Polycarp Teaches

Jul 25, 2018 9:00 AM

My Polycarp Movie Diary, Day Four*

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - Today we began on the schedule we would follow basically for the rest of the film shoot—3 p.m. to 3 a.m. The day was one of the most memorable, and the nighttime schedule was the least of the reasons why. My call time was 3 p.m. It was a full day of shooting, and I was in most of the scenes. Some scenes were light, some were emotionally and dramatically pretty heavy. But by far the one that stands out for me was the second one, which was of Polycarp teaching a gathering of Christians. 

The sermon is adapted from the writings of Polycarp himself, and is an attempt to bring several of his emphases together into a coherent message by which he may have exhorted Christians. By the time we finished shooting this scene, I think I had preached this sermon about 20 times.

I asked for the privilege to pray with the cast and crew before we began filming. It was for me, and I think for all of us, much more than a scene in a movie, but truly a worship service right there on the set with the camera rolling, an incredible experience. I believe the Lord was very present with us through the Holy Spirit. I have been told that those who have viewed test screenings have been powerfully moved by this scene. This is a standout moment for me not only for this film shoot, but for my life.

Above left: Candid shot of Garry Nation, getting mentally focused for the next take. Above right: Production still of Polycarp teaching Christians at a villa gathering. Click on the picture to view the scene.

*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.