What The Church Can Learn from Hollywood


The other day I ran across this post by veteran cinematographer Shane Hurlbut.

Shane is one of several HDSLR revolutionaries bound and determined to educate people on how to turn their Prosumer stills cameras into legitimate film-making tools.

I absolutely love it, and I think we can learn something from it.

Frankly most of the time when I read Shane’s mediocre blog posts, I’m blown away by the complexity of each scene. From haze to pyros to light arrays to helicopters hanging from cranes, it’s good to keep in perspective the amount of production behind what most Americans think of as “good film”.

At the same time the amount of creativity Hurlbut brings to each and every frame is something every church video producer could learn from.

  • He works within budgets (though significantly bigger than ours).
  • He has setbacks (usually much bigger than ours)
  • He knows exactly what tools he has available and how they will help him achieve his goal.

I feel like so many times we set the bar too low for church production. We say it’s because of budget or tools, but I guarantee you that if you gave Shane Hurlbut, your media budget and your tools he could produce something fantastic.

So much of good video/film images relies on the experience and knowledge of the person behind the camera and experience and knowledge are things that people like Shane make available for free.

Here are my challenges for you, a producer of church media.

Set the bar for your creativity Hollywood high. Don’t look at what other churches are doing to decide whether your work is adequate, set huge budget films as the standard for your work and let your creativity get you as close as possible.

I bet you’ll be surprised what you end up with.


Brian Notess

<3 Code, <3 Film, <3 Coffee. Combine ingredients for instant fun.

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  1. says

    Thanks for sharing this. I love reading about 5d and 7d stuff.
    Once again, reading this post and others just inspires me to want to create create create, just what this post was all about.

  2. says

    Yeah, great point…


    we’re not even that good at telling stories yet, so we’d just end up with another “high quality Christian production with a low quality story. Blair Witch Project taught us otherwise.

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