SALT LAKE CITY — That's a wrap, Nephi!
The cast and crew for the LDS Church's new live-action series of Book of Mormon videos completed filming on the second season Thursday, and the first images of have now been released.
To see a video that includes glimpses of a few scenes, click here.
The LDS Church announced the project in 2016, when it said planned to release the first videos in 2018. No release date has been set.
The project is similar to "The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos," filmed from 2011-15, completed in 2016 and distributed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The first season of filming for the Book of Mormon Video Library was completed in the summer of 2017 on the church's Jerusalem set in Goshen, Utah. That year's project was one long story of the prophet Nephi's journey from Jerusalem to the Americas, producer Aaron Merrell in a news release.
This summer's filming, in Hobble Creek Canyon near Springville, Utah, was again focused on the early pages of the Book of Mormon but covered several eras and stories, he said, including more from Nephi, his brother Jacob and Enos.
The project will produce dozens of 10- to 20-minute episodes and many shorter segments.
Several more years of shooting are expected.
"We want to help people understand the context of the Book of Mormon more and really just drive them into the book," Merrell said, "help them to realize the beauty of the stories, the intricacies of the stories, the reality of the characters, that they actually existed."
Jackson VanDerwerken, 18, is playing Nephi. He put on 15 pounds of muscle for the role.
"He’s my hero," said VanDerwerken, who is preparing for an LDS Church mission. The makeup crew spent more than two hours a day on his beard.
The second season of filming included an emotional scene of the death of Nephi's father, Lehi.
Among the members of the steering committee for the project are Elders LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. and Larry J. Echo Hawk, both General Authority Seventies of the church.11 comments on this story
"What is happening with the videos is very meaningful to me because of my Lamanite heritage," Elder Echo Hawk said. "When I see what is happening with the Book of Mormon being made into videos, I think about those powerful Book of Mormon prophets that thought and prayed about the days that we live in today.
"This will be something that adds to the written words of the Book of Mormon to help people feel the power of the teachings of the Book of Mormon."
Kymberly Mellen, who plays Lehi’s wife, Sariah, said the videos portray women as powerful co-leaders with their spouses.
The series will be distributed in multiple languages on a new Book of Mormon Videos YouTube channel, LDS.org, Mormon Channel platforms and existing Book of Mormon and Gospel Library apps.