Walkin’ On Water

Okay, so I said I would write when I travel. But, I had a big marketing shoot and thought I would write about it anyway, even though we filmed in multiple locations around Virginia Beach, VA. The marketing department was tasked with making Jesus walk on water. Difficult, I know, since we can’t really do it without Him. So we hired a guy who looked like Jesus, dirtied him up, and sought the expertise of the special effects and animation guys here at CBN.

We did a few tests with green screens underwater, which failed miserably. We ended using shop vaks to clear water out of a huge tank we built in a studio. So we decided to shoot it with a green screen and no tank of water, we would do it all in post. For those of you who aren’t tech savy, a green screen is just as it sounds, a big green wall (and floor usually). We then use a computer program to cancel out the color and replace it with whatever we want, e.g. an ocean.

We hired a local DP named Dave to help us light and shoot it. We lit the set with a huge silk, lots of soft box lights, some 5K’s, and some Leicas. Exciting stuff. Everything was going great, I was setting up lights, putting some big fans into place, when I realized that I was about to sneeze. It was in the middle of a take, the camera was rolling, and and our Jesus actor was out in the green screen acting. Everything was quiet and I held it in for about ten seconds, but that was pushing it. I put my head into my shoulder and sneezed, but I couldn’t muffle the sound enough the compete with the silence. The director yelled cut, looked at me, then looked at our Jesus actor. Then Jesus looked at me and said, “God bless you.” He kind of mouthed it and then winked. Ironic.

Anyways, I attached some pictures of the shoot. We ended up using a land fill to simulate Jerusalem. We’ll take out the hill and put in an image of the ancient city. It was wicked hot too, nothing like carrying a generator and ten K’s over a land fill in 90 degree heat.

I’m headed to Chicago, the Windy City, next week. I’ll be sure to write about that.

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About Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson is a 25 year old remote disaster and humanitarian photographer and media liaison working for an international non-profit. Ryan has a B.S. in Radio/TV/Film and Religion and an M.A. in International Politics.

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