witness

Here is the latest video I’ve been working on (the one I mentioned a few days ago). I was asked by one of my seminary professors to create something that she could use when she preaches in chapel next week and the only real guidelines she gave me were that she was using Luke 24:36-48 and the word that popped out at her in that passage was “witness.” So the video is basically a response to the question “what does it mean to be a witness?” (from a Christian perspective). It’s probably worth noting that the intended audience of this video is an academic/theological community (seminary professors and students) in a chapel service. I’ll write more of my thoughts on the video below, just watch it for now and then read the rest.

Witness is really two separate videos; together they speak on behalf of a community that has witnessed a changing world filled with problems and pain, but still holds on to the hope that comes from knowing the Jesus story. I consider myself a participant in this ongoing story, and given the original audience/setting of the video, I tried to use images and thoughts that would resonate with others (many who are older than me) so that the video told “our” story.

It has come a long way since I started working on it a few days ago (the first and second versions are still on youtube), but I’m still not completely happy with it. I think it has too much text, the transitions aren’t smooth enough, it’s a bit too long and it lacks focus (plus it’s still a bit too “Christian” or “churchy” in my opinion). What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts about “Witness.” Please leave a comment.

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3 thoughts on “witness

  1. Andy, I think you’re being too hard on yourself. I read the text from Luke, watched the video a couple times, and found it to be convicting, challenging and uplifting all at once. I think the text in the second part is what makes it seem the most “Christian” or “churchy”, but if you take that all out, some of the message would be lost. Maybe you could cut down the number of quotes? I thought the images were really powerful and spoke to the many miracles we observe as we go through our daily lives. I especially liked all the nature images you used. They reminded me of Jesus saying, “…if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40) when the Pharisees asked Jesus to quiet his disciples and the crowds who were praising Him. God doesn’t NEED us to tell His story because all creation sings His praises. Indeed, He gives us the marvelous privilege of sharing His great love and hope with the world! If you need someone to bounce ideas off of, feel free… good luck finishing it up!

  2. I don’t think it’s too churchy at all. The Bible verses and other quotes are very powerful. They aren’t ones that I hear often, so they feel very genuine as opposed to cliche.

    I agree that it could use a pinch more focus. Maybe tighten up the opening “monologue.” Also, the segment beginning at 0:42 with the text “What have you witnessed in your lifetime?” struck me as a little odd in that “Love” was for some reason included along with a bunch of negative things.

    The transition between the first and second segments would feel smoother if the first segment’s music reached a point of resolution before it faded away (leave it to an ex-music major from Luther to point this out). I think you just need to let the piano play one more beat (which is the next downbeat) and it will feel resolved.

    Really though, it was very powerful. Such beauty, hope, and love. I seriously cried a little.

  3. I’m back from the Children’s Summit and unpacking in many ways. My dirty clothes are still in my suitcase, but I was compelled to seek and find your Witness video before much else. Partly, to see the end of the first part; when presented at the conference I lowered my head with tears in my eyes when I saw “HOPE.” It is really easy to be blindsided by hope. You very poetically illustrate how we are drawn in, intrigued and glued to the horrors and trainwrecks presented to us, often with careful product placement. It is hard to stare directly at hope, but we are created in God’s image, so we are made fully capable to do so. We go back, we can’t let it rest, we seek out what we are called to be. The second part does eagerly proclaim our witness, but I wonder why the Word is so hard to look at? I don’t know–it is good work to wonder about, though.

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