Last Sunday, the first installment of History’s five-part miniseries The Bible beat everything on television with a massive 13.1 million viewers, making it cable’s most-watched entertainment telecast this year.
For producer Mark Burnett, who worked on the ten-hour special with wife Roma Downey, the success of The Bible isn’t all that surprising. “It will be, over the next 40 or 50 years, the most watched thing that Roma and I have ever made,” he told EW, quite confidently, back in January.
At the time, Burnett gushed about shooting the series. “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.” But Burnett wasn’t just speaking about how well the practicalities of production had gone. “Weird things happened during filming,” he said. “Everybody would look at each other like, “Whoa.”
Here are a few of the “weird things” he was talking about:
“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?’”
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