#STORY2012 :: Hillsong Creative Team – Philosophy of Storytelling

Paul Nevison and Salomon Ligthelm serve on the Hillsong Creative team in Sydney, Australia. They’re specialties are film and enlarging people’s view of God. Checkout what they have to say about their philosophy of filmmaking.

 

  • Conferences, Vision Filmsm, Church News/Promos
  • We are responsible for 35 weekend services
  • 1600 videos produced 2011
  • 18 staff
  • Paul
  • My role in churches is using film to enlarge people’s view of God
  • Soloman
  • Philosophy of Story Telling
  • When film is done right it makes your feel something.
  • We experience the world through our emotions. It’s how we make sense of the world.
  • Emotion is what makes life really rich.
  • “Cinema has become the modern cathedral and is the grand concert of the all the arts.” – Robert Mckee
  • If I watch something I want to feel something. Not just get information.
  • In church life I think we can get dragged down with putting out information.
  • what makes a great story?
    • On paper it could be a great story
    • But the story needs to be well-told
  • What are great stories?
    • Most stories are 1+1=2 but the really great stories are 1+1=3
    • They have a greater truth that we can tap into.
    • We identify with people’s vulnerabilities and failures rather than their successes.
  • Often times we don’t let the story speak for itself.
  • The best films are the ones where we don’t notice the filmmaking.
  • They have subtleties, style, taste, and great timing.
  • As filmmakers we want to get lost in the story.
  • “All story is manipulation.” – Ken Burns
  • As soon as you take a camera and put it in a situation it is false. The difference is in the motivation of the filmmaker.
  • From a context of a ‘christian filmmaker’ we are actually trying to tell a story and lead someone to a greater truth.
  • “It is not what a mean does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.” – AW Tozer
  • When you discover truth for yourself instead of someone forcing it on you, it is your own.
  • Story can exist in many different formats.
  • Why do we like film?
  • Film is possibly the only format that includes all of the other formats.
  • The thing about film is that you can focus your audience in on a very specific detail.
  • Film increases the collaboration in forms of scale.
  • Film can make the gospel accessible in areas where it is not generally accessible.
  • What is our mandate as filmmakers?
    • We are supposed to make good content and good films.
    • Our mandate to do good films, not necessarily “Christian” films.
    • We don’t necessarily have to force the gospel.
    • If we are intimate with God then it will flow out into our films.
  • “Acting/directing should be directed toward uncovering certain universals – the human spirit or nature and above all, truth.” – Constantin Stanislavski
  • Our message must be relevant. We have to always contend for truth, but we must always contextualize the truth with style.
  • “I don’t believe in elitism. I don’t think the audience is this dumb person lower than me. I am the audience.” – Quentin Tarantino
  • We can’t force feed the gospel to people.
  • The idea is the boss.
  • We take turns on being director.
  • Eventually the audience is the boss as they are watching the film.
  • “Collaboration is not a democracy…there is always a director.” – Hans Zimmer

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