Filmmaking for Churches: How to Best Incorporate Video

Working on filmmaking for churches is important, because it connects the story that we have as followers of Christ with the emotion that drives people to action.

Filmmaking for Churches: How to Best Incorporate Video
Cinematographer Craig Harris, right, captures visuals recently with the help of a RED Epic Dragon (6k Sensor) and a Schneider Xenar Cinema Lens, of Brian Prince, left, for 2016 Christmas Advent Short-Films at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago.

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Filmmaking for Churches: How to Best Incorporate Video

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Working for a church as a full-time filmmaker is extremely challenging.

Whether it be what at times feels like endless feedback on a video that you have poured your heart into, or fighting to bring life back into the stories that have seemingly lost meaning in our culture today, or even just struggling to conceptually understand what is being expected of you — it’s hard work.

It will stretch your comfort zone wide open and at many times leaving you feeling like you’ve got nothing left to offer.

The way I see it: films ignite inspiration, inspiration fuels emotion, and emotion is what drives action.

I am constantly reassessing and introspectively looking at what subtle things I am expecting from the people around me, and in turn, what they are expecting from me. This process of looking back, realigning expectations, attempting to fully understand and clarify what the target is, stepping outside of the situation and trying to grasp the full picture, is what I have found to be a key difference between healthy filmmakers that have the ability to really influence the people around them, and the filmmakers that quickly burn out and end up leaving the church creatively in a broken mess.

So why do we do it?

This is a question we all have to answer for ourselves. For me, it always comes back to my passion for telling stories and inspiring the people around me.

I love a good story.

Everyone loves a good story.

We’ve all heard a great story.

We’ve all been emotionally inspired by a story that just sticks.

And that’s because we as human beings are intrinsically driven by emotion.

Now, before you go running off with that last sentence, yes, some people are much more driven by emotion than others, but deep down, we all have this element of motivation that arises if our emotions are hit in just the right way.

Yes, it might take a story carrying weight the size of Mount Everest to move certain people and others are whisked away by emotion the size of a grain of sand, but everyone has that trigger.

When I tell a story, specifically through a film, I am always dreaming about how someone might be inspired by that film.

The way I see it: films ignite inspiration, inspiration fuels emotion, and emotion is what drives action.

If I can inspire someone who sees a film that I made, it is the very first step in what will hopefully end in some sort emotional engagement, to the point of actually doing something about it.

More About Taylor Shanton
Taylor Shanton is an experienced filmmaker specializing in directing, cinematography, motion-design and producing. He resides in Chicago with his wife and puppy and works at Harvest Bible Chapel, leading their film team in creating promotions, testimonials, and online content pointing toward what God is doing there. He also works closely with Vertical Church Band and other artists in the area. Having worked with companies such as IBM, Carnival Corporation, McDonald's, Oakley, and Warner Music Group, among many others, his ability to rapidly pull from a wide array of aesthetic disciplines allows him to effectively manage projects and execute the desired vision. Connect with him on Instagram at @taylorshanton to keep up with his current work.
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Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.

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Visual Arts · Filmmaking · Announcements · Chicago · Collaboration · Filmmaking · Harvest Bible Chapel · Process · All Topics

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