Not Ready to Wrap

Aug 12, 2018 1:07 PM

My Polycarp Movie Diary, Day 19*

Monday, August 12, 2013 - I’m trying to come to grips with the fact that this is the next to last day of filming for me. It’s a daylight shoot, not because we need the outdoor light but because this evening we are having our wrap party tonight (before the actual wrap because many of the cast have to leave). The object is to get finished during a “normal” day and be able to enjoy the evening.

I only had two scenes to shoot, but also picked up the bts video interview that we couldn’t take care of on schedule. Because it was daytime, the business day was also in swing, but we managed to get the interview done despite interruptions of people walking through our video area.

We shot a scene in which Polycarp explains the Christian faith to the aristocratic, pagan parents (Scott and Annette Cornett) of the young convert Sisera (Caleb Hurt). Yesterday I was studying the source material on Polycarp when something struck me that gave me the idea of a possible revision of my lines in the context of Polycarp’s witness to these Romans.

After bouncing the revision off Scott to see if it would even work in the dialog, I discussed my thoughts with Joe Henline, who discussed them with screenwriter Jerica Henline. Jerica had written a marvelous script, but Joe and Jerica always had a listening ear when I had suggestions. In this case they both liked my ideas, and we worked them into the script.

It’s a little scene, but I think it’s a great one. There were several other characters in the scene, including Eliya Hurt as Anna, but all the dialog was between Scott and me. Scott’s Roman is both interested in Polycarp’s God, and incredulous. Polycarp is unimpressed by the Roman’s wealth and power, and simply speaks as a pastor-evangelist. I think this small scene carries both dramatic and evangelistic impact, and also foreshadows the crisis to come. [Note: Find this scene on the DVD among the Deleted Scenes in the Special Features section.]

The second scene - of being greeted at the door - was deemed unnecessary and was scrapped, and we wrapped for the day in plenty of time for the wrap party.

Which was wonderful!

Top: One of the things we did at our wrap party was to autograph our cast/crew picture. This is one of my cherished possessions and is framed in my bedroom. Middle Left: Rusty Martin (R) speaks to the crowd at the wrap party, with Production Manager David Cook and Asst. Director Joshua Hedrick looking on. Middle Right: I made many lasting friendships on this shoot, including (L-R from me) Rusty Martin (Germanicus), Courtney Vetter (our BTS photographer who also played older Anna), and Ted Rich (Irenaeus). Bottom: Two ladies carved very special places in my heart that they will occupy forever—Jerica Henline (L), and Eliya Hurt (R).  

*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.

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