New York Times Calls Church’s Utah Movie Set a “Mini-Hollywood”

Contributed By Danielle Christensen, Church News contributor

  • 18 October 2019

A cast member gets her hair done in preparation for filming of the Book of Mormon video series in Provo, Utah, at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

Article Highlights

  • The Church has created its own ecosystem of faith-affirming content for people around the world.
  • The goal of all Church productions is to invite all people to follow Jesus Christ.

The Church’s Motion Picture Studio South Campus—or the “Jerusalem Movie Set” in Goshen, Utah—has been getting national attention lately.

An article from The New York Times on Sunday, October 13, highlights the Church’s broad media reach. From producers to editors to animators, the set is “its own little Hollywood in the mountains”—only without the R-ratings, New York Times writer Elizabeth A. Harris wrote.

Most recently filmed at the “Jerusalem Movie Set” are the Book of Mormon Videos, which have been released weekly on Fridays since September 20.

But The New York Times article doesn’t end there. Giving a nod to the Church’s Bible Videos, commercials, TV, and movie productions that are filmed in Utah, the Church has created it’s own “ecosystem” for faith-affirming content, Harris reported.

Scott Smiley, director of film and video for the Church, stated in the article that, first and foremost, the productions strive to bring others closer to the Savior.

“The goal of all of our productions is to create messages that invite all of God’s children to follow Jesus Christ,” he said. “That goes from parking lot maintenance videos all the way to the Bible and Book of Mormon videos.

“Really,” he added, “that means to act as He acted.”

Ryan Wood, who plays the part of Abinadi, poses for a photo on one of the outdoor sets for the filming of the Book of Mormon Videos series at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News.

Liliana Corona Guerrero, who portrays the queen and wife of King Lamoni, talks about the Book of Mormon Videos series at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

Erin Forsloff gets adornment done on her hair as work on production of the Book of Mormon Videos series continues in Provo, Utah, at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

King Noah's court is portrayed for filming as work on production of the Book of Mormon Videos series continues in Provo, Utah, at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

King Noah's court is portrayed for filming as work on production of the Book of Mormon Videos series continues in Provo, Utah, at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

Cecilia Armenta, a dancer in King Noah’s court, waits to have some makeup done prior to filming for the Book of Mormon Videos series in Provo, Utah, at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

Tiffany Dickens, Key Hair, works with Daryn Vallejo, who plays King Noah's guard as work on production of the Book of Mormon Videos series continues in Provo, Utah, at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

A cast member dances in King Noah’s court as work on production of the Book of Mormon Videos series continues in Provo, Utah, at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

A cast member dances in King Noah’s court as work on production of the Book of Mormon Videos series continues in Provo, Utah, at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

Reporters and photographers gather on the site of filming for the Book of Mormon Videos series in Provo, Utah, at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.

An actor playing King Noah laughs during a filming break in Provo, Utah, at the Motion Picture Studio on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. Photo by Scott G Winterton, Deseret News.