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Studio 5: Epic Adventure

Studio 5 takes an extended look at the latest version of the classic tale, Ben Hur. Meet the cast and producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey and hear the inspired music for the film. Read Transcript


PEOPLE OF

JERUSALEM...WE CELEBRATE

THE POWER OF GOD.

[YELLING]

YOU WILL SEE THE GLORY.

YOU WILL SEE THE GOD FOR

YOU.

YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED

AWAY.

YOU SHOULD HAVE KILLED

ME.

I WILL.

THAT'S A PIVOTAL SCENE

FROM THE REMAKE OF THE

CLASSIC FILM BEN-HUR.

THIS IS A SPECIAL EDITION

OF "STUDIO 5."

I AM SHEIKH ABRIM, WHO

AGREES TO ALLOW BEN-HUR TO

RACE MY CHARIOT.

IT IS BEN-HUR, A TALE OF

THE CHRIST.

WE HAVE MORE ON MORGAN AND

THE MOVIE IN A MOMENT.

BUT, FIRST, HERE IS YOUR

"STUDIO 5" TOP FIVE.

BEN-HUR EDITION.

COMING IN AT NUMBER FIVE:

MY EARLIEST MEMORY OF

MY DAD IS FROM THE SOUTH.

CHARLESTON HESTON PLAYED

THE ROLE OF BEN-HUR IN THE

1959 FILM.

BUT HE WAS ADDITIONALLY

OFFERED A DIFFERENT PART.

THEY'RE NOT CRIMINALS.

THEY'RE PATRIOTS.

PATRIOTS!

IN THE END, STEVEN BOYD

FILLED THE MESALA ROLE.

> AT NUMBER FOUR:

BEN-HUR CHARIOT RACE IS

ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS

SCENES IN AMERICAN FILM

HISTORY.

IN FACT, IT REQUIRED

15,000 EXTRAS AND 18

CHARIOTS.

THE PRODUCERS FILMED THE

SCENE OVER FIVE WEEKS ON

AN 18-ACRE BACK LOT IN THE

STUDIOS OUTSIDE ROME.

[YELLING]

> NUMBER THREE IN OUR

TOP FIVE COUNTDOWN:

GOD, HELP ME.

ACKNOWLEDGEMEN THIS SCENE SHOWS

BEN-HUR'S ENCOUNTER WITH

CHRIST.

AND IT IS WORTH NOTING

THIS IS THE ONLY HOLLYWOOD

FILM TO MAKE THE

VATICAN-APPROVED FILM LIST

IN THE CATEGORY OF

RELIGION.

> MOVING ON O T TO NUMBER

TWO:

IT IS A MUCH LESSER DAY

IN THIS SHIP.

MGM SPENT $15 MILLION

ON THIS PRODUCTION.

THAT WAS A MASSIVE RISK

THAT THE STUDIO TOOK TO

SAVE ITSELF FROM

BANKRUPTCY.

IT PAID OFF WITH THE FILM

EARNING $75 MILLION.

> AND AT NUMBER ONE:

YOU HAVE THE SPIRIT TO

FIGHT BACK, BUT THE GOOD

SENSE TO CONTROL IT.

BEN-HUR IS THE FIRST OF

THREE FILMS TO HAVE WON 11

ACADEMY AWARDS, INCLUDING

THE BEST PICTURE OSCAR.

TITANIC AND THE LORD OF

THE RINGS ARE IT' THE OTHER

TWO.

YOU ARE ALL CONDEMNED

MEN.

George: THIS IS

GEORGE THOMAS WITH YOUR

TOP FIVE FROM "STUDIO 5"

BEN-HUR EDITION.

SERVE WELL AND LIVE.

Efrem: MARK BURNETT

AND ROMA DOWNEY ARE THE

PRODUCERS BEHIND BEN-HUR.

THEY HAVE A REPUTATION FOR

MAKING FAITH FILMS THAT

APPEAL TO ALL AUDIENCES,

INCLUDING MOVIE-GOERS WHO

HAVE NEVER SET FOOT INSIDE

A CHURCH.

I SAT DOWN WITH THE TEAM

TO TALK ABOUT THEIR QUEST

TO MAKE BEN-HUR AN END OF

SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER.

THIS IS YOUR BE BEN-HUR

"STUDIO 5" INTERVIEW.

[YELLING]

Efrem: FROM AUTHENTIC

CHARIOT RACE SCENES,

FILMED WITHOUT COMPUTER

GENERATED GRAPHICS.

WE'RE ACTUALLY PULLING

FOUR REAL HORSES.

Efrem: TO THE

STAR-STUDDED CAST.

THE WORLD YOU LIVE IN

IS ROME.

THEY'RE LAWTHEIR LAW; THEIR POWER.

Efrem: THEY PULLED

OUT ALL OF THE STOPS TO

MAKE SURE THE FILM LIVED

UP TO ITS PREDECESSOR.

MARMARK BURNETT AND ROMA

DOWNEY SAY TAKING ON

BEN-HUR WAS INTIMIDATING,

BUT DEFINITELY A PROJECT

THEY FELT CALLED TO DO.

WHEN GARY BARBER, THE

CHAIRMAN OF MGM CAME TO

US, HAVING SEEN "THE

BIBLE," AND REALIZED WHAT

WE BROUGHT TO PROJECTS, HE

THOUGHT WE WOULD BE A GOOD

ADDITION TO HIS TEAM.

WE PRAYED ON IT AND WE

DECIDED WE SHOULD TAKE THE

CHALLENGE BECAUSE THE

OPPORTUNITY MAY NEVER COME

ALONG AGAIN.

AND THAT WE'D BE ABLE TO

GUIDE AND PROTECT THAT

MESSAGE.

THAT STORY.

IN THE RIGHT WAY.

TO A WHOLE NEW

GENERATION OF MOVIE-GOERS.

YES, THAT MOVIE WAS

SPECTACULAR, BUT IT WAS

1959.

SO IT WAS A VERY LONG TIME

AGO.

AND IT WAS ALSO A VERY

LONG MOVIE.

WE HAVE MADE AN ACCESSIBLE

MOVIE FOR THE AGES.

YOU KNOW, A MOVIE FOR A

NEW GENERATION OF

MOVIE-GOERS.

AND WE'RE HOPING THAT

THROUGH THIS GREAT BIG

EPIC, ACTION ADVENTURE

MOVIE, THAT PEOPLE FROM

ALL AUDIENCE AND FAITH

BACKGROUNDS WILL COME TO

THIS FILM, AND YET THEY

WILL BE TOUCHED BY THE

STORY OF THIS MAN'S

ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS

CHRIST AND HOW HIS LIFE IS

TRANSFORMED BECAUSE OF

THAT ENCOUNTER.

Efrem: THE CASTING --

THE FIRST VOICE WE HEAR

WHEN THIS FILM BEGINS,

IT'S MORGAN FREEMAN.

MORGAN FREEMAN, THE

MOST FAMOUS VOICE ON THE

ENTIRE PLANET.

Efrem: THAT SORT OF

SETS THE STAGE.

HIS ROLE IS PRETTY -- IT'S

ELEVATED BUT VERY

COMPELLING.

YES.

HE IS AMAZING.

IT'S HARD TO HAVE ANY

BETTER WAY TO OPEN THIS

MOVIE THAN HIM SETTING THE

STAGE IN THAT VOICE.

AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S THE

RELATIONSHIP WITH JUDAH

BEN-HUR.

AND WRITTEN BY JON

WRIGLEY, WHO WON AN OSCAR

FOR "12 YEARS A SLAVE."

AND HE HAS CREATED STORY

LINES THAT INTERTWINE.

IT IS AN INTERESTING

STORY.

IT HAS A LOT GOING ON.

AND YET IN THAT FINAL

MIRACLE, AT THE END OF THE

MOVIE, WITHOUT SPOILING IT

FOR ANYBODY WHO HASN'T

SEEN IT, YOU KNOW, THERE

IS A MIRACLE WHERE THE

HEALING THAT HAPPENS IS,

YOU KNOW, REALLY FOR ALL

OF OUR MAIN CHARACTERS.

WE SEE IT HAPPENED IN THE

HEART OF JUDAH BEN-HUR.

AND WE SEE IT IN THE

COMING TOGETHER OF THE

BROTHERS.

.WE SEE IT IN THE CHARACTER

PLAYED BY MORGAN FREEMAN,

WHERE HIS HEART IS HEALED

AND RESTORED.

AND WE SEE IT IN THE

MOTHER AND SISTER AND THE

MIRACLE THAT OCCURS IN

THEIR LIFE.

Efrem: WHEN WE TALK

ABOUT FORGIVENESS AND

ACCEPTING PEOPLE FOR WHO

THEY ARE, IT JUST SEEMS

LIKE THIS MESSAGE STILL

NEEDS TO BE TOLD.

WOULDN'T YOU AGREE?

YES.

ABSOLUTELY.

AT OUR PRODUCTION COMPANY,

WE HAVE A MANTRA THAT IS

IT IS BETTER TO LIGHT ONE

CANDLE THAN TO CURSE THE

DARKNESS.

AND THROUGH OUR WORK,

WHERE WE CAN, WE TRY TO DO

THAT.

TO CREATE MOVIES THAT HAVE

AT THEIR HEART A STORY OF

INSPIRATION AND A STORY OF

HOPE.

AND THIS FILM, I THINK

CERTAINLY EMBODIES THAT.

IN A TIME IN OUR WORLD

WHERE WE ARE HURTING, AND

THERE IS A LOT OF

HEARTACHE, AND THIS STORY

BRINGS HOPE AND A REMINDER

THAT THERE IS ANOTHER WAY

TO BE TOGETHER.

AND THAT FORGIVENESS,

THROUGH GRACE, IS A WAY

FOR REDEMPTION.

Efrem: AND

CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN

ORDER FOR BEN-HUR PRODUCER

ROMA DOWNEY.

SHE RECENTLY EARNED HER

STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK

OF FAME.

> STILL AHEAD, ON THIS

BEN-HUR EDITION OF "STUDIO

5"...

[YELLING]

Efrem: A LOOK INSIDE

TO BEN-HUR'S CHARIOT RACE.

> THE SPEED AT WHICH

YOU'RE GOING DURING THIS,

INTIMIDATING?

YES.

I CHIPPED A TOOTH.

A STONE HIT ME IN THE

TOOTH.

I HAVE CHARIOTS AND IT IS

LIKE OWNING RACE CARS.

I OWN A CHARIOT AND

HORSES.

AND HE PROVES TO BE MIGHTY

EFFECTIVE WITH HORSES.

AND I HAVE A VERY SICK

HORSE.

WHICH HE MANAGES TO NURSE

BACK TO HEALTH.

SO I -- WE MAKE A DEAL.

HE IS TRYING TO GET BACK

TO JERUSALEM BECAUSE HE

DOESN'T KNOW THE

DISPOSITION OF HIS MOTHER

AND SISTER AND I NEED A

DRIVER.

SO YOU SCRATCH MY BACK AND

I'LL HELP YOU.

Efrem: THAT'S MORGAN

FREEMAN, WHO'S ENERGY I'M

CHAPLAICHANNELING.

THIS BEN-HUR STORY PITS

BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER

AND SLAVE AGAINST AN

EMPIRE.

AND IT IS SET IN BIBLICAL

TIMES, BUT STILL VERY

TIMELY TODAY.

HERE IS YOUR FIRST

EXTENSIVE LOOK AT THE

FILM.

NO MATTER WHERE YOU'RE

FROM, THIS IS YOUR BODY.

THAT THUMB IS YOUR HOT

SEAT.

AND YOUR GOD IS THE GLORY

OF ROME.

Efrem: BEN-HUR IS ONE

OF THE GREATEST STORIES

EVERY TOLD.

AND PRODUCERS MARK BURNETT

AND ROMA DOWNEY ARE

DELIVERING NEW TWISTS AND

TURNS IN THIS $100 MILLION

FILM BASED ON THE MORE

THAN 130-YEAR-OLD CLASSIC

NOVEL WRITTEN BY GENERAL

LOU WALLACE.

> YOU GUYS DON'T DO

ANYTHING SMALL, DO YOU?

YEAH.

THIS REDEFINES EPIC,

DOESN'T IT?

I THINK THAT'S WHERE ONE

OF THE MOST INTERESTING

THINGS ABOUT BEN-HUR IS

YOU HAVE THIS FICTIONAL

STORY SET AT THIS TIME IN

JERUSALEM, AND IT GIVES A

REAL HISTORIC AND

POLITICAL CONTEXT TO THE

WORLD INTO WHICH JESUS WAS

BORN.

A VERY COMPLICATED TIME.

A TIME OF GREAT CIVIL

UNREST AND UNJUSTICE AND

HEARTACHE AND HURTr

ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF PEOPLE.

AND WE'RE FOLLOWING THE

JOURNEY OF THESE TWO

BROTHERS, JUDAH AND

MESALSA, AND WE LITERALLY

BUMP INTO JESUS IN THE

MARKETPLACE.

Efrem: THE STORY PITS

BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER.

JACK HOUSTON PLAYS JUDAH

BEN-HUR.

YOU STAYED AWAY.

YOU SHOULD HAVE KILLED

ME.

Efrem: YOU INITIALLY

WEREN'T GOING TO TRY OUT

FOR THE ROLE OF JUDAH.

YOU WANTED TO BE MESALA,

CORRECT?

YEAH.

I THOUGHT I HAD A BETTER

SHOT.

I THINK MESALA IS ONE OF

THE GREAT CHARACTERS.

BUT IT WAS A NICE SORT OF

SEGUE INTO JUDAH BECAUSE I

THINK IT GAVE ME A VERY

DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF MY

BROTHER, AND A DEEP LOVE

FOR MY BROTHER.

Efrem: THE BROTHERS,

JUDAH AND MESALA, BATTLE

IN A FIERCE CHARIOT RACE,

WHERE LOSING COULD VERY

WELL MEAN DYING.

[YELLING]

Efrem: HOW MUCH HORSE

TRAINING DID YOU HAVE

BEFORE COMING TO BEN-HUR?

A VAST AMOUNT.

I WAS TAUGHT TO RIDE A

HORSE ON PRINCE OF PERSIAN

MANY YEARS AGO.

BUT THE TRAINING ON THIS,

WE ARRIVED, I THINK, SIX

WEEKS BEFORE THE ACTUAL

PRODUCTION.

AND EVERY DAY YOU'RE

LEARNING.

AND WE SHOT THE CHARIOTS

FOR THREE MONTHS OVER SIX

MONTHS.

Efrem: KOBE AND JACK

DID NOT USE STUNT DOUBLES,

EVEN AS THEIR HORSES RACED

AT MORE THAN 40 MILES PER

HOUR.

THE SPEED AT WHICH YOU'RE

GOING, INTIMIDATING?

YES.

I CHIPPED A TOOTH.

A STONE HIT ME IN THE

TOOTH.

I GOT A WAD -- IT CAN ONLY

BE DESCRIBED AS A WAD OF

MOUTH FROST THAT COVERED

MY WHOLE VISION.

AND THEN, OF COURSE, THE

DUST IS BEING KICKED UP.

IT WAS ACTUALLY WONDERFUL.

I KNOW IT SOUNDS

REPULSIVE, BUT IT WAS

ACTUALLY A GREAT

EXPERIENCE.

Efrem: THE DIRECTOR

GUIDED THE HORSE RACING

EXPERIENCE WITH CAMERAS AT

EVERY ANGLE.

HE WATCHED HOURS OF

NASCAR, FORMULA ONE, AND

MOTORCYCLE RACES TO

PREPARE.

> IN SHOOTING THIS, I

UNDERSTAND YOU GOT A THE

LOT OF INSPIRATION FROM

YouTube AND INSTAGRAM.

LESS INSTAGRAM BUT MORE

YouTube VIDEOS.

Efrem: HOW SO?

BECAUSE IT WAS REALLY

IMPORTANT TO MAKE THIS

MOVIE -- THIS WORLD LOOKS

REAL AND RELATABLE.

AND IN TODAY'S WORLD, WE

ARE WATCHING YouTube

VIDEOS FOR WHAT WE KNOW

ABOUT THE WORLD AND HOW WE

KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD --

BECAUSE WE'RE WATCHING

YouTube VIDEOS.

Efrem: THE CHARIOT

RACE IS WHAT MOST REMEMBER

FROM THE CRITICALLY

ACCLAIMED 1959 VERSION OF

THE FILM.

THAT STARRED CHARLTON

HESTON.

RETELLING THIS STORY IS AN

OPPORTUNITY MANY CAST

MEMBERS HOPED WOULD COME

THEIR WAY.

THIS IS A BIBLICAL PERIOD

PIECE.

HOW WOULD YOU SAY THIS

STORY IS RELEVANT TO 2016,

WITH AUDIENCE WHO ARE

GOING TO SEE THIS?

THIS STORY IS SO

RELEVANT TO TODAY.

RIGHT NOW YOU'RE SEEING SO

MUCH NEGATIVITY AND YOU'RE

SEEING SO MUCH HATE SPEWED

OUT, AND RESPONSE TO HATE.

MARTIN LUTHER KING SAID IT

BEST, HATE DOESN'T DRIVE

OUT HATE.

ONLY LOVE CAN DO THAT.

AND THIS FILM IS ABOUT

LOVE CONQUERING HATE.

Efrem: THE PRODUCTION

LASTED ABOUT SIX MONTHS,

AND IT WAS SHOT IN ROME,

LIKE THE HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL

1959 PRODUCTION.

> STILL AHEAD ON "STUDIO

5"...

*

* AND I AM LOST

Efrem: AN EPIC FILM

CALLS FOR AN EPIC

SOUNDTRACK.

WE'RE TAKING A LISTEN TO A

COUPLE OF THE TUNES THAT

YOU'LL HEAR IN THE NEW

BEN-HUR.

*

THE THEMES IN THE SONG

ARE THE SAME AS THE THEMES

IN THE MOVIE.

BELIEVING IN YOURSELF.

PERSEVERING IN HOPE AND

FAITH.

THE CONCEPT OF THE VIDEO

SHOOT WAS A STRAIGHT

EMOTIONAL CONVERSATION

BETWEEN MYSELF AND THE

AUDIENCE.

JUST PLANT THE SEED IN

THEIR MIND THAT SAYS, HEY,

MERCY IS YOUR DOOR TO

FREEDOM.

Efrem: MERCY IS YOUR

DOOR TO FREEDOM.

THAT'S THE VOICE OF ANDRA

DAY.

SHE WENT FROM SINGING

OUTSIDE A STRIP MALL TO

BEING DISCOVERED BY STEVIE

WONDER AND HIS WIFE TO

GOING ON TOUR WITH LENNY

KRAVITZ.

"THE ONLY WAY OUT," IS THE

SONG THAT IS FEATURED IN

THE SOUNDTRACK, AND IT IS

WHAT IS PLAYING IN MY EAR.

* I KEEP THINKING THAT I

HAVE TO MAKE IT FAR AWAY *

* TO BRING ME PEACE OF

MIND *

* I WON'T LET YOU MOVE

ALONG *

* JUST WALK AWAY

* I CAN'T HEAR LOVE

BECAUSE WE'RE AT WAR *

* AND IT'S SO LOUD

* AND THE DRUMS ARE SO

PROUD *

*

* BUT I'M HERE NOW

* AND IT'S THE ONLY WAY

UP *

*

*

* IT'S THE ONLY WAY HOME

* MERCY IS THE ONLY WAY

OUT *

* MERCY GAVE ME MY WAY

OUT *

Efrem: DON'T YOU JUST

LOVE THE VOICE OF ANDRA

DAY.

THAT SONG IS AVAILABLE ON

THE BEN-HUR SOUNDTRACK.

ALONG WITH ANOTHER

BEAUTIFUL SONG FROM "FOR

KING AND COUNTRY."

THE TUNE IS TITLED,

"CEASE-FIRE."

* HOW DO WE SAVE A LIFE

* POINTING FINGERS

* HOW CAN WE EVER FIND OUR

WAY *

*

*

* WE TRY TO SETTLE THE

SCORE *

* WE WILL GO FOR A

CEASE-FIRE *

* WE WILL FIGHT FOR IT

* IN A WORLD WHERE WE CAN

REWRITE THE HEADLINES *

* STANDING SIDE BY SIDE

*

* WE WILL MAKE IT

THROUGH *

* STANDING SIDE BY SIDE

* CEASE-FIRE

Efrem: STILL AHEAD ON

"STUDIO 5"...

I DID GROW UP WITH THIS

STORY AS VERY MUCH PART OF

OUR FAMILY LIFE.

Efrem: THE GREAT

GRANDDAUGHTER OF THE MAN

WHO WROTE BEN-HUR SHARES

WHY THE STORY STILL

RESONATES TODAY.

5," BUT BEFORE WE GET TO

THE FINAL WORD, LET'S TAKE

A LOOK AT WHAT IS IN STORE

FOR NEXT WEEK'S "STUDIO

5."

*

* I COME TO YOU AT THE END

OF THE DAY *

* YOU'RE GOING TO WIN

Efrem: PASTOR SHIRL SHIRLEY

CEASE SOCAESAR IS A LEGEND.

SHE HAS A CAREER THAT

SPANS MORE THAN 50 YEARS,

AND A STAR ON THE

HOLLYWOOD WALK OF

FAME.

BUT THE GRAMMY

AWARD-WINNING ARTIST HAS

NO PLANS OF SLOWING DOWN.

I BELIEVE THAT MY

LATTER WILL BE EVEN

GREATER THAN MY PAST.

I THANK GOD FOR THAT.

Efrem: "STUDIO 5" IS

IN RALEIGH, NORTH

CAROLINA, TO SIT DOWN WITH

THE GOSPEL GREAT.

FOR AN INTERVIEW AND A

EXCLUSIVE PERFORMANCE YOU

WOULDN'WON'T WANT TO MISS.

> GENERAL LOU WALLACE

WROTE BEN-HUR IN 1880, AND

IT BECAME A BEST-SELLER

ACROSS AMERICA.

I'M GIVING THE FINAL WORD

TO SOMEONE WHO KNOWS THE

STORY BETTER THAN ANYONE

ELSE.

WALLACE'S GREAT

GRANDDAUGHTER, WHO SPENT

SIX MONTH EDITING AND

REWRITING THE NOVEL IN

CONTEMPORARY LANGUAGE.

I DID GROW UP WITH THIS

STORY AS VERY MUCH PART OF

OUR FAMILY LIFE.

AND IT IS ASTOUNDING,

REALLY, TO HAVE IT BACK AS

A BIG, VIVID CULTURAL

PROPERTY, A BIG, VIVID

CULTURAL EXPERIENCE THAT A

LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO

HAVE.

I THINK THROUGH BEN-HUR,

WE CAN EXPERIENCE THE

PROCESS OF DIGGING DEEP

AND FINDING MORE THAN YOU

THOUGHT YOU HAD IN YOU.

Efrem: SO DIG DEEP,

AND YOU'LL FIND THERE IS

SO MUCH MORE IN YOU.

> THAT IS THE FINAL WORD

FOR NOW.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, BE SURE

TO REACH OUT AND TOUCH ME

AT EFREM GRAHAM ON

INSTAGRAM, Facebook,

TWITTER, AND SNAPCHAT.

AND THEN COME ON BACK AND

SEE WHERE

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