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Filmmaking

A major part of my call to ministry is the integration of digital filmmaking with ministry. Learning the basics to quality filmwork has been a long and grueling process. But along the way I've made many friends and grown in my ability to communicate through this robust storytelling medium.

It's a bit pretentious to call myself a filmmaker, especially since I only focus on short-films and videos for the church, but filmmaking is exactly how I approach every video I make. What separates a film from a video is a keen focus on narrative. And indeed, it is a well-told story that makes or breaks a piece. But the value of narrative is not new for Christians. The power of story is inherently rooted within the Bible itself.

Rather than exist as a dry, robotic manual of rules and obligations, God chooses to communicate His enduring love for humankind through narrative. Stories of heroes and villains, judgment and mercy, brokenness and salvation. His story is one of ultimate hope as love conquers sin once and for all through the coming of the chosen one, the Messiah, our great Savior, Jesus Christ.

In light of the Bible's master storytelling, no screenplay can compare, but given this generation's affection for visual stories, I press on to refine my craft of filmmaking in the hope that I might better connect with people in more meaningful ways. Below are recent samples of my work.

INSTITUT PASTORAL KIKONGO - ENGLISH VERSION 2016

Glen and Rita Chapman have dedicated their entire lives to serving the people of Kikongo. Their story is a rich history of generations of families who have put others ahead of themselves. They are the guardians of the pastoral training school known as the Institut Pastoral Kikongo. To tell their story, I chose to incorporate their students who shared their own story in their own words.

This is the shortened English version. Click here for the full version (French, Bantu, Lingala with subtitles).

MORE THAN ENOUGH - EVERGREEN CAPITAL CAMPAIGN 2015

Raising money for the church can be an awkward and intimidating process. For this project I was tasked with producing a video that would tactfully introduce the campaign in a way that was authentic to our church, and yet explicit with our financial needs. With a long history of sacrificial giving and God's overwhelming blessing, the story was easy to find.

As a side note for the detail-oriented video watcher, I make windows (glass, not the PC kind) a recurring symbol throughout the video. It's purpose is to hint at the video's function as a window into the church's history and toward its future. 

Community - Church Camp 2014

This video was used as a promotion piece to help draw interest for our biennial church-camp. The focus of the weekend was Christian community. Rather than just tell people the who, what, and where of our weekend, I attempted to present our speaker, Kevin Doi, in a more thoughtful and intimate way. I sat down with him to get his personal thoughts on community.

Exceedingly Fond - Asian American Initiative 2015

For this video I chose to focus on Rev. Dr. Ken Fong's personal narrative of discovering for himself God's gracious affection. While Christians are all aware that God loves us, do we really believe that God likes us? To support his journey I added three animation sequences to give life to his storytelling. I thought this especially important for the retelling of the "prodigal son" story since it is such a common, and well-known story. It was quite a process going from storyboard to animation, for more details, check out my post.