Daybreak TV Productions has reached out to local talent for the documentary "Building a Basilica." The 60-minute film tells the story of the priest and architect who built a magnificent church to honor the Blessed Mother Mary and will air on WKBW-TV on Jan. 19, 2014, at noon.
Our Lady of Victory Basilica and National Shrine, located in Lackawanna, was the vision of Venerable Nelson Baker, a priest currently on the path to sainthood, and French-born ecclesiastic architect Emile Ulhrich. Pope Pius XI stated, "Among the churches of America, Our Lady of Victory (Church) is to be counted as one of the greatest."
Sarah Hanson, owner of August Productions, a teacher and developer of a new animation program at Villa Maria College, is leading the animation project from the early stages of modeling and texturing of the basilica, to complete rendering of the final animation of this historical landmark.
Hanson has worked on animation projects with IBC Digital, Fisher Price, Villa Maria College and Mattel Inc.
The animation for the documentary is quite involved and Hanson knew she would need some help along the way.
"When Daybreak TV approached me about working on this project, I knew I could not do it alone," Hanson said. "While I have hired a subcontractor or two in the past, this is the largest team I have ever compiled to help complete an animation project. I hired two colleagues of mine that teach with me at Villa Maria College. In addition, I hired one senior and two Animation Program students to work with us."
The collaboration between Sarah Hanson and Daybreak is new, but it's one that Hanson hopes will continue.
"I will certainly continue teaching as well as working as a professional animator," Hanson said. "The folks at Daybreak TV have been a true delight to work with. They are what I would consider to be the ideal client. They are incredibly professional; they know what they want, and they appreciate the hard (but enjoyable) work that has gone into this project. It would be a great pleasure to work with Daybreak TV on a future project."
Daybreak has teamed up once again with Buffalo-based Crosswater Digital Media for recording the narration and an original score for the documentary. Daybreak and Crosswater recorded Andre Braugher's voice-over for the documentary "Enduring Faith" and also Martin Sheen for the documentary "Proving Holiness."
Part of the music production will involve a recording of multiple Catholic choirs to perform the theme music for the documentary. Composed by John Adamo, chairman and president of Crosswater Digital Media, "Our Victorious Lady" was inspired by a prayer considered to be one that Venerable Nelson Baker often recited.
"Father Baker was a remarkable man, and I wanted to re-create his favorite prayer musically to enhance the awareness of his impending beatification to sainthood," Adamo said.
Veteran actor Brian Dennehy will narrate the documentary which will be broadcast on Jan. 19, 2014, on ABC.
Dennehy, a Catholic American actor, is the winner of a Golden Globe for his performance in the TV movie "Death of a Salesman." He was the voice of Django in the popular film "Ratatouille," and also known for his various roles in movies such as "Romeo and Juliet" and "Everyone's Hero" as the voice of baseball legend Babe Ruth.