For immediate release.


Providence Pictures completes principal photography on its Building Wonders of the World series for NOVA on PBS with an historic event -- the building and installation of a twenty foot tall lift and trap door system in the Colosseum in Rome, and the release of a wolf into the arena.  Rosella Rea, the director of the Colosseum says "This is the first time an animal has been lifted and released into the Colosseum in fifteen hundred years!"


Says producer/director Gary Glassman, "We dreamed up ambitious projects in some of the world's most fascinating places and were fortunate to find people who shared our vision -- from scientists and scholars, public officials, workers, and NOVA on PBS, one of the few places on TV committed to intelligent programs."

 

In addition to the lift for the Colosseum, Providence Pictures worked with earthquake engineers in Istanbul to build an 8-ton brick and mortar model of the 1500-year-old Hagia Sophia, placed it on a seismic shake table, and pushed it to collapse.  The experiment was designed to investigate how Hagia Sophia has been able to withstand centuries of city busting earthquakes while buildings around it collapsed.


And for Providence Pictures' film on Petra in Jordan, the rock-carved city made famous by Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Glassman and his team worked with archaeologists and carvers to sculpt a full-scale tomb into a cliff-face to discover how the ancient Nabataeans built Petra.


The three films are scheduled to broadcast on NOVA on PBS in February 2015.


Providence Pictures, a Rhode Island based independent production company founded in 1996, has produced nearly 50 programs for NOVA, Discovery, History, National Geographic, BBC, Arte, and more.  Providence Pictures' films have won and been honored with nominations for the industry's most prestigious awards:  six Emmys, two Writers Guild Awards, the AAA Science Journalism Prize, the CINE Golden Eagle Special Jury Award, and the International Archaeology Film Festival Award. 


Hi-resolution images upon request.

 

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BUILDING the GREAT CATHEDRALS

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Cathedrals


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RIDDLES of the SPHINX

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Sphinx


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SECRETS of the PARTHENON

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Parthenon


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In preparation for tomorrow night's premiere, NOVA has launched their own Building the Great Cathedrals web page.  Find out more about the film, learn how medieval glass makers created beautiful stained glass windows, and see if you can build your own stone arch without it collapsing!

Check it out here.

 

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The first review for building the Great Cathedrals is in! Jack Goodstein at BlogCritics calls the film "Fascinating!"

You can read the whole review here.

 

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With a height of over 500 feet, Beauvais Cathedral is one of the tallest cathedrals in the world. How were gothic builders able to raise blocks of stone weighing up to 3 tons to such towering heights?

 

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Except for the color in their stained glass windows, today, Gothic Cathedrals appear as drab as the material with which they were built: stone. But to medieval pilgrims, they were a kaleidoscopic feast for the eyes, inside and out.

 

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When gothic architecture emerged in 12th Century France, builders moved away from the thick walls and rounded arches of the Romanesque style to much thinner walls supported by pointed arches and ribbed vaults. This evolution in architectural technique is best illustrated by the ruins of Ourscamp where both styles are readily apparent.



 

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Gothic builders created soaring Cathedrals as places to worship God.  But, they also encoded their architecture and sculpture with pagan symbols and statues of scientific thinkers.  Join author Philip Ball as he deciphers the stone carvings of Chartres Cathedral.



 

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Join Providence Pictures and Brown University's Department of Egyptology for a screening of our film, Riddles of the Sphinx. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Dr. Mark Lehner, esteemed Egyptologist and Director of the Giza Mapping Project.

Details after the break.

 

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