Sight & Sound Theatres, identified for bringing Biblical tales to stage, will now tackle a brand new faith-based endeavor: feature-length movies.
And, as representatives from the corporate introduced Friday, Sight & Sound has already filmed its first film and plans to debut it in December.
Sight & Sound advertising director Katie Miller stated the theater firm’s determination to make films was sparked by searching for new methods to inform tales. She says Sight & Sound first considered making films round 2018 or 2019, however did not begin filming till January 2021.
“It has been a long, long secret to keep,” Miller stated.
Sight & Sound’s first movie, “I Heard the Bells,” was based mostly on a Christmas carol by poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow referred to as “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”
It focuses on Longfellow throughout the Civil War period, when he is met with tragedy after tragedy. His religion is restored by listening to ringing church bells, which remind him that God is alive and current.
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It will debut in December in choose theaters, together with Penn Cinema in Lititz. Miller stated that Sight & Sound remains to be working via the theater launch particulars, and that extra native showings could also be introduced sooner or later. After the theater run, the film might be accessible on Sight & Sound TV, the theater’s streaming service.
Sight & Sound’s enterprise into filmmaking will not interrupt the theater’s regular manufacturing schedule or routines for its stage reveals, Miller stated.
“We’re really excited to be able to take our storytelling beyond Biblical characters,” Miller stated. “That has been a pillar for who we are. While this is a little bit of a step, we’re excited to venture into new stories of inspiration and faith.”
“I Heard the Bells” was a collaborative effort amongst Sight & Sound employees and different contractors, stated CEO Matt Neff.
Those who frequent Sight & Sound would possibly see just a few acquainted faces, too.
Steve Atherholt, who performs Longfellow, is the director of musical theatre research at Lancaster Bible College and has carried out in Sight & Sound productions for greater than 12 years. Longfellow’s spouse, Fanny, is portrayed by Rachel Day Hughes, who is maybe greatest identified domestically for enjoying Mary in Sight & Sound’s manufacturing of “Jesus.” The Longfellows’ son is performed by Jonathan Blair, certainly one of two actors solid within the titular position in “Jesus.”
Make/Films, a video manufacturing firm based mostly in Lancaster metropolis, was certainly one of Sight & Sound’s key companions for the film. They dealt with loads of the filming and contracting, Neff stated.
It took greater than 200 folks to make the primary Sight & Sound movie, Neff stated.
Scenes from “I Heard the Bells” had been filmed throughout Gettysburg and Lancaster County, with Moonstone Manor in Elizabethtown, Landis Valley and Strasburg Rail Road serving as integral filming areas within the county. Filming happened between January 2021 and April 2022, Neff stated.
Sight & Sound additionally bought extra land to the south of its theater, which Neff intends on utilizing as house for filmmaking. They used the land for just a few completely different scenes, and constructed a church on it so they might movie inside. Sight & Sound additionally renovated a barn on its property with the intent of utilizing it as a filmmaking house.
Neff declined to say how a lot the land price, or how a lot the film price to make, as he would not but know the total scope of the fee.
“We know this is an investment,” Neff stated. “If it pays for itself, that would be great. We’re not going in expecting that, or even leaning on that.”
In the long run, Sight & Sound intends to rent extra staff to assist with filmmaking. Since the corporate remains to be new to movie manufacturing, Neff says he and his workforce aren’t but certain of what positions or what number of staff they’re seeking to rent.
The objective with this primary film was to only study as a lot as attainable, Neff stated. Sight & Sound is already planning its subsequent movie manufacturing, although particulars haven’t but been launched.
“There are incredibly hopeful stories, where we see God intervene again and again, that show up in history,” Neff stated. “And those stories are worth telling again. We believe they’re stories that will resonate with everybody.”