Big Book Media

We hope you enjoy reading our blog from Big Book Media, we write from our shoots in Morocco where we are currently filming the Gospels. We have been out on three shoots already and the footage is up on our website - We are going on our next shoot shortly so Shoot Four News will be along soon.

In the meantime we have details of what we are doing in the UK between shoots, we have an office in Brighton where the blog comes from when it's not from Ouarzazate - two very different locations!

Thanks for reading.

Big Book Media

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Filming the Gospels

Filming the Gospels
The Team in Ouzarzazate, Morocco

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

With our Director and crew back from their recent trip to Israel, we are now knuckling down to the editing and production of our latest project due for release Easter 2011. More details to follow soon!

Other members of our dedicated team also made the journey earlier this week, back to Morocco. Filming is now underway for our exciting new DVD series featuring Andy Frost. Andy will be exploring the life of Jesus, and his life as an everyday man trying to spread the Word. We will be looking at who Jesus REALLY was, and will discover if hundreds of years of storytelling has helped or hindered our understanding of him.

We look forward to giving you more news on this very soon, and will shortly have some pictures uploaded of our trip!

We hope everybody in the U.K has been enjoying the recent winter wonderland, and hope you're all keeping warm. If you have any questions about the latest projects by Big Book Media, we always like to hear from you so please email us at

Best Christmas wishes from the Big Book Media team!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Christmas 2010 update!

It's been a very busy couple of months for all of the Big Book Media team.

Our Director, David Batty, and supporting crew have been filming out in Israel for a forthcoming Easter project to be released in 2011.

Also, we're excited to say that we shall be flying back out to Morocco to undertake filming of a new project featuring Andy Frost. This new product will provide churches, worship groups and Bible project leaders with a wonderful, visual resource that will combine the expertise of Andy delving into the life and teachings of Jesus, with the stunning footage of Big Book Media. The result will be a fantastic learning resource for all ages. Our aim as always is to create a powerful, educational product that will engage followers at every level, and the stunning visual quality will mean a new and exciting product for worldwide use.

The Brighton office has also been working hard to ensure that the new Advent & Christmas producs are ready and available! We have new YEAR A Lectionary films available for the Gospel readings of Matthew, and many special discount download bundles in the pipeline - keep an eye out for our Advent emails as we'll be giving you some huge discounts over the forthcoming season!

More to follow soon...!

Seasons greetings to all from the Big Book Media team.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Discover Christmas

Big Book Media have had exciting news this week. Firstly, Liz our office manager and her husband Dave have had a beautiful baby girl, Jemima. Congratulations to Liz, Dave and Jon on their new arrival!

We have also been looking towards Christmas, when we will be having a film released in Walmart stores in America called 'Discover Christmas'. It is a DVD for children explaining the traditions and stories of Christmas. Each story is split up into 5 short films which are aimed at children aged 6 to 12.
It is a fun, accessible DVD which discovers where Santa Claus is from, The story of the Christmas tree, what Bethlehem looks like today, why we give presents, and the fun of putting on a nativity play.
There is also a mini feature film which tells the whole Christmas story, from the moment Mary discovers she will be the mother to son of God.

There are also games and activities to download for free from the internet, which have been specially crafted to fit around the DVD. Much like our Gospel films, Diane-Louise Jordan, (Blue Peter, Songs of Praise) is narrating the stories. The DVD has been made in collaboration with CTVC, the major British media company who produce material for television, radio and new media content including the BBC, channel 4 and ITV.

So the last month has been spent producing the material for the DVD, and our director David Batty and producer Hannah Leader have been busy filming, followed by Ben Hilton and David editing the footage. Films should be in shops to enjoy in October this year.

Friday, 16 April 2010

We are feeling Delirious!

Hi everyone

We have had an exiting couple of weeks here at Big Book, last week we packed up the Brighton office and set off for Minehead in Somerset for Spring Harvest. We sold our DVDs, cards, posters and had our films showing for the week on a big screen on our stand. Also a very very happy customer won Zac the camel in our draw at the end of the week!

As most of you probably know, Delirious, the rock bank re-released their song 'History Maker' for Easter. We are very exited to have had the opportunity to have our filmed footage used for the video created to go alongside the song's release on their You Tube video. The response to the video has been amazing. Here is the link to the You Tube video so you can see the song and with our footage for yourselves.

We have also had an article in the Time Online about the video which I have put the link for below.

Our next event is the Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park where we will have a stand at this huge event. Come and see us at stand L11!

This event starts on 11th May with set up the day before so I'll be spending the next couple of weeks preparing for that.


Monday, 29 March 2010

CRE Buzz

Hi all

It has been pretty hectic in the office (and out of the office) this week. We've been preparing for our first event - Spring Harvest which we are looking forward to setting off for this Friday. We have also had a new floor laid in the office (hence the out of the office comment) and Robbie and I have been hauling boxes in and our of our unit with the help of a couple of removal men.

While the floor was being laid Robbie, Liz and I have been working from home. Mostly from Liz's living room! Plus various of the rest of the team have carried on as usual in London.
We are glad to be back in the office today, mounting photos and getting ready to leave for Minehead on Friday.

We are really pleased to have had an article written in the Christian Resource Exhibition' on-line newsletter.

Very exited to be in CRE Buzz.

I'll add a jpeg of the article too in case you can't get to the article through the link above. The office floor looks beautiful and I'll attach one of Liz's photos of it tomorrow! We have a nice picture of her son Jon in the middle of the floor before the furniture went back into the office. Liz, Alec and Robbie are setting off for Minehead on Friday. Plus Jill with a large van full of the screen and lots of boxes for our stand. Then I am going to join them there on Monday. We've booked a cottage in Alcombe right on the edge of Minehead which looks beautiful to stay in for our week.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Spring Fever

Hi all

Maddy here again with another blog update. It's been all go since our last shoot but editing has finally been finished and the next set of films are up on our website. The Production Team are starting their plans for Shoot Four which will probably take place in May (to be confirmed). The Easter films are looking really spectacular, so the hard work and decication from the team has paid off - we hope you'll agree when you watch them.

Robbie (Sales & Marketing Assistant) and Alec (Sales & Marketing Manager) have been working really hard getting the new Easter films up onto our website with the readings and Sunday School materials. They are all now ready to download alongside the films.

Until the next shoot the main thing that our office team is working on are our plans for having a stand at four events this Spring. The first event we will be at is Spring Harvest which takes place in Butlins, Minehead. It starts over Easter weekend and Alec, Liz, Jill, Robbie and I are all going to spend one week at this event. Liz and I are preparing for this at the moment, finalising our display for our stand and making sure we have everything we'll need for the event. We'll be showing our films on a large screen on our stand so if you are planning to attend this event we hope you'll come along and see us.

The second event we are attending is the Christian Resources Exhibition which is held at Sandown Racecourse in Surrey. This event takes place over the 11th to 14th May. I'll blog about this once we have returned from our stand at Spring Harvest. After CRE we are at the Pentecostal Festival which is in central London and then finally we'll be at The Big Church Day Out in Wiston, West Sussex. We will be there over the bank holiday weekend at the end of May. More information to come on all of these events post Spring Harvest.

So far for Spring Harvest we have been printing out shoot photos from our most recent shoot to go up on our stand so people can see the behind the scenes work around a shoot. We also got example Sunday School materials and photos of the crafts that are outlined in the Sunday School lesson plans so you can see the support tools that have been created so far to go alongside the Three Wise Camels versions of the films. We have also mounted our most recent press releases so you can see what is being said about us and the films! We will of course have some DVDs for purchase on the stand, plus details of all of the films that you can download from our website. Plus some cards, notelets and posters which have been created from photos taken on our shoots. I have also been making Three Wise Camels badges of Zac, Becky and Noah that we can give away on our first day at the Spring Harvest event!

We have Zac the camel (pictured) coming to the event with us who will be won by someone lucky who attends the event and leaves their e-mail details in the drop box on our stand - we'll have a box with Zac's picture on our stand for the week plus slips for anyone who would like to leave their details to fill in and drop into the box then at the end of the week we'll draw out a lucky winner who can take Zac home with them - we think you'll agree he's a very desirable camel!

I'll write again before we set off for Spring Harvest with our stand details and then will write from the event an update about the event and what we get up to there.


Monday, 1 February 2010

Earth Stood Hard as Iron, Water Like a Stone

Hi everyone, Maddy here blogging again from the Big Book Media office.

Our Production Team are back once more from Morocco, safe and sound without any food poisoning outbreaks this time! This weather on this shoot was really cold, such a contrast from Shoot One. At night the temperature dropped really low and we had a few night time shoots this time round so the team had to wrap up for these - the picture is David our Director and Ben our DOP in their hats, scarfs and gloves! Although for them it has been a cold shoot compared to others we of course have had the coldest weather for some 30 years in the UK with snow and ice over much of the country so they are getting off lightly compared to that!

Shoot Four went really well, with no major disasters - just Trevor falling through part of the set on one occasion! So now the team are back it’s been a mad rush to edit and get our films ready in time for Easter. Tim and Ben our Editors have been working all hours with David our Director and Amory our Post Production Manager in our office here and with the Halo team in London. There's been some very long days and nights involved for the post team.

Updates on the others in the team here Liz (Office Manager) and I have been preparing communications to Church and Cathedral shops and also Christian Retailers to sell in our cards and other products. Robbie (Sales and Marketing Assistant) has uploaded all the shoot stills photos; so that we can put some on the website alongside the films.

Hannah our Producer and Alec our Sales and Marketing Manger are currently in America visiting our marketing partners ‘Big Finish Media’, Hannah has been to a church service at Willow Creek which has a three services a weekend that average nearly 23,000.00 attendees.

The photo on the left shows the south downs near our office covered in a beautiful white layer of snow.

Lastly for today's news 'ninteenseventythree', the local card designers we use for our Christmas cards are currently choosing picking out stills photos from our shoots to use to design some more cards for us. We are hoping to have these to bring with us to the trade fairs we'll be attending this spring.

I will blog again with more details on our spring plans, the retail fairs we'll be at in April/May and the next shoot soon.


Friday, 15 January 2010

The Cross

Hi Trevor here with my next lot of news from the shoot. We have been extremely busy here in the last few days, which has been an emotional roller coaster, from Jesus' glorious entry into Jerusalem to the the dark crucifixion.

We started
on the Monday of week two in Morocco, by shooting scenes not in chronological order. So first we filmed Jesus being given his cross and forced to carry it to his crucifixion. There was some really great acting, particularly by those in the scene where Jesus meets the woman on the way to the cross. The scene was shot in the picturesque village of Ait Ben Hadoun, build almost entirely of mud and straw bricks, dating back centuries and a UNESCO world heritage site. The streets made an excellent Jerusalem!

On Tuesday we had some more peaceful scenes to shoot. The day began on a road lined with palm trees; we were filming Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, surrounded with people waving palm branches as Jesus rode a donkey into the town. We had a slight problem in that the donkey wasn't at all keen to walk on the cloaks laid down by the crowd for Jesus to pass over (as specified in the Gospel). It seems that donkeys won't walk on unfamiliar surfaces, so it just walked round the cloaks to avoid stepping on them! Being notoriously stubborn animals we really struggled to get the donkey stepping over the cloaks. After that we filmed Jesus walking with his Disciples, walking was their main form of transport, the footage will come in handy for between scenes.

The days here just seem to fly by and before long it was Wednesday, a big day for all of us because we were filming the crucifixion. I guess none of us were looking forward to filming this particular scene and several of us got little sleep the night before. Anyway the day came, the extras arrived in costume, three crosses had been made up on the hill over our Jerusalem and a crane was built to allow eye level shots of Jesus on the cross.
When it came to it the day wasn't as feared, although the focus was purely on Jesus' suffering we were all so busy working 110% to get the shots done before the sun went down we didn't have time to lament. We absolutely needed the second film unit to get all the shots and it took all our 'English' politeness not to ruin shots on our lists. We finished with just a few minutes to spare, it was a very intense day but not one I will forget!

We have just a couple more shoot days left now before Shoot Three is over and we head back to the UK for the editing and post work on what we have shot. We have had two editors out on this shoot - Tim and Ben who have been working on the film as we make it, we have a lot of editing work to get this film ready in time for Easter which is an early March Easter this year and will hopefully be back out in February to carry on filming and then will need everything ready for the beginning of March on our Website.

It's going to be a very busy couple of months coming up for the Big Book Media office and Post Production team.

Well that's all from me again for now, Trevor.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Arrested Development

Hi all, Trevor here with another blog from Morocco.

We've had an interesting few nights here trying to film against the cold, wind and dark but have managed to get some really great scenes done.

On Thursday afternoon we filmed some lovely donkeys, including a baby donkey, for a scene where the disciples collect them for Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we remember this every Palm Sunday. The donkeys didn't seem to mind being filmed
and loved being fed in between each shot.

The shot on the left is a couple of our 'actor' donkeys!

The following night was an evening shoot with Jesus under arrest by the temple guards, who take him to the High Priests house. It's amazing how much work and attention to detail goes into every shot, braziers were lit, the set dressed and the lighting arranged which all takes hours before the filming even begins. It was then time to film Peter's denial of Jesus, I have included a photo of the actor, who was superb.

On Friday we went to a location where we filmed scenes of Jesus and the Disciples at the Garden of Gethsemane. This is where Jesus goes to pray just before his arrest. The Disciples fall asleep whilst Jesus is praying. Selva's portrayal of Jesus' agony as he prayed was electrifying and all the more impressive because the weather was so representative of the mood of the scene.
Selva being arrested in his role of Jesus in the photo on the left.

We were
approaching Saturday with some trepidation, putting more and more layers of warm clothing on, the night shoots have been really cold - once the sun goes down in the winter here the temperature drops a surprising amount. Luckily Saturday night wasn't so cold as previous nights. We filmed the arrival of the temple guards, coming to arrest Jesus. The scene where a kiss is used by Judas to betray Jesus was quite moving and touching, both know it's a moment of treachery.

So we have now been out filming three nights in a row, in some quite extreme weather conditions(well compared to the weather of previous shoots, pos not quite as extreme as the snow that has fallen over the UK for days now).
I have been seriously impressed by the determination, commitment and professionalism of the crew and cast who get truly great shots even when the conditions are very difficult.

Lastly I thought you might enjoy a picture of me, in suitable local attire for a cold night!
I'll be back with news of the rest of the shoot in a couple of day.


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

When Doves Cry

Hi all, Trevor back with some news from days two and three on BBM Shoot Three.

Day Two started very early for me with a 6.00 am start, but at least I have remembered today that I need my warm clothing. I have been limping a bit from my accident yesterday but thankfully it is nothing serious.
We started filming at 7am today with Khalid a famous actor in Morocco who is playing King Herod in our films. He is a huge star in Morocco and can't walk down the street for people asking him for autographs and to have their photo taken with him, he bears it all with good humour.The photo on the above left is Khalid in costume.

Today we are filming Jesus before King Herod being mocked by the soldiers, crowned with thorns and beaten. David the Director is trying to tread the
line between pretending the violence didn't happen or focusing on it in a sensational way. I think he has got the tone just right, but it was never the less really disturbing to witness the sheer brutality of what happened to Jesus.

Day Two was a truly great day for me - I can really see how filming brings these readings to life. We started with Judus betraying Jesus, I got some good photos of money falling into a purse which was the thirty pieces of silver that Judas got for betraying Jesus.
The photo above is Selva playing Jesus and on the right are three of our crew on the track and dolly on set.
Then the highlight of the day was a huge scene with lots of extras, Jesus enters the temple and drives out the money changers.
Imagine the scene - tables with piles of coins, baskets of doves, clouds of incense and lots of people. Jesus arrives and is angered by the business taking place in the temple, reserved for prayer. He overturns the tables full of money, doves are set free and pandemonium breaks out, the priests are furious and the crowds are entranced by Jesus' presence and teaching.
I hope the scene is as powerful on screen as it was to watch live.
We also filmed Jesus teaching in the temple, a parable or two and Jesus in the famous scene saying 'render unto Caesar' or similar modern words.
We have a night shoot tomorrow so most of us are getting an early night to conserve energy.


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The New Year and Shoot Three Both Begin!

Hi all, Trevor here out on Big Book Media's third shoot in Morocco. I am out again on set as theological consultant on the shoot. We began our filming yesterday - most of us arrived out on 3rd of Jan with David the Director, Ben the Director of Photography and Deane DTI all flying out on 1st January to prepare for the start of shooting yesterday.

On this shoot we are filming the Passion - the last week of Jesus' earthly life,
from the events of Palm Sunday, through Holy Week, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion to the Resurrection. There's a lot to film and we only have 12 filming days so it's going to be a really busy couple of weeks for everyone on the shoot.

Selva Raslingham our British actor who plays the part of Jesus in our films is going to have a really demanding role this time on this shoot as he will be playing Jesus going through some of the worst experiences a human being can suffer.
I expected it to be cool in Morocco at this time of year, but I am surprised to find that it's really quite cold (especially if you compare the weather to what it was
like on our first shoot where we had temperatures of 45 degrees). On this shoot we are all wearing jumpers, overcoats and hats until the sun comes up and warms the day up a bit. Mind you given that it is snowing heavily over most of the UK it is much warmer than that here!

Today we fi
lmed Jesus dragged before Pilate by the chief priests. We started filming early and were on the set by 7.30am. We filmed this scene at the Atlas Studios. Morocco has been a film making destination since the Italians first came here in the 1920s. In Italian cinema the voices and sound effects were added after the shooting so the low costs, great weather and beautiful light made Morocco an idea place to make films. Since then all sorts of sets have been built here and several studios opened. Combine that with the fact that large areas of Morocco have no electricity pylons, satellite dishes and other accoutrements of the modern western world and you have a great place to shoot period dramas. Many Biblical films have been made here as well as films such as 'Gladiator' and 'The Mummy Returns'.

Today's scenes include lots of extras, people for crowds, soldiers, temple guards and priests. They all take quite some controlling and that is the job of the first Assistant Director (1st AD) who shouts the orders for the set to fall silent and for people to take their place.

Now I have a confession to make, I nearly halted shooting today by falling through the set! I was about 30ft above the ground on top of what seemed to be a solid wall, trying to get a good photo with my new camera when the floor gave way and I fell up to my waist in what is the cavity between two walls. I managed to get out and then looked inside the gap and there was a 30ft drop so I had a very lucky escape, I'll have to be more careful in future.

Well that's it from me for today, hope you've enjoyed hearing about our first day on set and I will write again with more shoot news soon. Trevor