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The Making of Noah and his Ark Became Biblical

Updated on March 23, 2014
A real Ark built in the Netherlands
A real Ark built in the Netherlands
Noah is building his ark
Noah is building his ark
CGI and real props
CGI and real props
The entrance of Noah's ark
The entrance of Noah's ark
The real Ark tablet that instructs Noah to build the ark
The real Ark tablet that instructs Noah to build the ark
Crowe has Noah
Crowe has Noah

The new Russell Crowe film, Noah, is based on biblical facts and beliefs. However, even before its release, there was a lot of chatter it was being panned by the Catholic Church and other religious entities as being more "Hollywood" than "biblical". Since the days of the Old Testament of the Bible, rumors and handed down stories have told about the great flood that consumed the world to rid it of sin. God told Noah to gather two of everything and build a giant wooden ark so the world's species could survive once the rains stopped after 40 days.

Many think the Ark did exist, although, no proof was ever found.

The making of Noah proved to be biblical in size. The director did not want to rely on computer CGI effects for the arc, but insisted on building the real thing according to the bible's dimensions. To do this, it took over a year (the movie began production in 2011) of making the arc in a woody section of Long Island, NY. It took six months to erect the front entrance and the 60 ft. sides of the arc out of steel and foam. To film scenes within the arc, a three-story set was built inside an armory in Brooklyn.

The Ark itself IS the exact dimensions as stated in the Bible- 30 cubits high, 50 cubits wide and 300 cubits long. What is a cubit? Roughly, a cubit is the distance from your elbow to the middle finger. The Ark built ended up being 165 feet and made to look 500 feet in the film. All of the actual human made props when combined with the extensive use of CGI effects exploded the film budget to $125 million. Some of the filming was first done in Iceland. For the deluge of rain effects interacting with actors, numerous water cannons were used. But that is not all. Industrial cranes were used to hoist huge rain bars for storm sequences. They required two giant pumps and five 22,000 gallon water tanks behind the Ark. Then, 3000 feet of pipe had to be laid. When all hooked up and working during filming, the six rain bars over the set create massive rain storms pouring 5,000 gallons of rain per minute!

As for the animals, despite the Ark being filled with the world's animals, the only real animals used in the movie were two doves and a raven in close-ups. All of the other animals seen are CGI or puppets! To do this, hundreds of CPUs had to be used. Creating birds for the movie required 700 computers for 84 groups of animated birds.

While the film used the Bible as a reference, perhaps the reason why the Catholic Church refused to endorse it as an "accurate" depiction is because there are deviations. Some of the animals depicting in the Ark are more extinct, not your "zoo" types.The films depictions before the flood of how life was is more unrealistic. The movie has six armed giants called, Watchers, made of rocks (think Fantastic Four). Hmmm, not so biblical. Also, Noah is armed with a glowing energy source found in the ground. This is called "zohar". Okay.....

Some of the weapons being used for the time, from what we know, are unlikely. Many are creative thinking. Of course, there is violence when the 40 days of rain begins and those who ridiculed Noah think twice about it. As the rain pours down and floods start to occur, the disbelievers try to fight their way onto the Ark.

So, Noah is a movie that is a mix of fact and fiction. The pre-flooding is more fiction than fact, while the gathering of animals and the Ark are biblical. Regardless, the making of the film set some production records.


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