Pearson's Corner Film, pop culture, and philosophy

Production Update

As school has started up again we have been unable to provide an update on the production of Three Mighty Men in the midst of homework and editing the film. However, this is the week of Fall Break, which was obviously created by God to preserve the sanity of college and high school students.

In our last update we said we were entering the last stage of filming: a week-long shoot that covered over a third of the movie. We are happy to announce that despite moments of extreme stress and last minute changes, the week was a great success!

On the first day we traveled back to Siloam Springs, AR and finished several action scenes in the backyard of our relatives’ house. We cannot thank the Arkansas Pearsons enough for their support and willingness to let us invade their house not only once, but twice this summer.

We filmed the next three days at our own house in Tulsa. The filming from these days varied from dramatic conference room scenes, to tense moments before a missile launch, to water spraying everywhere in our garage (yes, that would be the third set we’ve built in our garage). These days were some of the most enjoyable as all the cast and crew were very comfortable with each other and had fun laughing at everything.

The last two days were our biggest days with about fifteen actors each day. We filmed scenes from David’s battle camp and the final battle between David’s forces and the enemy. The coolest part of the last day was having a quadcopter to capture footage of the two sides fighting in the field. Special thanks go to Brian Mayfield for doing the quadcopter shots and to all of our extras who graciously endured two days in the heat with heavy army camo.

Depending on the length and complexity of a scene, it can take anywhere from a few hours to several months to edit it.

Since the completion of principal photography Nathan has begun the process of editing all of the footage we shot. Editing is a long, complicated, and often tedious process that begins with locating all of the shots we want to use for a particular scene and finding the audio to go with them. After Nathan has put the scene together he spends hours revamping the audio by clearing background noise, enhancing vocals, and creating sound effects such as footsteps, gunshots, or tea pouring into a mug. Then he works on the video, color correcting and adding in visual effects like muzzle flares, debris from a gunshot, the screen of a monitor, smoke and lens flares. Depending on the length and complexity of a scene, it can take anywhere from a few hours to several months to edit it. As he completes more of the editing process, Nathan will begin to piece together the entire film and to compose the musical score.

As we have said many times but cannot say enough, we are so grateful for all the support we receive from friends and family for Three Mighty Men. Every time one of you asks how things are coming along or if there will be an update anytime soon we are touched that you remember and are still interested. Please continue to pray that we would have patience with the editing process and find creative ways to make shots more exciting and audio more clear. What we have learned over the past few years of making films is that in those months when there are no updates or news the most difficult part of production is probably in progress. Thank you for your continued support and and prayers for us. We thank God that He gave us such incredible people to work with!

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In Defense of Noah

by Anna Pearson

Before college starts up full throttle and entombs me under a mound of schoolwork I thought I’d take the opportunity to write one more movie review. Last night my family watched Noah, the recent film depiction of the well-known Bible story.

If you have not seen Noah yet, please stop reading here. This article will spoil the movie for you. I don’t mean it will reveal a few inconsequential details; it will entirely spoil the movie. And that would be a shame, wouldn’t it? The review won’t make much sense if you haven’t seen the movie anyway. All clear?

In his book, Experiment on Criticism, C.S. Lewis expounds a critique strategy where the reader keeps an open mind, allowing the story to draw him in and generate its full emotional effect before he examines the book from a critical perspective. I tried to use this strategy as we watched Noah so the film could speak for itself without dilution by the myriad of opinions bouncing around.

As a result, I absolutely loved Noah. Now don’t misunderstand, I completely agree with every person who has stated this film is utter rubbish as a literal adaptation of the biblical story.

I found this film overflowing with biblical truth concerning God’s justice and mercy.

Despite the filmmakers’ very loose handling of the source material, I found this film overflowing with biblical truth concerning God’s justice and mercy. I think the best way to explain is with the nine-part system Nathan and I used in our film class to study stories. This system is taken from Hollywood Worldviews by Brian Godawa (who, ironically, deeply detests Noah). The nine parts are the hero, his or her goal, the adversary, the hero’s flaw, the apparent defeat, the final confrontation, the self-revelation, the resolution, and the theme.

The hero of Noah is...well, Noah. Noah is a direct descendent of Seth, one of the last men to follow the Creator in righteousness.

Noah’s goal is to preserve the innocent life on earth in accordance with the Creator’s message. Ultimately, he desires to obey the Creator in everything.

Tubal-Cain stands in opposition to Noah’s goal. He thinks only of his own survival and has turned his back on the Creator’s supremacy. While Noah believes the Creator is judging men by wiping them from creation, Tubal-Cain says he himself will determine whether he lives or dies.

So far the story structure is simple enough. But when we come to the hero’s flaw the filmmakers start getting creative. At first glance, it seems Noah’s flaw is his harshness, his determination to obey the Creator’s directives no matter how cruel they are. However, my film teacher always insisted we search for the flaw from within the film and the characters’ viewpoints, not from our personal convictions of what might constitute a flaw. Within the film, Noah’s flaw is his hesitation to destroy all human life, rather than his conviction that he should. This step of brilliance by the storytellers adds a depth to the film that forces the viewer to struggle with Noah’s ideology.

The apparent defeat comes when Noah stands alone against his family. His decision to kill Shem’s child turns each family member against him, especially his son Ham who is already tempted by Tubal-Cain’s reasoning.

The final confrontation is in two sequential scenes: first when Noah fights Tubal-Cain and second when he stands over his newborn grandchildren and struggles with the concept that he must kill them. Noah defeats Tubal-Cain, but it appears his flaw overcomes him when he is unable to destroy the infants.

His self-revelation is the most beautiful moment of the film. Noah is burdened with guilt because he disobeyed what he perceived as the Creator’s will. But in his discussion with his daughter-in-law, Ila, he realizes there is a place within the Creator’s justice for mercy and love. At this moment Noah’s flaw is transformed into his greatest strength: he can see past the evil inherent in men’s nature to the goodness the Creator originally gave them. In the resolution Noah is reunited to his family and knows mankind has been given a second chance.

The final part is the theme - always the hardest to pin down. I think the theme of Noah is twofold. First, humans are desperately flawed but nonetheless made in the image of the Creator and thus good also blossoms within them. That statement leads to the second part of the theme, which is synonymous with the self-revelation: though the Creator is just he is also merciful and even loving toward mankind.

This film brought me to tears with its beautiful picture of God’s grace toward us. All of us are like Noah’s granddaughters, born into this world in sin, guilty from the first breath because of our intrinsic wickedness. Yet God looked upon us with love and chose to show us mercy through Jesus Christ.

Noah may have failed to portray an accurate account of the Great Flood. But it succeeded in reminding us of what is truly important in life: our sin, its judgment, and God’s indescribable mercy. For that lesson I am grateful to the filmmakers - and hope they manage to nail the adaptation business next time.

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By Joel Pearson

In the movie world, comedy is one of the most important factors. Many films build their entire structure on it. So it is important that you get it right. However, I have been noticing that many movies just are not funny anymore. Many of the biggest film studios can’t make comedy that, well, is comedic.

First off, too much comedy in many films is situation-based. Situation-based comedy is when a characters finds themselves in a situation of unlikely happening that they can’t control. Most slapstick humor comes from this type of comedy as well as many animated films such as Madagascar. It almost always gives the viewer an initial laugh, but it rarely stays with them. Ultimately, it takes away from the movie and makes it a dry, boring experience and the film is eventually forgotten.

Another way films use comedy is by creating a ‘funny character.’ Disney animation has perfected this technique. The idea is to have a character that is funny and he or she will make kids laugh. This is much better than situation-based comedy. You can relate to a character better and they can keep coming back. However, in the end they are just shouting jokes into the air with the hope that audiences will think they are funny. This just makes them annoying like Olaf from Frozen or Sebastian from The Little Mermaid.

Star Wars, Ice Age, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Abbot and Castillo, and The Avengers. What do all these movies have in common? All of them have good comedy. Most of these films aren’t even considered ‘comedy movies’. Why are they funny? Because their comedy comes from an interaction between the characters, even when there is no established ‘funny character.’ When such interaction occurs it makes something that lasts. Even years after the movie comes out people still remember it. It never gets in the way of the film either. This type of comedy never gets old, it never gets boring, and it always captivates its audience.

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