SURRENDER TO HOPE | EASTER 2018
As I thought and prayed about a film concept for Easter, I came upon the scripture in Psalms 46 which is a chapter that boasts of God's goodness and sovereignty. Although it is from the old testament every single word of that passage rings true. And what really stood out to me is Psalms 46:10.
We know, therefore we see. If we know that God is truly God and we give Him control over our lives, we can take comfort in knowing that we will see the things we are believing for come to fruition. Just as the disciples and followers of Jesus knew and had faith that He was truly the son of God (which they saw confirmed when he rose), we too need to know in our hearts that Jesus is Lord over every situation we face. He is our advocate, redeemer, friend, and perfect sacrifice who gave His life for us; when we accept that and know it fully we can then begin to see Him at work in our lives. Both in that which is to come and that which has already been done in and for us.
As with all Easter Services, we want to create an environment where believers and non-believers alike can have a profound moment with God. This year I want to be much more intentional about creating something that is not just a creative element but actually connects with the individual on a deeper level. So how do we do that? I've outlined 3 separate elements below that I believe work towards that goal.
I imagine this piece as an opener and element that we could base the feel/branding of Easter services off of. It's purpose is to contrast what it means to know with what it means to see. It's voiceover driven and tone is dark to light, intense, and building. The VO pushes the message forward and the visuals support it. It will be created to be played both on EBC's LED spread as well as campus screens.
Visuals are several extremely stylized, almost dreamlike scenes of scenarios we need to trust God in. Examples include: Peer Pressure, Financial Strain, Disease, Loneliness, etc.
We would not see each scene play out like we normally would in a film. Instead, each scene is just one single shot of a slow push into it's lead character, intercut with the rest of the scenes. The character is looking directly into the camera as chaos/life happens around them. The feel is almost as if the person is frozen.
All of this is intercut with footage of a barren wasteland. Dark/cloudy sky with flashes of lightning. Toward the mid-climax of this film we start to see flashes of a cross in the wasteland environment and perhaps incorporated into the other scenes in abstract ways.
There's a tipping point in the VO, music, and visuals. We match cut with the cross and are no longer in the barren wasteland but a lush, green, forest (think Colorado Mountains). The cross is now the main focus of the film and VO brings everything home.
"No matter the storms we face in life, we need to stop. Pause. Breathe. Be still. And know that He is God."
Stories are our greatest tool for connecting someone's heart to the message we are trying to share. In continuing along the theme of Know//See, a powerful story to tell would be of someone with a big need in their life, coming to faith or taking their relationship with Christ more seriously. Getting that understanding of what it is to know God so that in faith you can see what He will do in your life.
For tone, style, and feeling I instantly thought of a short called "Finn" which was created to raise awareness about a disease that effects young boys. It is probably the most moving and inspiring story I have ever seen in this format and is something I think we can achieve. The main difference is that Finn's story ends on a little bit of a cliff hanger. Our story would end with completion of God doing something big in someone's life. Something that would not have been possible without Him.
We all know that music can move people. We've seen time and time again God use a song to move our church in ways that no other element could.
My thought is to find a song that is big and powerful with a strong resurrection message. During the song, we would choose several places where the song itself breathes and the singing stops. In this place we would have text with a godlike VO and text on the screen, speaking the words of God to our church which we can take directly from the Bible. As the song builds this could be an extremely moving and powerful piece as we are speaking life to people. It needs to be paired with the right song. A couple options could be:
- "The Cross Has the Final Word - The Belonging Co" | This song obviously has an extremely strong resurrection message and the way it builds lends itself well to this idea.
- "You're Not Finished Yet - The Belonging Co" | This song is cool because it's from the person's perspective to God and it's about learning to trust Him. So going back and forth between the singer and voice of God could be very powerful.
- "Sanctuary - SEU Worship" | This song communicates the message of knowing and trusting in God very strongly.
- "So Will I - Hillsong United" | This song actually talks about God's voice speaking over things which would be reflected with the creative element in the song. The resurrection message is not as strong in this song which is a downside.
Visuals on the screen are of the same imagery as the Narrative Short minus the scenes of people. So it's scenic footage with the cross transitioning from dark to light.
4. ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS
Using the footage from the Narrative piece, we'll create motion loops, promos, bumpers, etc. as needed for the service.