Hurry Up and Wait

Jul 21, 2018 9:59 PM

My Polycarp Movie Diary, Day One

Note: 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.

Hardly anything ever goes as planned, and the very first day of the film shoot threatened to be a washout. It was not a complete loss of a day—in fact some good scenes were captured. They just weren’t mine. One of the things you’ll pick up is how impressed I was and still am with the filmmakers—not just the writer and director, but camera, lighting, sound, art, and all—despite their youth.

Monday, July 22, 2013 - This was my first day of filming for Polycarp: Destroyer of Gods.* At least it was supposed to be. These scenes were to be shot on an outdoor set, but the weather was uncharacteristically cool and wet for southwestern Ohio this time of year. Today only the earliest scenes were able to be shot. Then the rain moved in and my first scene got rained out. 

I’ve not had extensive film experience before this, but enough to know that there is a lot of “hurry up and wait” in making any film. That’s how this film is getting started for me. It was disappointing but not entirely unexpected. The day was not a total washout for me: I went ahead and stayed in costume and makeup, and posed for some publicity still photography.  

I did wonder how the tight, well-organized schedule would hold up under disruptive pressures. Here’s where I began to see how tight that organization really was. The filmmakers may be young, but they are not inexperienced, they are not unprepared, and they did not panic. The shooting schedule was revised and my scenes for today would be bumped for tomorrow. Hopefully the rains will hold back so we can complete our outdoor shots.

*This was the working title of the film. By the time it got to distribution the title was shortened to Polycarp.

Above Left: Production Manager David Cook, A.D. Josh Hedrick, and D.P. Jon Hedrick ponder the next move while young P.A. Levi Hurt holds an umbrella for them. Above Right: Not an official publicity still, but a personal shot taken on my iPhone.