Check out the Reflections of Christ website for cool video clips of the "making of" these images.
This is another great experience that was sent to me by Bryan, who played John the Baptist. I feel lucky to have this tool, the blog, to give louder voice to the moments that people had in the creation of these images. Thanks again. Here it is.
"Mark I saw on the blog you asked cast members to share their experience…my experience with Reflections has not stopped. I continue to hear stories from people about their experiences when viewing the photos and the feelings they had. Each time I listen to their feelings, the spirit testifies to me that this work is right, that Christ lived, died, and was resurrected on the third day for me. My experience started off with the road trip down to Arivaca with Robert. My personal life has been a roller coaster of personal decisions and choices, one moment I’m resolved, clear, and know exactly they way I should go, then you take an three hour drive into the Southwest of Arizona and realize that I have so much more to learn about patience, kindness, judging, relationships, and the full capacity of love…specifically from the Savior. As we made our way through the country side, both Robert and I were impressed with the location and once I saw the actual efforts of the production, I soon realized that I didn’t understand the sincere efforts and spirit of this project. During the pre-shoot discussion, Robert, Nanci, and Mark really helped all of us transform our minds and spirit to the actual event. I have to admit something; I was not prepared and felt complete inadequate to be in the presence of people that were so tuned to the spirit and had studied sincerely the words and teachings of Christ. The feelings of being unworthy…to be a part of something so special was regularly going through my mind as I listened to other cast members preparation, not only for this project, but how they live their lives. When we finally got to the lake we called “Jordon River”, I wasn’t feeling excitement quite yet, I was again feeling completely unworthy to represent, not only images of John, but the life of Christ and the ordinance of baptism. Desperation prayers were offered to not only provide me comfort, but help me know how to feel. It wasn’t until later that my Heavenly Father was allowing…even at that moment…to feel those same feelings that John must of felt when Jesus came to him to be baptized. Feelings of being unprepared and unworthy allow us to cry out to our Father in desperation for help. As we entered the water, it was then I felt the spirit calm me down (but then I was freezing from the cold water as well) and Robert put his hand on my shoulder and the spirited started to fill me up. The emotion and spirit of the experience was so real for Robert and me that we embraced and shared in the love of our Lord. I will cherish those feelings and this experience for the rest of my life. Thank you."
The Trib published this on Saturday. I am always so freaked out about being misquoted or taken out of context, becuase of all of the amazing people that contributed. My little "brainchild" quote at the end was in the context of me telling the reporter that the photos were my creation... I'm not taking credit for the documentary. That was all Cam, (and BTW Rechelle edited the Gethsemane part because I was yapping too much). Here's the article .
Photographer re-creates acts of Jesus
For 70 years, the Arizona Easter Pageant, presented on a stage on the north lawn of the Mesa Arizona Temple, has used drama, music and dance to convey the life of Jesus Christ to huge audiences.
Mesa church to present 70th year of Easter pageant
Read Lawn Griffiths' Blog 'Beyond Belief'
As part of this year's anniversary, Christ's story will be told additionally with photography, video and special music inside the Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors Center nearby. The exhibit opened in January and may be seen during the center's hours, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, but changing to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the pageant, Tuesday to March 22.
It is called "The Reflections of Christ," and pageantgoers are invited to include the exhibit during their evening on the grounds, 525 E. Main St., Mesa. Photographer Mark Mabry Jr. will display 26 images of Christ doing ministry and service to others. His photo model for Christ is Robert Allen, who played the Savior in four previous Easter pageants, and other men and women were used to portray those he met and served.
"I wanted to do a Christ-centered project," said Mabry, a Mesa-based photographer who trained at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Calif. At first Mabry, a photographer for nine years, conceived it as "a few shots of characters in costumes from the Easter pageant against a colored backdrop." But he set his sights much higher for more authentic settings. Working with aerial photographer Steve Porter, he identified Arizona locations comparable to terrains where Jesus walked. The entrance to a cave is the setting for the nativity, for example. Some photos were shot near Arivaca near the Mexican border.
"The past several months have been full of the most gut-wrenching, bar-raising and rewarding experiences of my life, artistically speaking," he said. Among the images are Joseph watching over Mary and the baby Jesus, Christ touching the eyes of the blind man as an act of healing, and his talking to the adulteress in a message of fostering forgiveness and breaking down walls.
"Each shoot was deeply engaging spiritually," Mabry said, adding that the project profoundly deepened his understanding of Christ's work and depth of his love. "I hope, through the Reflections of Christ exhibit, people will take the opportunity to feel those same things for themselves," he said. In the darkened gallery, color and black and white photos, some 40 inches by 60 inches, are displayed.
In a side room, visitors can also view a new 30-minute, continuously running documentary by videographer Cameron Trejo. It shows the behind-the-scenes steps that Mabry and his models went through to re-create key moments in Christ's life, such as angels taking flight by jumping on trampolines. The work is accompanied by an soundtrack composed by Clyde Bawden and using such familiar hymns as "Joy to the World" and "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing."
Attendance to see the photos and video has been as high as 1,000 per day since it opened. "It was kind of my brainchild, but Cameron put in as many hours as I did," Mabry said. "His contribution was massive."
As of March 11, 2008 the documentary video that accompanies the photographs at the Mesa Visitor's Center will be removed. We are anxious for all to be able to see it along side the photographs. So hurry down before the 11th! Thank you to Cameron Trejo for an amazingly powerful film.
I'd like to take a minute to editorialize on the topic of the documentary. It was our fear from the beginning that featuring our method of production might seem self aggrandizing. Hopefully, the real point of this film will not be lost on those that see it. Please take mental note of what is being taught as Cam skillfully edited the post shoot interviews and moments of creation to teach basic principles of the gospel of Christ, including: baptism, ministering Angels, the power of the Holy Ghost, Gethsemane and the atonement, Crucifixion, betrayal, the devotion of Peter, resurrection, and the ascension.
Enjoy it as much as you can...
The photographs and music will still be in the visitor center for a short time after the Easter Pageant.