Almost two years ago, before the premiere of Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" this Friday, The Christian Post was invited to the Brooklyn, New York film set where cast and crew members including the director himself chatted about the epic movie.
"Noah" has stirred controversy within the Christian community ahead of its release date on March 28, but the film has also invigorated Noah in the minds of believers and non-believers alike. Countless headlines have featured "Noah" in the months leading up to its premiere as Christian leaders continue to speculate on how closely the $150 million film will adhere to the Bible, and in turn, Christians everywhere are taking a close look at the Biblical epic.
The Biblical story of Noah occupies just five chapters of the Book of Genesis. Consequently, Aronofsky and a team of artists had their work cut out for them while making Paramount's two-and-a-half-hour movie, and CP heard firsthand just what that work entailed on the set.
In October of 2012, I was invited to Brooklyn's Marcy Avenue Armory where I toured the massive rectangular "ark" that would appear in "Noah" on the big screen over 16 months later. Along my visit, I was introduced to not only Aronofsky, but his "Noah" co-writer Ari Handel, producers, theologians, and even the film's star, Russell Crowe.
Aronofsky, who has helmed the likes of "Requiem for a Dream" and "Black Swan," took an early interest in Noah. In fact, the Oscar-nominated director earned his very first writing accolade in adolescence with a story, "The Dove," about Noah. Aronofsky went on to tell CP that his upcoming rendering of the flood-predicting prophet was inspired by that same childhood passion, which was evident in every minute detail aboard the ark on set.
At first sight, I was taken aback by the sheer size of the ark structure, which was made from wood, steel and foam. Aronofsky explained that he wanted to stay as true as possible to original measurements in cubits as described in the Bible in an effort that translated into a structure 50 feet tall and 500 feet long.
Once I had entered the ark and adjusted to the dim lighting, I noticed the rows and rows of artificial animals used on the intricate set. The director recounted that in Genesis, three levels of decks were described within Noah's ark- the first for mammals, the second level for insects and reptiles, and the third for birds. In order to keep production costs low, Aronofsky recruited artists to recreate artificial animals on the set.
Amazingly, artists were able to fashion life-like animals from items ranging from faux fur on lions to Rice Krispies intended to look like beetles. Plastic snakes and even toys were also used on set, all later brought to life with CGI in "Noah."
Watch a video taken from behind-the-scenes of "Noah" here.
Aronofsky's "Noah" may be his most talked about film yet as it continues to make headlines ahead of the premiere on Friday, March 28. The film is already thrusting the Biblical story into the spotlight, and discussions about Noah taking place around the world are sure to only deepen after moviegoers watch Aronofsky's film.