Thursday, 29 July 2010

Red Letters

Red Letters from Salomon on Vimeo.

I had a busy week of meeting with people. But its been good getting perspective and giving some. I had a really good meeting with Mike, our church's lead elder and showed him the latest project I have been working on - I always get quite nervous when I show any elder the latest piece - because ultimately they have a final say on whether or not we can use it in any form - I would hate for something to get canned - and it has before - but for hugely legitimate reasons.

Needles to say, Red Letters is hopefully punchy, gritty but could be perceived as 'dark'. I think the aim for me is to always work on content that gets people asking questions. Especially for people who have no idea, no concept of who Jesus is or what it means to have relationship with him.

If I can use audio and visuals that probe in people's hearts the following questions and to some extent provide the answers then I feel like I've made an impact for the Kingdom of Heaven:

1. What do I believe?
2. Is this really Christian [based on common misconception that everything 'Christian is 'nice' and 'happy' and nothing is ever 'real' and 'honest'
3. How does this make me feel inside?

I think there are more questions but these are the gist of it.

I love doing things in a cinematic way - often achieved by writing a good score, but I think often telling a story by obscuring details is also a means of telling a story cinematically.

I look at the films I love the most, Bourne Ultimatum, Man on Fire, Taking Pelham 123, and Seven and it surprises me how often things are very hidden and oscured, blurry or very shaky. Its amazing that when the music and sound design is solid - almost anything goes visually. Take Bourne for instance - so many times its hard to pick apart some of what is going on visually because its so messy and gritty - but the score is so strong that you always have a sense of what is happening. One scene stands out - when Neil Daniels is chatting to a reporter at a coffee shop - all you can see is his one eye [the rest of his face obscured by the reporter ]- as he is telling the reporter the 'ugly truth'. I imagine if one were to see this shot out of context from the whole film - the shot would get canned - but it makes so much sense when pieced together with the rest of the story.

All this to say, I like the use of visual devices where things become obscured because it lends itself to probing questions in the viewer. I think if there's one thing that we can be clear on, its the message of the Gospel, but the means of how this is portrayed can be used very creatively, subtly or overtly. Book of Eli - an awesome example of subtle but overt Gospel truths.

Ultimately the Holy Spirit convinces people of the Truth. My prayer is that He would use anything and everything that I create to turn people's heart to Jesus.

Last thing I want is for people to feel brainwashed - so much of religion does that very well , but rather, I want to people to know Jesus, the way I have gotten to know him - in a massively personal sense - and even more so in recent years.

St Francis of Assisi coined one of my favorite phrases -

'preach the Gospel at all times - if necessary use words'

Mark 16vs15 = Mission Statement

I will go into all the details of how I went about it later


  1. I find it amazing how people gifted in certain areas naturally pick up nuances they love. I could watch the same scene in a movie and not even notice the things that would grab you. I love that.

  2. I absolutely loved this piece, you have a really amazing and unique style. I especially admire it as an editor, and would love to know how you go about the editing process to create the style you have in all your pieces. Have you written and 'behind the scenes' style blogs to explain this?

  3. hey TJ

    Will work on a behind the scenes video in a few days...going on a surf trip in a couple of hours - so maybe in like 5 days.

    Glad you like the stuff!

  4. amazing stuff man. I live in Sharjah and am excited to see such talents here in the UAE being used for His glory.

    by the way, where do you surf, Jumeirah beach? I'm from Cocoa Beach, Florida and have been wanting to get out in the water here; haven't yet though.

  5. yeah dude - I surf at Sunset Beach by the Burj Al Arab and also at JBR... What are you doing here?!

  6. Awesome... I need to get out some time. I'm in the Surfers of Dubai and Surf Dubai facebook groups but I haven't had the chance to get out yet. And I'm leaving in late October back for Florida.

    I'm doing work amongst the Afghan migrant workers. The NGO I'm here with has a food project in which we give out $600 worth of food a week to people living in labor camps. It's been incredible work. I got to spend 6 months last year in Afghanistan learning Farsi. That was pretty incredible.

    Are you here doing media full time?

  7. Beautiful work. You definitely accomplished what you set out to do, I felt the questions and heard the answers.

    What did the elder say about this piece?

  8. Yeah he 'liked' it! He thought is was powerful! So that helps! That's why its now on our church's website as part of the Statement of Faith

  9. That's awesome. What church do you go to, I'd love to check out the site. Our church is smaller so our resources are a bit tight but there are a few of us there that are trying to push ourselves to create pieces that will impact and draw more people in.

  10. its a church called Well of Life check out our website