A Joyous, Grueling, & Rewarding Day My Polycarp Movie Diary Fifth Day

Jul 26, 2018 9:00 AM

My Polycarp Movie Diary, Day Five*

Friday, July 26, 2013 - My call time today was 3 pm. I had gotten a good rest last night (rather, this morning) and slept as long as I could. The shooting schedule was full and I anticipated that we would be working all 12 hours of it. 

The early scenes we did were fun and easy to play--good family time around the table, discussion between colleagues. Within a fairly short time Justin Lewis, Curt Cloninger, and I had developed a good working rapport off screen, but also much more than that. Each of us brought not only our personalities but also our personal faith to our characters, and we quickly discovered a foundation for our relationship that we could carry with us into the scenes we played in front of the camera. I was more than comfortable working with these actors--it was joyous.

But the day got longer, and each scene seemed to grow more serious. The last two scenes of the day were between me and Rusty Martin (Germanicus). I will never forget them. Rusty was doing the heavy lifting here, and I was responding to his character's struggles. It was not “fun” and it was not easy to play, but in a higher sense it was exhilarating. Here is the first time I really got to see Rusty's seriousness and intensity as an actor, and it inspired me very much. 

In scenes like this there is a lot of risk, a lot of vulnerability, and so there has to be a lot of trust. Director Joe Henline invested an enormous amount of trust in both of us. I could see that Rusty placed complete trust in me, and I returned that trust. Rusty and I prayed together before the camera rolled. The sequence was grueling—physically for Rusty and emotionally for both of us. I love you, Rusty! Cast and crew were all exhausted when we finished, but felt rewarded, felt that the Lord had honored our prayers--and our prayers were that all we did would honor Him.

We wrapped at 4:30 a.m. I made it to bed as the sun was rising.

Above Left: Curt Cloninger and Justin Lewis share a light moment between takes. Above Right: Rusty Martin collects his thoughts before going on camera for a heavy film sequence.  Center: Screenshot, Polycarp (Garry Nation) comforts Germanicus (Rusty Martin).

*This is the fifth anniversary of the filming of the award winning Christian film Polycarp in which I play the title character. The experience of making that film proved to be far more momentous and impactful in my life than I ever anticipated. To celebrate this anniversary I am re-publishing my diary from those days which I wrote on the back of the daily sides.