Digital Tricks to Help Movie Makers Shooting the Cyrillo-Methodian Movie

4. 3. 2013

"If you hide a hitch under a chain mail and put an arrow there, it looks as if the person was shot through," says Jiří Holec, the propman, and reveals a secret from the shooting. Today's battle was to simulate an attack on the fortified Veligrad (Velehrad). Despite the fact that only three tens of men participated in the battle, there will be hundreds of them on the screen. Movie makers are helped by digital effects. "In the Czech environment, we need blue-screens enough and tricks enough to make an epic movie," claims the cameraman, David Ployhar.

Today's partial reconstruction of the battle describes events from 870 when the Great Moravian army led by Prince Svatopluk outwitted the army of Franks. "Viewers will be surprised how, even with the devices we have at our disposal, we are able to conjure some things up," the producer,Viktor Kryštof, attracts viewers.

A costly historical document, inspired by the BBC British docudramas has been emerging gradually since last June. The planned budget of sixty million Czech korunas promises an epic experience. Apart from the four part arrangement for TV screens, the production is also preparing a high-budget film for silver screens.
Within the shooting, a number of experts supervise that historical facts are correct. This is guaranteed by historians from the Moravian Museum and e.g. theologians from the Theological Faculty in Olomouc. The docudrama should be a factually accurate document and, at the same time, it should be visually so attractive to captivate even a layperson.

What will the docudrama be about?
The aim of the docudrama is to present comprehensive information about an important part of our history (the beginnings of our state and Christianity in our lands) and about exceptional personalities of the Apostles, Cyril and Methodius, who are, undoubtedly, among key persons of our history and culture. At the same time, the cycle strives to create a thrilling picture of the period of early middle ages in the 9th century.
At the beginning, we learn about the most dramatic moments from the childhood and maturing of both the brothers from Solun, we get familiarized with their destinies in Constantinople and their first mission trips to Arabia and to Khazars. After Moravian Prince Rostislav asked for Christian teachers to come to the territory of Moravia, we watch an unbelievable story of the origins of the old Slavic script (the Glagolitic alphabet) and first translations of the most important books.
After the depiction of the demanding journey of Constantine and Methodius from Constantinople to Moravia, the main part of the story begins – a dramatic fight for the assertion of Christianity in Slavic countries (especially in Moravia). In the course of their mission efforts the brothers keep colliding with still strong paganism (pagan gods and demons, common law, fortune telling and witchcraft).
In the Czech production, there has never emerged a docudrama like this, which would take place in the 9th century. This unique deed originates in the park of the open air museum at Modra close to Velehrad, where original archaeological findings from the 9th century are combined with replicas of Great Moravian buildings. It was also here that one of the centers where Cyril and Methodius worked was supposed to be located.

Main protagonists are Roman Zach, acting Methodius, and Ondřej Novák as Constantine. The cycle "Cyril and Methodius - Apostles to the Slavs" is directed by Petr Nikolaev. The shooting was supported by both Catholic and Orthodox Churches because both these institutions consider the missionaries to be fundamental historical figures.


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  • Here are our roots.

    (Blessed John Paul II, 22nd April 1990, Velehrad)

    They wanted to become part of those nations and to share their destiny in everything. Here, in this place, at Velehrad, in Moravia, we can feel the historical legacy of the kingdom in a peculiar way – we can feel even those who became its keepers and guardians.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • For us, people of the present age, their apostolate contains even the elocution of the ecumenical appeal, i.e. to build unity again, in a peaceful reconciliation, which later after their deaths was heavily damaged, and in the first place the unity between the East and the West.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • Their work is also a very important contribution to the growth of the common Christian roots of Europe, which by their firmness and viability create one of the main contact points, which must be respected by every serious attempt at reunification of our continent in a new and topical way.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

  • The story of both brothers, Cyril and Methodius, is a distinct example of unity.

    Saints Cyril and Methodius contributed, to a great extent, to the building of Europe, not only regarding its Christian religious community but also concerning its civil and cultural unity.

    (Blessed John Paul II)

We cooperate

  • Senát PČRVláda ČR
    Poslanecká sněmovna PČRMinisterstvo kultury ČR
    Ministerstvo školství, mládeže a tělovýchovy ČRMinisterstvo zahraničních věcí ČR
    Česká biskupská konferenceAkademie věd České republiky
    Zlínský krajVelvyslanectví ČR při Svatém stolci
  • Jihomoravský krajOlomoucký kraj
    Římskokatolická farnost VelehradObec Velehrad
    Město Uherské HradištěMěsto Staré Město
    Město HodonínPravoslavná církev v českých zemích a na Slovensku
    Centrála cestovního ruchu Východní MoravyPETARDA PRODUCTION, a.s.
  • Three Brothers s.r.o.Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci
    Masarykova univerzitaUniverzita Karlova v Praze
    Slovácké muzeum v Uherském HradištiMoravské zemské muzeum v Brně
    Muzeum umění OlomoucCentrum Aletti
    Masarykovo muzeum v HodoníněCzechTourism