“She’s a creep!” Well, everyone recognizes that as lashon hara. But many people don’t realize that an off-hand remark or look made by one of our best of friends can be lashon hara too. That’s why Torah Live chose real-life friend situations, to teach viewers the laws of Shmiras HaLoshon (guarding one’s tongue) for Chapter Two of The Lost Light.
To do this, we created our own girls’ school, dubbed “Torah Live High School” by production manager Sharon Katz. The scenes were actually filmed in an elementary school in the town of Efrat. They illustrate how easily we can fall into the trap of speaking lashon hara, even when that’s not the intention.
One of the biggest challenges to guarding our tongues is when there’s a large group (girls, in our film) in one place. And no place could be trickier than the school cafeteria. So Torah Live, which creates cutting-edge, lively, multimedia presentations that communicate Jewish values, created one, right down to the institutional flatware, pink plastic plates, and the bowls of pasta and marinara sauce. (We also served green peas and carrots, because the color combination was terrific!!)
We put different amounts of spaghetti in each plate, to make it look more realistic. Every girl had to remember how much food she had in front of her, because if she ate something (and it was yummy!!), we had to refill it to the exact amount as before.
Action! Some girls chatted at their tables, while others walked by precisely at the correct moment. With every retake, the girls had to re-chat and re-walk and re-member exactly what they had done the first time.
In between all this action, there was the school bell every hour, and random little children running through our “girls’ high.” But the girls stayed focused, even while our make-up artist made the rounds and touched up their faces and hair. The only thing that caused them to crack a smile was when Torah Live’s Rabbi Dan Roth showed up as the cafeteria aide (apron and all), cleaning up their tables and reminding them about the rules of proper speech.
Another challenging time is recess. Torah Live took the girls outside into the school yard to capture the gossip circles that occur typically when we let our guard down. Filming outdoors is always tricky, but we created our own shade. All our director of photography had to do was climb on top of the pergola without falling off(!) and cover it with camouflage netting. Shmeazy!
It turns out that it takes about 4 hours to shoot a 30 second roll of film! Because Rabbi Roth, the director of Torah Live, believes that learning Torah needs to be as exciting as all the other information students are bombarded with on a daily basis, the videos must be high quality both in their content and in their creativity. This takes a lot of work, as the teens who participated in the shoots can attest!
Before Chapter Two of The Lost Light is released, you can still watch Chapter One here.