According to Preben Frank’s accounts, the film cost 27,550 kroner. Dreyer’s fee amounted to 1,500 kroner for writing plus 5,500 kroner for directing. Frank received 2,500 kroner for co-directing and 1,000 kroner for production managing.
The shoot took place from approx. 22 August to approx. 20 September 1948 at Thorvaldsen’s Museum and Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady), Copenhagen.
Dreyer and Frank decided to film the sculptures standing free on the floor, that is, away from their usual positions along the walls. Some they placed on a turning pedestal. Sigurd Schultz, director of Thorvaldsen’s Museum, wrote Ib Koch-Olsen, head of Dansk Kulturfilm, describing the shoot: "I’d say, those were some hard demands considering the risks of moving the marble that the two gentleman made of us and a rough ride to go through for us at a not wholly convenient time. We are relieved that it is happily concluded without accident, though they almost squeezed the life out of our guard master. He was visibly exhausted when, at the last minute, he could finally begin the arrangements for the centenary celebrations. However, that too we managed successfully. Thus all things are well" (dated 24 Sept. 1948).
Frank, who was seriously ill, declined over the course of the autumn. Thorvaldsen was the last film he worked on – he died of cancer on 21 February 1949 after long hospitalisation.
By Lisbeth Richter Larsen | 25. August