Careful of Clips – Part 2

Yesterday I raised what is probably the main reason for caution in the use of movie clips – they can so easily overwhelm and therefore undermine the message.

But then there are other issues. Here are five more to ponder.

1. Transitions. The transition from you to the clip and back to you needs to be seamless (picture, sound and lighting). A five second pause in a message is no problem, but a five second pause before a movie clip is about four seconds too long!

2. Necessary explanation. How much explanation needs to be given to contextualize the clip for those that have not seen the movie (and would you use a spoken illustration that needs minutes of context in order to make sense?)

3. Time consuming. Finding an appropriate clip can be very time consuming (I’m sure I’m not the only one who has searched for a clip only to be thwarted by one inappropriate word or image in every possible clip).

4. A better option? Is showing it the best option or would it be equally or more effective to verbally describe the scene yourself? (I once used an illustration and quote from Gladiator that worked well, but the clip was unusable due to gory content.)

5. Movie content issues. Finally there is the ever-present issue of movie content – are you condoning everything in that movie for everyone present?

A movie clip can be an effective enhancement device in a sermon. But for it to work many things have to line up – idea of clip, placement in sermon, composition of audience, content of movie, length of explanation required, emotional power of clip, expertise of tech-crew, etc. When these things all line up, go for it. Otherwise, be careful of clips.

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