The Tribunal Courtroom
The Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center generously provided the production with a large, unused space in the back of the building for its use as a production office and prop storage area, near the space that would be used for the courtroom. Filming the tribunal court scenes in the Ave Maria Hall was a challenge for the art and lighting departments because of the large windows in the space and the changing light levels over the course of a day. We were unable to make any material changes to the Hall, so it was necessary to create a tribunal courtroom using only set pieces that could be assembled elsewhere and brought in for staging, including the dais and large desk for the judges.
In addition, there was a small Crucifix hanging be-hind the presiding priests and we wanted to make this icon larger in order to have the feel of a more grand religious space. A replica of the larger Crucifix that hangs in the entry hall of the Center. The replica crucifix is made of meticulously carved and painted foam mounted on matte board.
Production Designer Mark Stucker next had to look at the lighting challenges in the Ave Maria Hall. One solution was to have his Grip team create cardboard cut-outs in the shape of the arches at the top of the large windows to block the light from there. He called in the Art Department to make sheer curtains for the lower half of the windows to create a soft, even light source. With the addition of set lighting, we were able to control the shifting sunlight and shadows that normally move across the room.