Winchester: Chronicles of Light was a spectacular
ninety minute show commissioned by Winchester Cathedral that took place in the centre of the cathedral nave with huge projections and a vast number of performers
to tell the extraordinary stories of
Winchester Cathedral, its people and events. The stories included characters from
King Cnut to Jane Austen, roundhead soldiers, St
Swithun and King Alfred and inspirational women such as Mary Sumner, founder of the
Mothers Union and Josephine Butler, campaigner for women's rights.
The production featured an exceptional cast
including Dame Judi Dench, David Suchet, Bernard Cribbins, Tamsin Greig, Alastair
Stewart, Anthony Andrews, Wendy Craig, Hugh Dennis, Finty Williams, John
Rhys-Davies, Jon Snow and Alan Titchmarsh as well as over 60 community actors.
Terry Braun created 20 separate short films, as well as graphics, animation and titles, to be integrated into the live performance of Winchester Chronicles of Light. A little less than a half of the 90 minute show was filled with these films, projected from the west end of the nave of the cathedral using a 20,000 lumen projector. Terry created the films as triptychs, with the middle section designed to be projected against a 41 foot high by 31 foot wide (12.5mtrs x 9.6mtrs) sharkstooth screen at the east end of the nave, with the two outside sections of the triptych projected against the stone of the pillars of the cathedral, enabling the films to partially wrap around the audience. The films were all shot on Panasonic Lumix GH2, using a number of Panasonic as well as Zeiss and other prime lenses.
Post-production was done on Final Cut Pro and After Effects. The sound track was a mixture of synch dialogue (e.g. for Judi Dench's and Hugh Dennis's scenes), specially recorded music and archive.
The profits from Winchester: Chronicles of Light were put towards funding a new sound and light
system for the Cathedral.
Absolutely stunning! We ranged in age from 13 through to 80 years old and were all totally transfixed for the whole evening. Fabulous!!
An audience member from the opening night
"When I first walked into Winchester Cathedral, I was overwhelmed by the enormous volume of the nave. The height of the vaulted ceiling combined to create an almost over-powering impression of vastness. My fellow visitors seemed so small inside this immense space.
As I have come to know the cathedral over the past two years of filming for Winchester: Chronicles of Light, I have got closer, both visually and emotionally, to the details in the stone, the wood and the glass. I began to appreciate the complex painting of the stained glass windows by Sir Edward Burne-Jones in the Epiphany Chapel. I witnessed the carving of a new stone portrait of a medieval queen to be placed high above the butresses on the exterior of the building. I discovered the intricate and often comically surreal creatures carved into the wooden misericords underneath the seats in the choir.
I became determined to find ways to magnify these tiny details to bring them to life on the giant screen in order to celebrate the effort and skill of the many artists and craftsmen who built and decorated this church.
This, in turn, inspired my approach to the projected film - to remind us that it was our fellow humans, so small in the vastness of the nave, who created this immense and beautiful cathedral."
Judi Dench and Abigail Riem in the Josephine Butler scene about 'fallen women'.
Hugh Dennis as Bishop Walkelin
The Caretaker and Prentice to scale with the screen
Alastair Stewart as the newscaster for the wedding of Queen Mary I and Prince Philip of Spain
Bernard Cribbins as Izaak Walton
Roundhead soldiers about to enter the cathedral in the English civil war