So the At The Movies series has become a popular direction for many churches and often finds itself into the summer months. We originally have done this series under the heading “God on Film”, but shifted a few years ago to the At The Movies branding. This year we did a presentation shift as well that was a bit risky for us, but turned out to be a huge win.
We made the decision to pre-shoot and pre-produce each of the five weeks of this series by having our communicators in a studio setting and then splicing the selected clips into each location in the message. This eliminated the live speaker on stage and everything was done on our large center roll down screen.
Our reasons for doing this were:
1/ Our senior pastor and main communicator was out for 12 weeks over the summer for a planned sabbatical. However, because he was able to shoot these prior to departure, he was the communicator for three of the weeks. This was a win!
2/ We also wanted to experiment with using video for our messages at our Windmill campus. We had not done this in our main am services at this, our original and largest campus. to introduce this as an option was important to us. However, we were not completely sure how it would “play.”
It played well. Very well. The momentum from weeks one (attendance up over 800 year over year) carried through all five weeks of the series. It was a momentum and attendance builder during a time of year where we normally begin to slow down.
We added some features like popcorn and a photo area in the lobby, but did not go overboard. However, each time the lights dimmed and the movie soundtrack began to play, people were completely immersed.
Here are the movies we did this summer:
- Hidden Figures
- The Greatest Showman
- The Impossible
Because of copy-write restrictions, we were not able to play these live on our stream or post on our Vimeo on-demand account. In leu, we pre-recorded some intros and outro’s to a “best off” series that we replayed during the message portion online. It was interesting because our online viewing was cut in half, but our physical on campus attendance was way up. It is causing us to have conversations around occasional “scarcity” series that encourage people to actually show up physically.
We also added a variety of features and special music to accompany the movies. One example, we had a solo pianist playing UP theme music as our walk in during that week.
Great series. Momentum builder. Would encourage.
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