By InteliQuest Media Corporation
Book of Mormon Epic to Be Produced for Giant (IMAX) Screen Release
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- A group of accomplished LDS filmmakers have
begun development on the first of a series of epic motion pictures
based on stories from the Book of Mormon. The slate of films will be
presented in the large screen format (i.e., IMAX).
The first movie in the series,"Safe Passage," dramatically portrays
the trial-laden exodus of Lehi's family from Jerusalem in 600 B.C.,
across the life-threatening Arabian desert and the stunning oceanic
crossing, to the safety of the new world.
The production will utilize the talent of seasoned LDS filmmakers and
other top industry professionals. Headed by Steven DeVore, founder of
SyberVision Systems, the group consists of Scott Swofford (Vineyard
Productions), Quinn Coleman (Warner Bros), Peter Johnson
(award-winning director) and Reed Smoot, (award-winning
Executive producer DeVore is known for a $25,000 budgeted video
documentary he wrote and produced in 1986 that resulted in over $125
million in revenues.
Swofford has extensive production experience resulting in acclaimed
and financially successful large format commercial films as well as
popular LDS themed productions such as the current "Testaments."
Smoot is one of the most prolific photographers of large format
films. He has shot many of the most popular IMAX films, including
Cirque de Soleil's "Journey of Man," "Galapagos," and, teaming with
Swofford, "Mysteries of Egypt," and the current IMAX hit,
"Shackleton's Antarctic Adventrue."
Coleman, head of Worldwide Co-Productions and Acquisitions for Warner
Bros. Studios, has been responsible for bringing many popular films
to the theater, the most recent being the highly acclaimed "The
Dish," one of Australia's top grossing domestic hits.
Johnson, who was recruited from Hollywood in 1983 to revamp the
academic film program at BYU and later to upgrade the BYU Motion
Picture Studio, has written and directed films for television, most
notably the regional EMMY award-winning, "A More Perfect Union,"
which was also nominated for a national EMMY. Formerly Executive
Producer with the Audiovisual Department of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, Johnson also directed the highly
acclaimed and popular "Mountain of the Lord."
"This is an exciting opportunity," states DeVore "to work with some
of the most accomplished LDS filmmakers to bring to life tales from
this special book. The giant screen format (eight story high screen)
will enable audiences to vicariously experience one of the world's
greatest stories on the world's largest screen."
Coleman believes that the LDS worldwide audience and backend video
sales are significant enough to profitably support the film's
multi-million dollar million budget.
"We have done our homework, analyzed the numbers," claims Coleman,
"and feel that the large screen LDS epic is a winner, especially when
you factor in word-of-mouth and video sales."
"Safe Passage" is targeted for release in mid-2002.
DeVore and Johnson are currently in production on the documentary
version of Lehi's journey from Jerusalem to ancient America. Working
in association with the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon
Studies at BYU (FARMS), they will spend a month in Yemen, Oman, Saudi
Arabia, Jordan, and Jerusalem filming the documentary prelude to the
large screen dramatic version.
Also in development from the producers are other LDS-themed epic
films for the large screen including the story of the restoration and
the epic pioneer journey.
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