A Gethsemane Moment

 

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We’ve continued in our series in Mark (entitled “Encounter”) as we inch closer to Easter this year, and the inevitable moment arrived in our creative planning: How do does one handle the topic of pain through the lens of Jesus’ experience in the Garden of Gethsemane?

Such pain is not normal pain… it’s not like a toothache or a broken heart.  It’s wholly other.  It’s the type of pain that alters the course of one’s life.  After a “gethsemane moment,” one is forever changed.

But how can a team capture such a moment?  Such a powerful moment from Scripture cannot find an equal, but we figured there might be a story from someone within our church that could relate to this sort of pain or loss.

In 2006, two teenage girls – Brooke and Kylie Prendes – discovered that their daddy, a policeman, had been shot and killed forever changing the course of their lives.  Here is their story:

 

To handle the scope of such a story, and to do so from the perspective of BOTH Brooke and Kylie, we decided it would be best to capture their story through voice over.  We asked them to each take some time and write their stories down.  What they wrote would make an incredible short film. Truly. The details… the small things easily remembered through such a tragic event can really leave an impact on the reader. However, we only had about 5 minutes in our service carved out for this moment, So, we asked them to trim it down… a lot. The next iteration was better and much shorter.  Yet even after their edits, this video would have easily been 7-8 minutes in length. So… we asked them to do the impossible: Trim each block of their story by three or four more sentences each. Undoubtedly, the cuts and edits were hard for them to do since every memory was precious and worth sharing.  But here’s the beauty to this process… both Kylie and Brooke were the ones that determined the cut, not a video editor. They were the ones that distilled this story down to it’s essential elements.  (This is KEY when tackling a powerful story within a tight creative timeline within a service).  The result was a beautifully crafted story from both of their prospectives that hit 5 minutes in length on the mark.

Since the story was captured through voice over, we had to capture video in a way that told the story through compelling visuals.  We decided to shoot at four locations: 1. The Police Memorial Park – where there is a tree planted in Henry Prendes’ honor. 2. One of their homes – where we would also capture family photos. 3. In front of a police station. 4. And finally Henry’s gravestone with the full family present.  In all locations, we also captured b-roll of items that related to their story (uniform, badge, and cartridges from his 21 gun salute).

With the exception of a few scenes of video from the memorial that took place soon after Henry’s death in 2006, every seen was shot in 4K at 60fps – This was to fit the feel of the story.  When the footage was slowed down, it created a “slomo” effect that seemed to fit the mood of the piece.

Coming out of this video, we chose a song called “Do it Again” that speaks to God’s providence in times of trouble. As the video neared it’s end and the music bed faded, our worship team went into this song – this created a seamless transition from video to song.

So, how does one handle the topic of pain through the lens of Jesus’ experience in the Garden of Gethsemane?  Answer: through a lot of planning, working and re-working, and people willing to share their life-altering experience.

 

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