A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

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Physics Guy
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Physics Guy »

I took a screenshot of the scene with the “mike” and thought, Yep, that’s a mike—I didn’t notice at all on first watching but there it is. Then after reading the vest tie explanation I looked again and yeah, it could just be a knot of some kind. I don’t think it’s a big deal if it happens to look a bit like a mike. It’s a detail you see for two seconds and few viewers will notice it.

The trailer does all have an amateurish look to it somehow, however—I just can’t put my finger on how. There's something subtly off about how everything looks, that makes it all look staged and fake. Whatever the cause of this is, it’s an interesting problem in filmmaking that I never realized existed.

Somehow major films avoid this problem, but I can’t think what they do to avoid it. Something with lighting? Frame rate? I've heard that too high a frame rate can make even the work of top-tier studios look bogus like that. The images are so clear that all the props obviously look like props, whereas if you just drop the frame rate the human brain interpolates realism and it all looks real.

In this case part of it might be the costumes. They’re all cut to be so This-Is-1830! that they’re outlandish with high collars and neck stocks, and by itself that might just be accurate, but it draws a lot of attention to the other striking feature of the costumes, namely that (as has been mentioned by others) they’re all brand-new and perfectly clean. That might be fine with lords and ladies in a Regency drawing room but it looks weird for farmers in the woods. Perhaps the kind of weird that it looks is precisely an instinctive impression that this is a play or a film set, not real.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

The Midge remarking on the film:

One question clearly was about whether there was any indication that the Brethren might have some concerns about a film in which every effort has been made to have all the sometimes grim details set out. The answer was for me very gratifying. The answer was an emphatic YES. One reason is that Professor Peterson's pet film project can do things that otherwise probably cannot be done.


Huh. I’m not sure how to interpret that.

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Every record...falsified, every book rewritten...every statue...has been renamed or torn down, every date...altered...the process is continuing...minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Ideology is always right.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Symmachus »

Givens wrote:The Book of Mormon, in my own imagination has the shape of a large rock in the middle of a river against which we are thrown, and we have to go one way or the other. Its claims are so audacious, its text is so massive and complex and convoluted."


Huh? If we are being thrown against a large rock due to a river's current, we aren't going to "go one way or the other." He seems to be saying we are confronted by a choice, but indeed in such a situation our only choice, if we are still conscious after being slammed against the rock, is to struggle for survival, which may mean avoiding the rock entirely.

No surprise this is from an American English professor, child of an intellectual tradition that has never figured out just how the hell a metaphor works (Exhibit A: the dictionary-muncher who scribbled together The Great [sic]Gatsby).

I rather think of the Book of Mormon as an iceberg in the north Atlantic circa 1912: a mass of jagged points that ultimately melts in the light and heat of warmer waters and brighter days because there is nothing at its core. Go ahead and steer your titanic church into it while claiming that it's really an island and that the captain will never lead the ship astray, a ship which can never be sunk in any case.
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Dan Vogel »

Dr. Shades wrote:Susan Easton Black. . . what hast thou done?

She--who should know better, considering her status as emeritus professor of church history--states that critics have resorted to saying that the witnesses saw the plates with their "spiritual eyes."

THAT'S A BORDERLINE LIE!! The implication, of course, is that the critics invented this from thin air. Not so; Martin Harris said this point-blank and critics are merely reminding us what he said.


Where are the critics to speak for themselves?
I do not want you to think that I am very righteous, for I am not.
Joseph Smith (History of the Church 5:401)

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Dan Vogel »

The trailer is a joke. It would have been helpful if they made the actor carry plates that were really between 40 and 60 pounds. Having Joseph Smith swing the plates in the sack and hit the ruffian show just how real and historical the producers are trying to be. If they can't get that right, how can we expect them to represent the witnesses testimony accurately. The film merely perpetuates the myth created by a superficial reading of the printed testimonies, not the full historical record.
I do not want you to think that I am very righteous, for I am not.
Joseph Smith (History of the Church 5:401)

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Lemmie »

Not really about the trailer, but this exchange explains how the Mormon witnesses might be considered actual evidence by some.
Gemli:


How do you know that atheists have seen spirits? If I claimed with bated breath and wide eyes that I saw a spirit, how could you tell I was being honest, or if I'd had a mental breakdown, or if I were under duress? There is tremendous pressure brought to bear on people who live in religious communities to conform to the prevailing theology.



Ideeho gemli • 9 days ago

The way I’d tell if you’re telling the truth is by the power of the Spirit confirming to me the truthfulness of your statement. I know that is not “scientific,” but whoever said God has to conform to gemli’s predilections? In any event, it is sure. I have experienced it.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... -body.html


This exchange also shows why Utah is the MLM pyramid scheme capital of the US.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Philo Sofee »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:The Midge remarking on the film:

One question clearly was about whether there was any indication that the Brethren might have some concerns about a film in which every effort has been made to have all the sometimes grim details set out. The answer was for me very gratifying. The answer was an emphatic YES. One reason is that Professor Peterson's pet film project can do things that otherwise probably cannot be done.


Huh. I’m not sure how to interpret that.

- Doc


Dan Peterson has a magazine you could publish in and give it the ole college try..... :biggrin:
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Philo Sofee »

Dan Vogel wrote:
Dr. Shades wrote:Susan Easton Black. . . what hast thou done?

She--who should know better, considering her status as emeritus professor of church history--states that critics have resorted to saying that the witnesses saw the plates with their "spiritual eyes."

THAT'S A BORDERLINE LIE!! The implication, of course, is that the critics invented this from thin air. Not so; Martin Harris said this point-blank and critics are merely reminding us what he said.


Where are the critics to speak for themselves?


No, no, no, you have apparently misunderstood. It is that the critics speak for themselves after Mormon Peer Review. :rolleyes:
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Dan Vogel wrote:The trailer is a joke. It would have been helpful if they made the actor carry plates that were really between 40 and 60 pounds. Having Joseph Smith swing the plates in the sack and hit the ruffian show just how real and historical the producers are trying to be. If they can't get that right, how can we expect them to represent the witnesses testimony accurately. The film merely perpetuates the myth created by a superficial reading of the printed testimonies, not the full historical record.


Thanks very much for weighing in, Dan. Yeah: I don't get the sense that "historical accuracy" was really much of a driving force behind this project. It has been pure propaganda from the outset, and I think it is best evaluated from that point of view.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Dr Exiled »

Dan Vogel wrote:The trailer is a joke. It would have been helpful if they made the actor carry plates that were really between 40 and 60 pounds. Having Joseph Smith swing the plates in the sack and hit the ruffian show just how real and historical the producers are trying to be. If they can't get that right, how can we expect them to represent the witnesses testimony accurately. The film merely perpetuates the myth created by a superficial reading of the printed testimonies, not the full historical record.


Too bad they didn't have you give a dose of reality to their propaganda fantasy. I think your explanation in your youtube videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE7-EZ_ANHRkYHv7wCUTt0Q of how Joseph probably hypnotically induced the visionary experience of the three, seems to be the best explanation to me of what happened. Also, I am sure they won't deal with how overly credulous the three were. There won't be a scene where Martin Harris walks and talks with deer Jesus.
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Doctor Scratch »

A new, sort of "end-around" plug for the "Witnesses" movie:

SeN wrote:Martin Harris was obliged to mortgage all of the property that he owned. And he did so in the face of incessant predictions that he was throwing his money away, and against the protests and machinations of his wife Lucy, who had once believed in the forthcoming book but was now bitterly hostile. (My addition: And, as it happened, there was a boycott of the Book of Mormon that pretty well made the predictions come true.)

Why was Martin Harris so committed?


Maybe it has something to do with what looks like a wireless mic, clipped onto the back of his belt?
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by I have a question »

Doctor Scratch wrote:A new, sort of "end-around" plug for the "Witnesses" movie:

SeN wrote:Martin Harris was obliged to mortgage all of the property that he owned. And he did so in the face of incessant predictions that he was throwing his money away, and against the protests and machinations of his wife Lucy, who had once believed in the forthcoming book but was now bitterly hostile. (My addition: And, as it happened, there was a boycott of the Book of Mormon that pretty well made the predictions come true.)

Why was Martin Harris so committed?


Maybe it has something to do with what looks like a wireless mic, clipped onto the back of his belt?

Even before he had become a Mormon, Harris had changed his religion at least five times.[35] After the death of Joseph Smith, Harris continued his earlier pattern by remaining in Kirtland and accepting James Strang as Mormonism's new prophet, who claimed to have a new set of supernatural plates and witnesses to authenticate them. In August 1846, Harris traveled on a mission to England for the Strangite church, but the Mormon conference there declined to listen to him;. When he insisted on preaching outside the building, police removed him.[36]

By 1847, Harris had broken with Strang and accepted the leadership claims of fellow Book of Mormon witness David Whitmer. Mormon Apostle William E. McLellin organized a Whitmerite congregation in Kirtland, and Harris became a member. By 1851, Harris had accepted another Latter Day Saint factional leader, Gladden Bishop, as prophet and joined Bishop's Kirtland-based organization.[37] In 1855, Harris joined with the last surviving brother of Joseph Smith, William Smith and declared that William was Joseph's true successor. Harris was also briefly intrigued by the "Roll and Book," a supernatural scripture that was delivered to the Shakers.[38] By the 1860s, all of those organizations had either dissolved or declined. In 1856, his wife left him to gather with the Mormons in Utah Territory while he remained in Kirtland and gave tours of the temple to curious visitors.[39]

In 1859, Harris gave an interview which described him as "an earnest and sincere advocate of the spiritual and divine authority of the Book of Mormon." It clarified that Harris "does not sympathize with Brigham Young and the Salt Lake Church. He considers them apostates from the true faith; and as being under the influence of the devil. Mr. Harris says, that the pretended church of the 'Latter Day Saints,' are in reality 'latter day devils,' and that himself and a very few others are the only genuine Mormons left." [28][40]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Ha ... Day_Saints)
So the Book of Mormon cost Harris his wife and his farm and he left the Church declaring Jospeh Smith an apostate under the influence of the devil.

So why did he get re-baptised?
In 1870, at 87, Harris moved to the Utah Territory and, shortly afterward, was rebaptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Harris, who had been left destitute and without a congregation in Kirtland, accepted the assistance of members of the LDS Church, who raised $200 (equivalent to $4,000 in 2019) to help him move west. Harris lived the last four and a half years of his life with relatives in Cache Valley. He died on July 10, 1875, in Clarkston, Utah Territory, and was buried there.

Financial imperative, nothing to do with believing in the Book of Mormon. His involvement with Joseph Smith ruined his life.

John H. Gilbert, the typesetter for most of the book, said that he had asked Harris, "Martin, did you see those plates with your naked eyes?" According to Gilbert, Harris "looked down for an instant, raised his eyes up, and said, 'No, I saw them with a spiritual eye.'"[43] Two other Palmyra residents said that Harris told them that he had seen the plates with "the eye of faith" or "spiritual eyes."[44][45] In 1838, Harris is said to have told an Ohio congregation that "he never saw the plates with his natural eyes, only in vision or imagination."[32] A neighbor of Harris in Kirtland, Ohio, said that Harris "never claimed to have seen [the plates] with his natural eyes, only spiritual vision."[33]
I wonder if Peterson's vanity project will reflect that...
“When we are confronted with evidence that challenges our deeply held beliefs we are more likely to reframe the evidence than we are to alter our beliefs. We simply invent new reasons, new justifications, new explanations. Sometimes we ignore the evidence altogether.” (Mathew Syed 'Black Box Thinking')

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Philo Sofee »

In regular speak terms, NO it will not be reflected IHAQ. In spiritual terms, a "faithful" rendition with suitable facts suitably changed in Mormonism's favor, are actually understood to be enough truth to work with. Remember Packer's doctrine, "Some truths aren't very useful." Apologists take this to mean it is entirely honest to pick which facts to use and ignore, and make sure all builds the faith. It's never about the truth, it's about the faith. In giving a "critic" a brief minute appearance, while the lion's share of the rest of the hour belongs to "faithful" history, Peterson can claim he let all sides tell their view and he s honest and unbiased. That's how Mormon truth works.
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by I have a question »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:35 pm
Lemmie wrote:Peterson has weighed in on the comments on is thread, with an entry quite aptly titled:

“A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest”
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... -rest.html

He spends the majority of his blog entry explaining why the comment that a mike pac is showing at 1:03 is wrong.
Yes. It's worth pointing out that he leads off the entry with a picture of Harris as seen from behind, and Harris is wearing a "vest" that gets tied in the back. So, is it this tied-up "cinching" that actually looks like the alleged "wireless mic"? It could be! I'm willing to give Dr. Peterson the benefit of the doubt. But if you look very closely at the trailer, it still looks like the object in question is clipped on to the back of the Harris actor's trousers. And it looks like there is a solid, black, plastic object that is sort of "leaning" away from his body, with wires trailing from it. Is it unreasonable to think that this looks like a wireless mic? No, I don't think that it is. It still could be: DCP could be lying. (Remember how he lied about getting paid more than $20,000 for Mopologetics?) But I think we all need to concede that it could also be this lace-up back to Harris's vest.

As Peterson puts it:
Sic et Non wrote:But we didn’t use such wireless microphones and wires. We used boom mikes. Or, if you prefer, “boom mics.” (I really dislike that spelling, which seems to be prevalent despite my opinion of it.) What these ardent critics are seeing isn’t a wireless microphone and wire, it’s a vest that ties in the back.
In that case, does this mean we can expect to see one of the boom mics dipping down into the frame at some point in this movie?

Ha ha ha. Just kidding. I'm sure the filmmakers will make sure that that doesn't happen. In the meantime, did anyone manage to make it to the free panel?
And
We used boom mikes, not little wireless mikes mounted on the actors’ backs.
Interestingly, the film makers have now explained that little wireless mic packs were in fact used...
In response to my immediately previous blog entry, entitled “David Whitmer’s June 1829 journey from Fayette to Harmony and back,” I received the following comment and question: “If you zoom in on the actor’s (who is playing David Whitmer) lower back, you can clearly see an electronic device of some sort with a bundle of wires. What is this?”

Now, I wasn’t on the set for the filming of the older David Whitmer in his livery stable. So, although I was confident that I knew the answer, I wrote to both the film’s executive producer, Russell Richins, and its director, Mark Goodman, for The Authoritative Word. Here are their replies:

Russell Richins: “It is a tie, part of his vest. Any mics or mic packs that were used were hidden very well. . . . We can vouch that it is not a mic or electronic device.”
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... sited.html

In the picture being used to demonstrate "it's not a mic" a man is holding a bowler hat (or derby if you prefer). Were those available before 1849?
The bowler hat is said to have been designed in 1849 by the London hat-makers Thomas and William Bowler to fulfill an order placed by the company of hatters James Lock & Co. of St James's
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowler_hat

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Dr. Peterson doesn't seem to know that much about his own movie, does he? First he told all of us, very confidently, that only "boom mics" were used in the film, and yet here is the Executive Producer saying, no, actually, "mic packs" *were* used! LOL! And why is DCP so obsessed with criticism about there potentially being a "mic pack" in the shot? Who is the actual audience for the movie--dumb, gullible TBMs, or critics?

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Dr Moore »

Well, professor, I believe Richins has cleared up any misunderstanding, has he not? The misidentified mic packs are no mic packs at all, but vest ties.

Like those in the photo below, but with the ties jostled out of place by daily labor?
Image

It may be that the director issued solemn instructions to the sound crew to hide the mic packs so extraordinarily well, that no one else -- even the most garrulous crew on-set -- knew of their existence in the production.

Has someone posted a still frame picture of the purported mic packs?

I did watch the trailer multiple times, but was so distracted by the Batman golden-plates-flail scene, everything else was a blur.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

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And although the clip is shortened, there is STILL a scene from “Joseph Smith, American prophet,” in the Witness’ film “overview.” (STILL not a trailer.) It is a scene from a film previously worked on and released publicly by Peterson’s current director, among others.

How again is the donated one million dollars, now swept off the site into a private account, being spent? Who has oversight over the spending from that account? A lawyer specializing in intellectual rights, working for the LDS church, perhaps?

And why, again, did private donors have to pony up a million dollars to pay for a film BYU will use in its curriculum? Doesn’t the religion department have a budget for curriculum materials?

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by I have a question »

Lemmie wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 12:28 pm
And although the clip is shortened, there is STILL a scene from “Joseph Smith, American prophet,” in the Witness’ film “overview.” (STILL not a trailer.) It is a scene from a film previously worked on and released publicly by Peterson’s current director, among others.

How again is the donated one million dollars, now swept off the site into a private account, being spent? Who has oversight over the spending from that account? A lawyer specializing in intellectual rights, working for the LDS church, perhaps?

And why, again, did private donors have to pony up a million dollars to pay for a film BYU will use in its curriculum? Doesn’t the religion department have a budget for curriculum materials?
I might be misremembering, but wasn’t there a claim that a contract had been signed with BYU for the rights to “Witnesses” materials?

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by moksha »

Dan Vogel wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:59 pm
If they can't get that right, how can we expect them to represent the witnesses' testimony accurately?
Maybe it was meant to be faith-promoting and being hit with the golden plates was a metaphor for the usage of apologetics.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

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Interesting that Dr. Peterson is pushing so aggressively for the film to have a *theatrical* release in October. I don't know about you, but I listened to Dr. Fauci this morning, and I have to say: DCP's idea seems risky. I mean, maybe they'll do a "socially-distanced" premiere? But how will they get all the cast and crew to Provo (since, presumably, not everyone lives in Provo, meaning that some would need to fly in to attend)? Or will only the locals get to participate? You have to admit: direct-to-video is seeming more apt by the moment.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Gadianton »

October is too soon. But that's just it, isn't it? Maybe the best way to suppress the movie for good is to go "all in" for October, creating a maze of contractual bindings, and then "bam!" The release runs right into a brick wall. But now there's this huge mess of paperwork making it difficult to get another plan together. Not impossible, but enough to stay paralyzed for at least six more months, and then by then, everyone has forgotten about it. No pressure to move forward, and if concerns resurface here and there later, they've got deniability because they "tried".

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