Thursday 2 November 2017

Filming for Saint Padre Pio - new film from Mary's Dowry Productions - PART ONE of two filming days, DVD coming soon


Over the past several weeks we have been working on a new film from Mary's Dowry Productions about Saint Padre Pio. We love to recreate photographs or paintings of Saints and Martyrs for our films and have been pleased with our two specific filming days out on location for our own film about Saint Padre Pio. Our unique style is specifically intent upon capturing both the spiritual atmosphere and impression of a Saint and, where possible, physical similarities. For Saint Padre Pio, we wanted to have imagery of his early life as well as his later life.

The most famous and recognisable images of Saint Padre Pio are mainly from his later life. We recreated specific images and important/inspiring moments from Saint Padre Pio's latter life first, but for the purpose of this post we will share images from our second filming day, which focused upon Saint Padre Pio's early life, and in our following post we will share images and information about our first filming day, which focuses upon Saint Padre Pio's later life.

Our actor for 'Young Saint Padre Pio' is a member of our family and has portrayed many Saints for us over the past ten years, including Saint Nicholas Owen: The Priest Hole Maker, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Benedict of Nursia, Saint Simon Stock, Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne and Saint David of Wales. Now in his mid twenties he looks similar to Saint Padre Pio in early photographs.

We spent a good solid hour on location inside a local church capturing specific moments from Saint Padre Pio's life as best we could. There was a beautiful atmosphere of peace which made the whole filming excursion very prayerful.

To begin with, we filmed our young Saint Padre Pio in prayer, preaching, hearing confessions, praying the rosary, writing his spiritual correspondence, absorbed in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, eating his sparse meals. We used various areas of the interior of the church as locations fitting for each of these. The church is an Anglican church, Catholic before the Protestant Reformation, so it was good to be working on such fundamentally Catholic Truths and spirituality in this beautiful building which is now used for worship in the Church of England.

Our emphasis was on the rosary throughout. In the narration, which is told in Saint Padre Pio's own words, we encounter much of Saint Padre Pio's thought and his mystical encounters with Our Lord. It was good to be able to linger upon Saint Padre Pio's spirituality, advice and the Sacraments.

Following an hour spent in the church, which was thankfully warm due to the unusual sunny day for November 1st, we gathered our props and costumes, cameras and tripods and set up a base in the church porch. We then spent half an hour in the church grounds, recreating several photographs of Saint Padre Pio as well as imagery for our narration.


After a costume change, we set about focusing upon military imagery. There is a photograph of Saint Padre Pio in the Italian Army where he suffered because of the swearing and blaspheming among the soldiers as well as his supernatural illnesses. We wanted to recreate this too for a small segment in our film.

 We also had our actor pray the rosary which we thought would be an effective element to see in this part of Saint Padre Pio's life.

Finally, another costume change, into some civilian clothing, to capture moments from the beginning of Saint Padre Pio's life. As a young man, Saint Padre Pio used to go away from the crowd, preferring to spend his time alone in prayer. Even as a boy he began to practice penance and acts of mortification, choosing to use a stone as his pillow. He also had conversations with Our Lord, Our Lady and his guardian angel. This was truly lovely to recreate with such an atmosphere of peace and prayer. It was a good conclusion to the afternoon filming.

The filming captured on this day will make up part of the first half or more of our film about Saint Padre Pio.
For the second half of our film, or latter part, we had filmed on 4th October, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, scenes and images of an older Saint Padre Pio. We were pleased that the filming days were arranged, by 'chance' for these specific Feast Days - the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi and the Feast of All Saints - we like to ask for the assistance of the Saints during our film production work so these days were significant. 
We are also blessed to have a 1st Class relic of Saint Francis of Assisi, given to our Apostolate by the Poor Clares in Arundel several years ago, so this came with us on both filming days!
Read about our first filming day for Saint Padre Pio in our next post.

Our film
will be available on DVD from

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