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Mark Burnett talks about 'weird things' happening on set of 'The Bible'

Shot from The Bible

The first installment of History Channel’s five-part miniseries, The Bible, aired on Sunday to a heavenly number of viewers for the network. Over 13 million people tuned in, making the telecast the most-watched of this year. Producer Mark Burnett worked on the miniseries with wife Roma Downey, and the couple says that they are not at all surprised by the success of the first episode. “It will be, over the next 40 or 50 years, the most watched thing that Roma and I have ever made,” he said back in January. The numbers look good so far, but Burnett also feels that he has a little more than just good luck on his side while on set.

“I really believe what I’m going to tell you right now,” he said. “The hand of God was on this…. the edit came together perfectly, the actors came together perfectly, it just comes to life.” Not only that, but Burnett says that some strange things were happening on set. “Weird things happened during filming,” he said. “Everybody would look at each other like, “Whoa.”

What exactly does he mean by weird things? Well, Burnett gave a few examples.

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey“There’s a scene with Jesus and Nicodemus, when Nicodemus comes to Jesus in the night. It’s a very still night, not a breath of wind, and we’re on the edge of the Sahara desert in a palm grove in an oasis… Jesus says, ‘The Holy Spirit is like the wind.’ At that moment, a wind, like as if a 747 was taking off, blew his hair, almost blew the set over and sustained for 20 seconds across the desert, and the actors didn’t break — they kept going. And everything stopped. Everyone just looked at everyone like, ‘What just happened?’”

On top of astounding feats of nature, Burnett says that on some occasions actors were even saved from potentially dangerous situations. “We had a snake wrangler every day on the set. I mean, we’ve got a couple hundred people shooting, and we can’t afford to have people getting bitten by snakes. Every day, this guy would find a snake or maybe two snakes, and remove them. On the day of the crucifixion, a lot of people prayed. The cross was a huge thing. They prayed [for safety], ‘Imagine if this cross fell. The actor playing Jesus could be killed or badly injured.’ The snake man came to work that day — he’d gotten there early on the mountain playing Golgotha, and the bag of snakes [he was carrying] was the biggest bag I’d ever seen. He came to my wife and said, ‘Miss Roma, there were 48 snakes.’ He found 48 cobras and vipers hidden within the rocks around the cross.”

Whether you think it is just a case of coincidence, or divine intervention, no one can argue that the ratings for The Bible have thus far been otherworldly.

- The Bible
- Mark Burnett

Written by: harrisr
Mar 7th, 2013, 5:26 am

Images courtesy of History Channel


Level 1
Since: 01/Jan/14
Message Posted On Dec 31st, 2013, 7:03 pm

Wow the comments left on here is a big part of why the world is the way it is today. Are you people scared to be loved by our Saviour. I hope your eyes are opened before you time is up. When your reborn life just seems to fall into place, you can call it coincidence but when your life gets better day after day and there are more devine coincidences happing in your life then ever before, you feel it deep down your outlook on religion and the world all comes into perspective. Would you give your life for a complete stranger? chew on that for a while think about it everyday for a week or two, take it to heart. Then re-evaluate your past, where your life is going and how short our time is here on earth. Hopefully your eye's will be opened.


Message Posted On Mar 11th, 2013, 5:45 am
To the Anonymous Coward; Are you saying most history is syfi? This is more difficult to disprove; ie: mankind came from earth,noting we are all made up of the base elements found in the earth such as iron/magnesium etc.some syfi hey. It seems to me that the fact of being alive is a miracle

(Data Entry Specialist)

Level 45 (78%)
Points: 15966
Mood: Like I have a brand new god
Since: 20/Oct/06
Message Posted On Mar 8th, 2013, 8:27 pm

Reminds me of those stories about strange things happening on the set of The Passion. It's people's presuppositions allowing them to focus on things that would otherwise be attributed as coincidence.  But since we're dealing something with the subject of God, or specifically the Bible, then it has to be divine, right? What else can it be? I bet crap like this happens all the time on sets about far less holy things, but no one assumes it's the work of a god or supernatural force, so it never gets brought up and focus is only on this coincidence. There's even a term for it: confirmation bias.

Anonymous Coward

Message Posted On Mar 7th, 2013, 12:28 pm
given its subject matter would this series have been better suited to syfi rather than history? there again, history does seem to like its "alien" fantasy programs.

Level 1 (68%)
Mood: aggravated
Since: 02/Feb/13
Message Posted On Mar 7th, 2013, 5:59 am

Oh my, what a load of cwap :/

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