After acting in the new “Book of Mormon Videos” series produced by the Church, students and alumni said it was an honor for them to bring something holy, such as the scriptures, to life. They said they felt the influence of the Spirit on themselves and saw it guiding other actors and the crew as well as they worked to recreate the scripture stories.
Sam Tobon, a junior from Colombia majoring in business management with an emphasis in human resources, shared his reaction after watching the published videos.“I was in the King Benjamin chapters, and they did not film the whole speech there. It was the part where you would see the crowd of people. My experience watching it was getting the rest of the puzzle because I only had part of it.”
Tobon continued, “If you have seen the video, you see thousands of people. We would be in tents, and we would film the part where we all kneel in prayer.
“Then they would tell us, ‘Okay, now go and find a new family,’ so we would all rotate, and they would angle the camera to make it look like it was thousands of people. When we watched the video, they added CGI to make it look crowded.”
Mark Maslar, a sophomore from California majoring in theater education, shared what was done on the set to ensure the accuracy of what was being filmed. He said, “I remember meeting people who were simply there to be references for the scriptures, to represent the Church and to make sure everything was accurate.
“It touched me how they put so much care into it. Being able to watch it then put together in the way it was, was extraordinary because you felt the combined spirit of those who were involved. You were able to share in it because you were there, and you got to witness it and see all of the effort they put into it.”
Tobon said the most memorable part for him during the filming process was when the film crew “would tell us, ‘He just finished his speech, and now you are reacting to it.’ It was a moment of complete gratitude for how amazing God is.”
X Llewel Galapon Angala, an alumnus from the Philippines who graduated with a degree in hospitality and tourism management, shared his reaction to watching the final product.
“When I watched the video, I felt so excited because I could finally see the final result and our hard work. I felt like I was there listening to King Benjamin, especially when we said we believe in his words. It was a very powerful experience,” he said.
Tobon discussed what it was like bringing the scriptures to life.
He shared how often, when individuals read the scriptures, each person sees what they imagine differently in their head. Because of this, he said, “It’s tricky. There is an adjustment.”
Maslar commented on why the experience was humbling for him, saying, “As an actor, it is humbling to bring something sacred to life. As we begin to understand, empathize and connect with the stories of the people we are trying to bring to life, there is a difference that comes to you.
“I think it changes you. I think when we bring something spiritual or anything important to life, it can change you. And if you do it right, it will change you for the good.”
Tobon shared the experience he had with the other actors in the videos. He said, “These men take their jobs seriously, and the results are evident from what was produced by the Church.
“The people who were acting with [the actor who played] Christ in these videos said he would act the exact same on and off set, and he made people feel incredible. I could say similar things about the other actors, such as [those who played] Mosiah and King Benjamin.
“We were in the van on the way to a shooting spot and I saw the King Benjamin actor deep in thought, and it was because he was about to deliver one of the best speeches we have in scripture.”
Angala said it was an honor for him to have this opportunity “because I can be an instrument to help people strengthen their faith and testimony in Jesus Christ.”