A few thoughts about arguably the most popular video I have put together. It started while I was teaching back around 2008.
Brian Bell is the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel in Murrieta, CA. He's a not only a wonderful pastor and teacher, he is also a bit of an artist, so he would send things my way every once and a while to check out. One of those things was a YouTube video called Lost Generation.
The video used lines of poetry that scrolled down the screen, but changed the meaning and perspective depending if you read them forward or backward. I was inspired. I immediately thought it would be an ideal way to depict how Christ changes your heart, but uses what you were to bring him glory. Nothing changes and yet everything changes.
I spent the next 4 weeks writing the script for the video. I also began contemplating what sort of visuals would reinforce the script. I thought of a flower that was once dead, but brought back to life. It would be perfect for bringing out the transformation that is so often talked about in scripture. (Ezek. 36:26–27, Eph 2:4-6)
Once the poem was written, and the flower killed (I had to kill the flower and then play it in reverse) I was ready to start composting.
Reverse was one of the early videos I made. It was a pretty simple set up since I was still learning to use After Effects. Of Course I am still learning to use After Effects. The program is endless in possibilities.
It actually was available on Sermonspice for almost a year and a half before more then 15 were used anywhere. Then suddenly it just sort of picked up like crazy. It was featured on The Resurgence and that generated thousands of hits on the YouTube video I had posted. From there God has done amazing things with it.
One interesting thing has been the overwhelming response from atheists. The video is not meant to be an attack on atheism. It is simply a representation of how a life can change. I've had many discussions on the youtube page around this issue. The video is not an argument, nor a proof, it is a piece of artistic expression. It is meant to capture an experience some have had, not to convince anyone down a certain path.
There were two lessons I learned from this video. The first was that God does things in his time. I thought the video was great right from the get go. It flowed well and just had a good sound to it. But it sat there dormant for over a year. It was a time when I had to continue to be creative despite the lack of response from the last project. It is still a reminder that I cherish when I am in times of discouragement.
The second lesson was that the tone of my responses were often just as important as the content of my responses. It is easy to get baited into arguments and take offense to people who are lashing out at you because of your faith. I had many opportunities to take those insults and remember that Christ also had insults hurled at him.
One of those who hurled that insult was a thief on a cross. The responses of Christ to that thief was not in words directed at him, but an example of how he received those insults and died. When that testimony was displayed the words Christ shared with him were received and believed.
The entire process has been a blessing. It has been a privilege to see so many people around the world respond to the video. All Glory to God.