Few people know of the significant impact of William Wilberforce’s life on western civilization. That’s one reason why Asbury College recently partnered with Bristol Bay Productions (RAY), sister company to Walden Media (CHRONICLES OF NARNIA), to produce an educational multimedia experience about the amazing abolitionist’s life.
Two Asbury College faculty and six media communications majors produced the Educational Resource DVD for the upcoming Samuel Goldwyn Films/Roadside Productions/Bristol Bay Productions release of Michael Apted’s Amazing Grace , opening nationally on February 23, 2007. The media rich project includes a number of original documentaries created by the Asbury team as well as the film trailer, exclusive movie clips, educational resources and other partner contributions.
In addition to his role as Producer and Director, Professor Greg Bandy shared writing duties with Dr. Devin Brown, who was in charge of all the research. Students who worked on the project included Matt Hogencamp, Cinematographer/Editor; Josh Taber, Photographer/Editor; James Donaldson, Designer; Ben Greenhoe, DVD Programmer; Scott Rohrer, Animations; and Chris Lawson, Editor.
Dr. Michael Peterson, director of Asbury’s vocational exploration project, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., helped direct resources to allow faculty and students to put their talents and training to use in this creative venture.
The Educational Resource DVD will be used to help tell the story behind William Wilberforce’s historical abolitionist efforts in England and to help spread the word about modern day versions of his 20-year struggle to end the slave trade. Amazing Grace will be released nationally February 23, 2007 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Parliament’s historic vote to outlaw the practice of slave trading anywhere in the British Empire.
Amazing Grace stars Ioan Gruffudd as William Wilberforce, Albert Finney as John Newton, and Youssou N’Dour as Olaudah Equiano. It was directed by Michael Apted (Coal Miner’s Daughter, The World Is Not Enough) and produced by Terence Malick (The Thin Red Line, The New World), Ed Pressman and Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond). The screenwriter is Steven Knight (Academy Award nominee for Dirty Pretty Things). Ken Wales (whose screen credits include Christy and whose book credits include Sea of Glory) was also a producer. Find out more about the cast and filming of Amazing Grace at the Internet Movie Database.
“This really is an amazing story. We wanted to help tell it and encourage people to learn more about the stories behind the powerful motion picture,” says Bandy.
“We are too illiterate about too many important events and people in history. This event is heralded by some historians as one of the most important in the history of civilization. Wilberforce’s efforts should be remembered. Our goal was to make his story accessible and engaging to a broad audience, and encourage people to read more about it.”
For more information on Asbury College’s media communication department, visit the web site.