Paul Baloche just released a new album called “The Same Love” along with a series of music videos for each of the songs (shot & produced by some very creative friends of mine!) A few weeks ago, Paul reached out to me with an idea.
You see, I’ve worked with Paul on various worship conferences for years, and he’s become one of my favorite worship leaders to VJ for. I remember the first time we did a conference and he said “hey, let’s just go really simple, like maybe white text on a black screen the whole time.“ Now you know me, I’m all about some “visual silence,” but I couldn’t help but pushback & get to the reason why he wanted a completely blank screen. It turns out that most of the events he’d led at in the past where someone was running lyrics & motion backgrounds, well, how can I put this kindly… they chose to use visuals that were quite cheesy and distracting. As Paul jokingly describes, “candy cane crosses swinging all over the place.”
Luckily, I slowly introduced him to non-candy-cane imagery, and after multiple events of building trust, respect and friendship, he started to turn me lose to lead visual worship alongside him! It’s been a great learning experience, filled with amazing “bigger picture” type conversations on visual worship!
Back to Paul’s idea.
Paul said that there was this one song on his record that needed something…different. He loved the other videos of him & his band playing & leading a small community of worshipers; but for this song (“Look Upon the Lord”), he wanted more visual worship imagery and metaphor. And for this video to be the official visual representation of his song.
While brainstorming, we got onto the topic of all those worship lyric videos on YouTube. Have you ever seen them? Well, again, I don’t want to knock anyone’s “art,” and I have no doubt that many of these videos have a good heart & good intentions behind them. But let’s be honest…. they are filled with cheesy animations from Windows Movie Maker, pixellated clip art, cliché christian imagery, and oversized fonts (typically Comic Sans, Papyrus & Monotype Corsiva.) And they get hundreds of thousands…if not MILLIONS… of hits. It’s quite a phenomenon.
Paul challenged me to start putting more of my work up on YouTube, starting with my visual expression of “Look Upon the Lord.” So I went to work, and within a few hours, I had something that I felt proud of.
I’m pleased with the way it came out. There are a few effects in there that I love pulling off in ProPresenter in a live setting. And perhaps this will allow more people to experience visual worship in a personal way. And maybe some people will think it’s cheesy and lame… and that’s OK, too. But I like it. =)
Now many of my videos are already online in the Vimeo world. Vimeo is my favorite, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Vimeo is to YouTube as Instagram is to Facebook. (well, not anymore! haha #wompwomp) But the Vimeo community doesn’t really include the vast majority of humans that are on YouTube every day. So it’s all great that I can post my work for the rest of the creative community to see, but if it’s not on YouTube, then many out there will never see it. And I think it’s time that this visual worship conversation be for the entire Church, not just for those who are leading it every Sunday.
So I’ve decided to run with it, even if just as an experiment. This is also a great opportunity to start taking various worship songs and VJ-ing them for others to see… and at the same time, try to provide some more creative options for the world of worship lyric videos.
You should know a few things though:
These are not original, custom content videos. I’m simply taking what I would do in ProPresenter on any given Sunday, “recording it” (really, I’m just editing it in iMovie & FCP…. yes iMovie… GASP!) and posting it on YouTube. Like I’ve always said, I’m not a content creator…but instead, a content curator. So I’ve curated these visuals, matched them to music, and hopefully it will translate. Also, most of the content is stock, so many times I’ll post the link of where to purchase the individual clips. But the videos in its entirety are not available for download or purchase…sorry. They are simply online for people’s enjoyment and to get inspiration or ideas for their own projects. =)
I’ve also decided to post some older projects on there… even projects that have imagery that I’m quite embarrassed of today. I look back at my old work and think “I can’t believe I used to VJ like that! (wincing) ” But I’m posting it anyways. I don’t know why really…I guess just to be more real and vulnerable. And so people can get in a fun laugh. =)
So I’d love for you to check it out and tell me what you think. If you have any suggestions or any thoughts at all, I’d love to hear them. Thanks for letting me share!