Archive for February, 2007


You might have heard of the upcoming “Jesus Tombs” documentary. One of my professor’s back when I was in seminary (and one of the two most brilliant people I’ve ever met) has a response. You can read it here.

Ben Witherington: THE JESUS TOMB?…

Suffice it to say, a middle-class Jewish family from Jerusalem isn’t the same as a poor Jewish family from Nazareth. Say hi to Dr. W at his blog for me.




It’s a good thing that I peruse my junkmail box before I delete all the spam. As I was doing so I came across an email from a guy suggesting a link to ImageBank. Apparently it’s a free image exchange service (with some targeting toward churches no less). Drop by and see if it’s any good.


Desegregation in Megachurches

Often villified for their large size (and other reasons), mega churches are some of the best churches at bridging racial divisions according to this article from Yahoo.

I think this is indicative of the fact that many larger churches are purposeful about being more inclusive. My church (which is technically just becoming a “megachurch”) has long wanted to be more diverse. From the time we were founded, diversity has been encourage, but only recently is the dream starting to become more of a reality. You can read more about one of the first times I noticed this in my post “Like Heaven” from back in June.


In the middle ages, theology was referred to as the “Queen of the Sciences”. Today, I’d call video the queen of the presentation technologies. If you’ve been to YouTube you might notice that some, but not all videos are professional quality. It takes a lot to rise above the level of people doing amateur work.

To create pre-recorded video, a videographer will generally need to have good lighting, have good audio, shoot good video, edit it, and master it. In a live environment, a videographer often must insure good audio, lighting, use a computer, keep an eye to shots and know when to switch them using what transition. Often, the equipment itself must be set-up in such a way as to avoid distraction, only to be moved to another location at a later time.

Video with no sound is a silent movie (effective if that’s your aim, but lousy if it’s not). Without lighting, it’s radio, not video. Poorly shot or edited video is nearly impossible to watch. Without text or still image overlays (almost always sent from or edited with a computer of some sort), it’s effectiveness will be drastically limited.

Without audio it’s a silent movie

There was a time when the moving image wasn’t accompanied by sound. Al Jolson’s, “The Jazz Singer” ended that. Now, sound is so important to the visuals that it’s absense is disturbing. In “Noise” from pastor Rob Bell’s video series “Nooma”, the videographers create a period of extended silence with only text on the screen. The effect is uncomfortable (on purpose), meant to illustrate how uncomfortable American’s are with silence.

The same video also illustrates the power of sound to pull the viewer into a moment. It opens with Bell slouched on a couch channel surfing. We hear the natural sounds of the room and see the backward numbers on the screen indicating our point of view which is inside his television. What really makes this work, though is the sound. We hear the channels changing, going from commercial to commercial, show to show. All the sounds are blended beautifull so as not to distract. Bell’s microphone is invisible, yet he sounds like he’s in the room with the viewer, speaking in a normal tone. That’s the power of good audio.

It’s harder than it seems. I was watching what I believe to be the pilot of a children’s show from a few years ago. Scenes shot in the title character’s house were often echoey. Did this mean that the budget was too low? Did the videographer’s not have adequate equipment? Maybe. The fact remains that echoes happen–even in a show shown on a major children’s cable network.

In Hollywood, when bad audio places an otherwise excellent shot in jeopardy, the director will often opt to re-record it. I saw this first hand when carefully examining a clip for a class while in grad school. I watched the same clip over and over again not knowing (at first) what felt wrong about it. Eventually, I saw it. The leading actress must have mumbled, or otherwise messed up, a line in an otherwise wonderful take. Her lips weren’t matching the final dialogue. It was only a word, but I saw where they’d placed audio from either another take or a later recording session over her dialogue from this one.

Audio can also move a story along. In the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Psycho”, the sound of the music during the famous shower scene, the scream, the sound of the water, the sound of the knife entering the victim’s body (which was actually knives cutting melons–cassaba, according to imdb), and the sound of the shower curtain ripping from it’s rings combine to form one of the most errie moments in movie history. The final scene where we hear Norman Bates’ mother’s voice brings a conclusion to this masterpiece.

To create a powerful and compelling video, the videographer must take audio into account or have poor results.

More to come in part 2.

At my church we pray for our equipment. Why? Because it tends to fail at just the wrong time if we don’t. Apparently, we’re not the only church with this issue. You can read about it here.

Believe me, it helps. I personally pray for my team every week. I also lead my team in a prayer before each service and I pray for the equipment. You wouldn’t think a DVD player that has played a DVD once would fail when playing the same DVD (which hadn’t been removed) once it is recued, but it happens. If you have a tech ministry at your church, you should pray for the equipment.

If you have intermittent problems that are unexplained, try a prayer.


Do What Works

It’s VERY controversial, but I found a post about’s idea about how they should use their ministry $$$ and time. Simply put–Do what works, don’t do what doesn’t. There should be no sacred cows in the church. Only the message about a God who loves us enough to send His Son to rescue us matters. Programs don’t. Traditions don’t.

Read more here.


If you’ve tried to write a comment to recent posts, you might have run into some trouble. After some work, I think I’ve fixed them.

Have fun.


I’ve decided to create a way for you to help out with the show. If you find a great (or even halfway decent) site you’d like Phil (or eventually me) to discuss, just sign in to and tag the post with the tag “tnob”. We’ll check it before we record the show.


Let’s say you’ve taken some footage with a camera phone and you want to edit it, put on a video DVD or show it on Sunday morning. There are programs you can buy to do this, but the there’s a way to do it from any web connected computer for FREE. Now, it will take some patience, and a visit to three different sites, but this is how to do it.

First, let me show you the video I used:

Click to “more” to read more of how I did it.

Continue reading

On today’s Tech, No Babel

The time warp and why Paul was right

What can wufoo do for you?

Some cool free stuff

Give Away of the Day
Photostory 3

And much much more….