robert Kolb. Continue to pray for good weather as we seek to finish our time here in Germany strong.