Filmaker Lessons: Craig Detweiler From Pepperdine University

Craig Detweiler of Pepperdine University is speaking to us on what we can learn from Filmakers about telling the New Creation story.

With insights and direction from the book Making Movies Work: Thinking Like A Filmaker.

Here are my notes:

1. Voyeuristic (head)
Peering into the lives of others; does this feel real, true to my experience; recreating a time and a place; extensive research; a believable world; attention to detail; lighting, costumes, production design, invested in online and physical building; appeal to mind’s eye; would I like to spend time there.

Look, Set Design

2. Vicarious (heart)
We enter into the emotional experience of the character; rooted in believable performances, music, lighting, closeups, appeal to the heart; relate to characters; rooting for them; suffer with them; “is this the way people behave?” Do others root for you as a leader?

Emotion, Script Performance

3.  Visceral (gut)
Thrills, chills, spills; rollercoaster ride, grabs you; holds you tight; paces; expert editing; barrage of images and sound; an experience; is it exciting? Visceral churches? Stunning; altering; hit you in the gut.

Thrill, Pace Editing

What Makes A Classic?
All 3 elements together = a classic. Lord Of The Rings is the new Star Wars. Tolkien’s imagination was about 50 years beyond Hollywood’s ability to recreate it.

Why do movies move us?
The kind of movies we like reflect the aspects of God with which we are most comfortable. Interesting idea.

Movies at their best are “trinitarian.”

What does this have to do with the church?
Head –
Creator, Designer – Father (type of church? 3 point sermons, mainline, reformed)
Heart –
Suffering, Compassion – Son (altar calls, evangelicals, baptists)
Gut –
Thrilling, Surprising – Spirit (spiritual gifts, pentecostal, charismatic)

Holistic worship experiences are the key to growth as a worship community. Sacraments each week mean that quiet reflection is vital.

The church is not meant to “outdo” Hollywood; but rather to give God room to act in your service.

Not bigger, louder, faster. Don’t want your money back – we want our time back.

Add depth to what you do: Smaller, quieter, slower is the key.

We want depth, not fast food. The whisper must be as loud as the earth, wind and fire.