Earlier in the month, I had written about some of the video projects I’m currently producing. One of them finally played this past Sunday, the piece I was calling “noise/silence”.
Here is the video, and then I have more notes below. (If the video doesn’t appear, click here.)
As I said before, I had written the script with the idea of following around a family throughout the day as it is awash in noise. There’d be a narrator who’d be in the scene with the family, but talking to the camera. With the narrator, the lines would be delivered quickly.
However, since we don’t have a full-time video editor anymore (Miss you Jay!), we couldn’t film and edit that idea in the time we had. So, the script was given to Lead Pastor Mark as something he’d preach. The setup was to give the people in the audience the idea that Mark is preaching live in the other venue.*
*If you don’t know the setup of Christ Community Church at the Old Mill Campus, let me quickly explain. At Old Mill, there are two venues for services. The services happen simultaneously. Depending on the Sunday, Mark will be live in one venue and then shown on the screens in the other venue. Everything else within a service is live in that particular venue.
Mark was filmed “preaching”, in both venues, last Tuesday. He wore the same outfit that he would be wearing on Sunday, to help add to the illusion the video was live.
The tough thing with the script was it took longer to deliver. What I had in mind with the original idea was quicker, but it wasn’t going to be quick with Mark delivering the lines like he would a sermon. When I got the two videos to edit with the typography, it was much longer than I had anticipated. Originally, Steve Yost and I had thought this would be a eight minute piece. Well, now it was turning into a twelve minute piece. One thing we hadn’t planned on was Mark giving a recap of the message series before he launched into the script. The recap was good, but we hadn’t factored the minute into the projected length.*
*Do we really need to factor a minute here or there? You’d be surprised when planning the service order.
I’m trying to edit these videos together in less than a day, last Wednesday. I don’t want to come in over the Thanksgiving holiday. Steve and I made the decision to go with the twelve minute length. We could have cut out some of the music that plays over the black, but I really wanted to keep that. Steve did as well.
Speaking of the typography, it was all done in Keynote. I kept it simple. It’s a lot of basic dissolves from slide to slide. Plus, it’s just white text on a black background. This was intentional. I didn’t want there to be a lot of “noise” with the typography. The only thing that wasn’t a dissolve was a “fade through color” transition near the end. I faded through white to the scripture at the end of the typography. This also coincided with a change in the music’s tone.
One of the ideas with the typography came from a commercial I saw when I was living in Arkansas. It was a church, and the commercial was just a black background with white text on it. There was no audio. In it they had the text “Be still and know that I am God”. They would then do the slow dissolve which reduced the sentence to “Be still and know that I am”. If I remember correctly, it went:
- Be still and know that I am God.
- Be still and know that I am
- Be still and know
- Be still
I only saw the commercial once, but I thought the idea was executed perfectly. Can’t recall which church did it, and I did a number of searches online looking for the church. I wanted to credit them. I don’t know who they are, but their idea was an influence with the typography.*
*When I pitched the idea in the message team meeting, everyone liked it. During Mark’s message, the same effect was used in accentuating a point.
When I was creating the typography, I originally had planned to use Daft Punk’s music from the upcoming Tron: Legacy film. However, when I was working on the typography one day I was listening to the Inception soundtrack. I thought some of the tracks off that would work much better. I tested it out, and the track “Time” almost worked perfectly with the typography cues.
So, once I finished the typography in Keynote, I exported it as a QuickTime movie file. Then I imported into Motion so I could fine tune it. I then brought in the pieces of Mark preaching, and then just pieced it all together. Well, one other thing I did in Motion was to adjust the audio levels of the song. Because the music builds to a crescendo, I was concerned it would be overpowering and distract people during the typography.
One effect I did add was the tv cutting out. I was told I could find this in Final Cut, but I couldn’t. Granted, I was rushing to get it done on Wednesday. I ended up downloading a stock footage clip from istockphoto that I thought worked well. The audio for the stock footage I found online on some free site.
One of the other interesting things from this piece was staying on top of the statistics with media consumption. I wanted to make sure I was using the latest and best statistics to get across the point of media consumption. This can sometimes be hard because you’ll find some statistics, but then realize they are outdated or from a source that isn’t objective. I’d also try and cross-reference stats, making sure the numbers are backed up somewhere else. I’m sure someone could poke holes in some of the stats. Even two days before Mark was to be filmed, I sent him edits to the script that had updated stats. Here are some of the sources for the stats in the video.
- General Facebook stats
- Did You Know 4.0
- World internet usage
- Albert Mehrabian non-verbal communication study
- Teens and texting
- Religious activity in the west
- Emerging religious themes in 2009
- Americans and the Bible
- Americans and their gadgets
- Snapshot of U.S. television usage
- TV still occupies two-thirds of adult screen time
- More screen time for youth than adults on the job
- If your kids are awake, they’re probably online
- How much time do you spend ‘consuming media’ every day
- More than 250 million people use Facebook on a daily basis
That’s a bit on how this video came together. It was fun to create, write and produce. When I was in the 9 AM Access service watching the video, I was glad to see people respond to the video. They were engaged with it, and bought in that it was live.