New Documentary Film “Follow and Rejoice”

Longyear Museum is happy to announce the release of a new feature-length documentary film, which will debut this December.

“Follow and Rejoice” — Mary Baker Eddy: The Chestnut Hill Years tells of Mary Baker Eddy’s return to Boston and the important work she accomplished while at her last home, 400 Beacon Street in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It was here that she established The Christian Science Monitor, authorized the first translation of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and made final revisions to the Christian Science textbook and the Church Manual.

At the project’s helm is Longyear’s Webster Lithgow, who served as writer and director. This marks his sixth film for the Museum, and in the recently-mailed Fall 2015 edition of the Report to Members, he explains in depth the significance of this story, plus shares some of his insights about the film. You may read the full interview online, as well as browse through a few behind-the-scenes photos below.

Follow and Rejoice documentary, Longyear Museum.

“Follow and Rejoice” will debut during a special premiere weekend at Longyear Museum. Members are invited to attend a screening on Friday, December 4, at 7 pm, while a free public screening open to everyone will be held on Sunday, December 6, at 2 pm.

For those outside of the Boston area, our staff will be traveling the country throughout 2016 to share the film. A preliminary schedule is available below; check our Events Calendar for updates as more dates and venues are added.

An English version of the film in DVD will be available for purchase on December 1; subtitled versions in French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish will be available in 2016. Purchase your copy in our online store today!

Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Director Webster Lithgow

As with Longyear’s previous documentary films, “Follow and Rejoice” was written and directed by staff member Webster Lithgow. Web’s extensive experience in filmmaking, combined with his dedication to Longyear’s mission, makes him a natural fit for the role of director. And yet it wasn’t until this project — his sixth Longyear production — that he was given an authentic director’s chair, an essential item on any movie set!

 Staging the shot

The film focuses on Mrs. Eddy’s years at her home in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and many scenes were filmed on location at 400 Beacon Street. However, some sets were built on a sound stage. Here at the studio, Darrel Dorr, the film’s executive producer (wearing a light blue polo), flashes a smile while helping to set up the next scene.

Directing the talent

In between takes, Web Lithgow (left) chats with one of the film’s actors, who is in costume. The scene takes place in the library at Pleasant View, Mrs. Eddy’s home in Concord, New Hampshire. Daniel’s Answer to the King by Briton Rivière can be seen hanging on the wall, just as it was at Pleasant View. Later, at 400 Beacon Street, Mrs. Eddy had this artwork moved to her bedroom. Read more about it in the Spring/Summer 2014 edition of Report to Members here.

In the newsroom

The busy newsroom of The Christian Science Monitor is the setting for this scene. As shown in the photo, the actual set is quite small, but the angle of the shot and strategic placement of actors create the impression of a large and active space.

Longyear lends a hand

Some shots were also filmed at Longyear Museum, and a few employees even had some on-camera time! Pictured above, Cheryl Moneyhun, the Museum’s Curator of Collections, is filmed for a close-up shot of handwriting while executive producer Darrel Dorr looks on.

Boardroom meeting

For this scene, the Longyear Museum boardroom was used as the setting for a shot depicting an important meeting. Longyear employee Nathan Wright stands in the foreground; Nathan served as the film’s production assistant. As with any large project, there were countless workers behind-the-scenes, helping to keep the busy shooting schedule rolling smoothly.


Filming all the shots for the movie took several weeks, and each day was planned meticulously. Daily storyboards, like the one shown above, were essential to keeping the production on schedule. Developed earlier over many months, the storyboard shows every planned camera shot paired with the corresponding dialogue from the script.

On set at 400 Beacon Street

The best set, of course, was 400 Beacon Street itself! Scenes were shot throughout (and around) the house. This shot is being set up at the porte-cochere, the side entrance which Mrs. Eddy used to enter her carriage for her daily ride. Her actual carriage was (carefully) used as a prop.

Mrs. Eddy’s Carriage

Sandy Houston, Longyear’s President, inspects Mrs. Eddy’s carriage. Part of Longyear’s collection, it can normally be seen on display in the nearby carriage house. What a thrill to have it out in the open again, looking as ready to serve as it must have looked 100 years ago!

Ford Model T

Another fun prop for the film was an authentic Ford Model T. Although this one didn’t belong to Mrs. Eddy, she did own one, and it was quite cutting-edge at the time. She tried riding in an automobile once, but preferred her carriage. Her staff used the motorcar to run into town on errands.

Authentic Hoover vacuum

In 1908, the Hoover Company released its first stand-up vacuum cleaner. Like the automobile, it was another new invention at the time, and one was purchased for Mrs. Eddy’s household staff. The authentic model shown above was found and used as a prop for the film. With 28 rooms at 400 Beacon Street, a tool like this must have been a welcome improvement for the workers tasked with keeping the house clean and orderly!


Mobile racks of period clothing were organized by historical character. Outfits for Laura Sargent and Martha Wilcox are shown here. Mrs. Sargent served in Mrs. Eddy’s household at 62 North State Street and Pleasant View in Concord, New Hampshire, and at 400 Beacon Street in Chestnut Hill. Mrs. Wilcox served for over two years at 400 Beacon Street, primarily as a housekeeper.

Early workers

A group of actresses pose in costume in between takes at 400 Beacon Street. Seeing all the actresses and actors dressed up transported the house back in time.

Gathered for a meeting

A group of actors poses around Mrs. Eddy’s desk while Web Lithgow reviews the composition of the shot in the background. As portrayed in this shot, Mrs. Eddy conducted many important meetings in her study with her household staff and church officials.

Zooming in

The film’s videographer brings the camera in for a close-up shot of an actor working at his desk. The composition of the shot focuses less on the actor and more on his activity. This is representative of Longyear’s unique visual style, which focuses on the historical events rather than on dramatic portrayals.

Ready for his close-up

Longyear employee Will Bisbee served as Assistant to the Executive Producer. But when an actor didn’t show up one day, Will was drafted for the role of newspaper reporter and photographer. He was the only staff member who fit the costume! Here he poses next to Mrs. Eddy’s carriage at 400 Beacon Street.

Mrs. Eddy’s study

Recreating Mrs. Eddy’s study accurately was essential to the film, since many important scenes were shot here. Thankfully, historical photographs from the period still exist today and were used to determine the room’s layout and props. Seeing the room set up again as it would have appeared when Mrs. Eddy worked here was a special moment.

View from the desk

The entire study was refurnished for shooting, from large furniture pieces to artwork to the knick-knacks on the mantel. At the left of the image, a photograph hangs below a light fixture. This photo depicts Mrs. Eddy’s first home, 8 Broad Street in Lynn, Mass.; where it hangs is historically accurate and serves as a nod to Longyear’s previous documentary film, The House on Broad Street.

A close-up of Mrs. Eddy’s desk

Props include sharpened pencils, plenty of blank paper for writing, and period editions of a number of books, including Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and the Church Manual. Mrs. Eddy made revisions to both books while living at 400 Beacon Street. Be sure to watch the new film when it comes out this December to learn the full story!

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