“33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry, is perhaps the most fascinating and important documentary ever made on the subject matter of Freemasonry.” – David Winter, ABC News
In 2017 Johnny Royal released the fascinating documentary, 33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry, a film that covers the history, mission, and international appeal of the fraternity. Royal, who calls himself “the Kubrick of Freemasonry” is an active Master Mason, as well as a member of Knights Templar and the Scottish Rite. He found himself inspired to create this film by his own journey through the craft. While living in London in 1997, Royal stumbled upon the Grand Lodge of London. Intrigued by the architecture and beauty of the building, he dove into researching Freemasonry and quickly found himself connected to the values of the organization. In 2019 and 2020 Royal released other cinematic works on Freemasonry like, The Wisdom, Strength and Beauty of God’s Magnificent Glory: The Cinematic Reunion of the Missouri Scottish Rite and American Shriners of Freemasonry. Royal has over 10 years of digital marketing experience and has directed digital campaigns for President Obama, Vice President Al Gore, and Elton John during his time in the industry.
Starting in 2010, Johnny Royal embarked on a 7 year journey to create this documentary. Royal gathered over 140 hours of video including interviews with distinguished Freemasons and never before seen footage from inside the Lodge – the insiders point of view. Royal and his crew traveled all across the world from Jamaica to England gathering videos, images, and interviews from Masons. The production crew included names from famous film and television shows like Bates Motel, Thor, and X-Men First Class. On October 13th, 2017, 33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry debuted to a sold out audience in San Francisco, California. Shortly after the documentary hit the road for a national theatrical tour. The film garnered excellent press including ABC News calling it, “the most fascinating and important documentary ever made on the subject matter of Freemasonry.”
When discussing the film and his experience being on set he remarked, “Speak the truth and your heart shall be fire. When I’m on set, all that matters is if I see there is a justified true belief in the performance of the story being told. Everything else is just a matter of sculpting the picture so that it reflects what the story is feeling. I serve the story. Nothing else.”
Interested in hosting a Lodge movie night and watching 33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry? This movie represents one Master Mason’s quest to understand and share his particular understanding and experiences within Freemasonry. It may or may not reflect what you have experienced in your lodge, but this makes it an excellent tool to open a dialogue and expand your lodge experience. Consider developing a discussion guide to keep the conversation moving, including a series of questions and thought-starters or perhaps develop a comparison and contrast review of your lodge compared to the film. Feel free to break out into small discussion groups and then come together for a larger discussion afterwards.
The movie is easily downloadable on Amazon Prime or can be purchased on DVD. We recommend holding a discussion afterwards.
Has your Lodge hosted a movie night or another bonding event? Email us the details at OhioLodgeLife@Freemason.com!