Wednesday, 14 June 2017

'Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy' - a NEW film, biography, devotion, Saints, FILM PRODUCTION NOTES, Mary's Dowry Productions

Film Production
NEW DVD - June 2017
Film Inspiration
The Divine Mercy devotion has been part of our lives at Mary's Dowry Productions for about 25 years. We remember being interested in the events leading up to St. Faustina's Beatification and Canonisation, especially because our parish priest had a special love of the devotion. There have been Divine Mercy prayer groups in our parish and recently some of the young mothers in the parish have had a particular zeal for the devotion and set up a Divine Mercy prayer group which has been running for a couple of years now.
We were inspired to make a film presenting Saint Faustina's life and the message of Divine Mercy several years ago, but since there is already an abundance of good resources available for people to learn about the Divine Mercy we focused our efforts on biographies of the English Martyrs because they are lesser known and also we worked on projects that were specifically requested.
Over the years our dad has been asked to paint several large paintings of the image of Divine Mercy for parishes. Finally, last year, our own parish asked him to paint a large image of the Divine Mercy that will remain in the church between the statue of the Sacred Heart and the statue of Our Lady. So we set up the camera occasionally during his painting days and managed to film the image in progress.

We knew this would be especially good to have and use in a film about Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy during a segment about the painting of the first image.
The most important step before we could get started on a film about Saint Faustina was to have a costume for our portrayals. For this we asked our seamstress Cathy who studied the paintings and photographs of Saint Faustina with our mum. They then organised material and spent several months working on the habit and veil one afternoon a week.
Our 'actress' had to have many costume try-ons over the months as they worked on perfecting the habit. For the unique headdress they ended up using a Tupperware lid which was an original idea! The end result was perfect.
Meanwhile, a narrative was researched and written that would present the life and mission of Saint Faustina.
Filming locations
At the beginning of 2017 we finally managed to organise a slot of time to begin filming visuals. We decided to film our visual imagery of Saint Faustina at two locations local to us. The first was an Anglican church literally around the corner from our parish church. The grounds are lovely with a little rustic public garden. The gravestones are weather worn for the most part so it was easy to film shots without worrying about capturing English names and contemporary dates. Also, the church building is very pleasing to the eye. The second location was the interior and exterior of the Anglican church of Saint John the Divine in Patching, which required a five minute drive. We have filmed there for a few productions and it is a lovely, solitary and atmospheric location. 

We set out on two separate occasions to acquire the visuals and pretty much everything was against us. Every time we go out, even if it is the most still day weather wise, we are guaranteed to experience gales and gusts as soon as we set up our camera. We take this as a good sign that the enemy is annoyed about more resources on the lives of the Saints in production! Our filming trip to our first location went reasonably well. The next day the area was cordoned off and about a month of tree-cutting and gardening and then car park renovation occurred so we were fortunate to acquire our footage there when we did.
Our trip to Patching was more difficult. We drove there, set up and realised we had forgotten Saint Faustina's headdress. Rather than give up we actually went all the way back, found it and returned to the church. It was a difficult trip but we acquired some beautiful imagery that is very effective in the final film.
Film content
Saint Faustina's biography takes place in the beginning of the twentieth century. We have used relevant paintings and photographs from the Era and from Poland, including WWI and WWII, when needed. The film incorporates numerous events from Saint Faustina's life and we look especially at:
The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy
The image of the Divine Mercy
Saint Faustina's devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory
Saint Faustina's mission to pray for the dying
Saint Faustina writing her diary
Various words of Jesus recorded by Saint Faustina
The spread of the message of Divine Mercy after Saint Faustina's death
Below is an assortment of screenshots from our film showing Saint Faustina praying and writing her diary.

As in our 2010 production 'Blessed Alexandrina da Costa', we had a narrator record the words of Jesus that we included in our film 'Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy'. This is very effective and adds to the depth and spirituality of the film.

We used several paintings of the Divine Mercy as well as statues. For a segment when Saint Faustina saw the Sacred Heart of Jesus we were able to use one of our own family statues which Emily had painted. 

It was lovely to be able to incorporate several photographs of Pope Saint John Paul II in the last part of the film.

Music score
As of the writing of this blog post, the final film is currently with our composer. This is pretty much the last phase of the process with Mary's Dowry Productions film making and the most important because it creates a specific atmosphere unique to our film style. 
The music score for 'Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy' includes the use of:
Cello leading
Mystica and Cantus phrases
"This score is more about the key that it is in that the instruments." - Bernadette Bevans, music composer for Mary's Dowry Productions
To read about the music composition for 'Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy' film, be sure to visit Bernadette's Music Blog for updates and information:
Film Release
 'Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy' film will be available on DVD through our online shop this June 2017:
Be sure to visit our website for full listing of all of films, shipped worldwide in all region formats, for new releases and for our film about Saint Faustina.

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