“Two families. A large backyard. Nine cousins with a big dream. Four years ago, this was all they had. Today, the film ‘Pendragon’ is a testimony of God fulfilling their dream in ways that they never imagined.”
So YLCF reader Sarah Ferraro sums up the story of the Burns Family Studios‘ movie “Pendragon.” I had a chance to get a bit more “behind the scenes” with Marilyn Burns, homeschool graduate and leading actress in the movie “Pendragon” in a recent interview…
Gretchen: When you’re not acting in period movies, what is the thing you like most to do?
Marilyn: Wow, that’s a hard one. I love to do so many different things! Music is definitely one of them… I also love reading and writing, and just about any kind of creative art, really – I love the process of imagining something and making it come to life with my hands.
Gretchen: How have you been able to use your musical gifts to God’s glory?
Marilyn: I am actually just finishing up a music degree this semester, and I love to play the piano and violin. Music is always an incredible way to worship our awesome God, and to share his love with others… whether that means gathering to sing in our home, playing at a nursing home, or as part of a church service (or working on a film score!). Aaron and I had a really incredible opportunity last summer to be part of a missions outreach in the Alaskan mountains. The village children were fascinated with our instruments, and loved singing along to the worship songs we taught them – it was a really incredible experience, and I am so thankful that God gave us that opportunity!
Gretchen: Tell us what it’s like to have your family create a movie. How did you know it was more than just something you had fun with, but something God wanted you to do?
Marilyn: That was a hard one for me, to be honest – especially in the middle of the project. Filmmaking is never easy or comfortable, but it was always fun to be a “princess” – what girl wouldn’t want to do that? There were so many other opportunities, though, things that I thought God wanted me doing – finishing school, serving at church – it was hard to balance everything. The part that made me most sure God wanted me right where I was were all the opportunities to encourage others through the project. It’s been amazing to hear how the final movie has been a blessing to so many people, and even in the process, I’ve had so many opportunities to reach out to other girls – it’s been incredible!
Gretchen: In the movie “Pendragon” you play the king’s daughter, Wenneveria. What was the message you wanted most to convey as you acted out the part of Wenneveria?
Marilyn: Well, of course, the character Wenneveria is meant to support the message of the entire film – to encourage our audience to embrace the vision God has for their lives. But I think she is a specific encouragement to girls – her trust in God, her patience and hard work, and (although she once betrays his trust) her commitment to Artos and his vision. Also, there is a beautiful relationship between Wenneveria and her father – it was a really special memory to play this part with my dad, and I hope it can be an encouragement to other girls as well.
Gretchen: What did all the costuming, makeup, hairstyling, and acting in this movie teach you about beauty?
Marilyn: Hmm… That’s a good question. It was a lot of fun designing the costumes for each person, trying to make their character come through in the way they appear on screen. I guess you could say that was the greatest lesson. Your appearance, the way you present yourself, reveals a lot about who you are, and who you want to be.
Gretchen: What would you say to other girls who are interested in acting in small Christian films?
Marilyn: It’s a lot of work! Be prepared to be cheerful, even when you’re working hard and long and late… but it is a lot of fun too. It gives you many great opportunities to be an example for Christ, which makes everything worth it.
For more information, visit the Burns Family Studios website or order straight from Christian Book Distributors. But before you go…we have a copy of “Pendragon” to give away to one of you, the YLCF readers! See official entry rules below.
“‘Pendragon’ is a thrilling drama set in the Dark Ages. It tells the story of Artos, a young man, determined to fulfill his father’s dying vision and free a people from tyranny. This film is a challenge to never give up, no matter the obstacles, but to work to accomplish the vision that God has given you. Throughout ‘Pendragon’ we follow Artos, as he faces slavery, betrayal, false accusations, and even the sword, in man’s attempts to thwart him from achieving his father’s vision. In the end, God gives Artos the strength to persevere and ultimately accomplish what God called him to do. From my dad to my 2-year old brother, this is our family’s favorite film (though my younger siblings do not watch the intense scenes of burning villages, etc.).”
-YLCF Reader Sarah Ferraro
Official YLCF Giveaway Entry Rules:
- To enter the drawing, please comment on this post with the title of your favorite family movie.
- Don’t forget to include your name and email address in the space provided (your email address will not be published, but we need a way to contact you if you win!).
- This drawing open to readers with U.S. mailing addresses only, please.
- Drawing ends Sunday, June 29, 2009 at midnight.
- Winner will be chosen randomly and notified by email.
P.S. Congratulations to Hannah and Susanna and family–winners of YLCF’s “Pendragon” giveaway!