Anatomy of a Video – “Embracing on Green Street”

The lastest video I edited was one for this past Sunday at Quest. It was our 6th birthday as a church, and Andy our pastor gave a talk on what it would look like if we were a church that embraced people of all different types and backgrounds in our community. I also have a worship planning team that gets together monthly to throw around ideas for each series and Sunday about a month in advance. This time around, they came up with the idea to have someone in our church stand on a corner on a busy street asking for hugs. We’ve seen videos before where people walk around asking for hugs, and we’ve seen that video where a guy has signs held up asking for high-fives, but we haven’t seen any that combined the two. So that’s what we set out to do. The video didn’t 110% set up the message perfectly, but it was just a fun way of getting the concept across before Andy gave his message.

One of the first things I looked for when pulling this together was that I wanted a guy to be the hugger. It wasn’t worth the risk having a gal do it, and you never know what creepy guys there are out there and what funny business they’d try. So we went with Max who just graduated college, dresses nice, is nice, and does not look creepy. The next thing I wanted was two ladies holding the signs on both sides of him. The reason for wanting girls to do this part, was I felt like if we had even one guy holding a sign, it could come across as a bit creepy. So I felt like we greatly minimized any weird or creepy possibilities with having two girls hold the signs and a guy who you’d love to bring home to mom asking for the hugs. I’ve never brought Max home to my mom, but you get the idea.

Next, we chose to go on a Thursday night around 7:30 on the University of Illinois campus on Green Street. Green is where a lot of the restaurants, bars and other establishments are around campus, so it’s always busy. Plus, being a Thursday it’s closer to the weekend, so hopefully students are in better moods.

The amazing thing about this video was how perfectly all of these things came together. It literally took about 5 seconds of Abby, Maggie, and Max getting into place before someone came up giving Max a hug. What I was blown away by was also the length, tightness, and genuousity of these hugs. People were digging in, and they were loving it. The looks on people’s faces as they hugged Max – a complete stranger – was incredible. It honestly goes to show how much people are craving a simple positive interaction with someone. And honestly, I don’t think many of these people were drunk. As you can see from the video, Max was throughly enjoying it, and even got a hug from a few good looking gals out of the deal. As I was editing this, I left a good 10-15 hugs on the editing room floor that didn’t make the cut simply to time issues. My favorite scene is when the guy in the military thinks Max is crazy, hesitant, stares at him, and when Max opens his arms, goes in for the hug. When we showed this at church, the scene was greeted with applause.

The last thing and maybe one of the biggest things I love about this video is that it has absolutely zero special effects to it. There’s not even a simple fade from one shot to another. It’s simply clip after clip, with music a few subtitles. What I love about this is that it shows you don’t need fancy effects or complicated shots to make a great video…you simply need a great concept and people willing to carry it out.

Thanks to Max, Maggie, Abby, Kevin (the guy Max recruited to take the up close shots), and the worship brainstorming team for helping pull all this together.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here it is.


~ by jcox77 on October 4, 2010.

One Response to “Anatomy of a Video – “Embracing on Green Street””

  1. I loved the video anyway but even more knowing the story behind it and understanding how it was to tie in with the message. Awesomely done by all involved!

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