I’ve spoken a bit about my work in Drama Ministry at my church. Today, I want to share with you just a piece of what we do. In the video below, we took an internet sensation, “Kid History,” (or “Kid Snippets”) and re-purposed the idea with the nativity story.
The results are pretty funny.
Check it out here:
When you’ve had a little chuckle, you can check out the other two videos in our series:
For those who are curious, the process for making these videos is a lot of fun.
- We begin by asking the parents of the children to read through the story. They work the kids until they can work their way through the story. At the same time, I’m coming up with questions that will prompt the kids to give us something along the lines of what we’re looking for.
- My filmmaker Jeremy and I then take a couple hours with each set of kids (two sets in the first two videos, three in the Christmas one) to record them telling the story, making jokes, playing around, and generally being kids. We ask our questions, get them to act out scenes, and sometimes just let them go. In the last video, we ended up with about an hour of footage for each set of kids.
- After that is compiled, we note our favourite parts. Jeremy then spends a good number of hours cutting away everything we can’t use, such as adults speaking or airplanes ruining our sound, or whatnot.
- After all the fat is cut away, we start compiling all of the lines that we need to tell the story, and the golden bits that we just NEED to have in the video. For Christmas, this left us with about 13 minutes of footage.
- Then comes the heartbreaking process of cutting out a number of those NEEDS in order to get the video down to a proper time, in the most recent case, about 8 minutes.
- Jeremy then hands off the 8 minute video of the kids to me, and I create a script for our actors. This involves a lot of listening to a few seconds, typing it out, then listening again to make sure I’ve got it down properly. Some times, when I can’t actually figure out what the kids are saying, we have to figure it out as we film. This is where we decide which character gets to say what lines.
- The final script is sent out to our actors along with the audio of the kids for them to begin practicing. They will listen and read through the script a few times to make sure they know what’s expected of them.
- I then get to create a beautiful storyboard for the film. Sometimes, Jeremy and I will work together to make sure we have the same vision for how each scene will play out. It looks something like this.
- Then we shoot! Costumes and props are collected, green screen, lights, and film equipment is set up, and food is laid out. Our adult actors show up, and we spend between 7 and 10 hours filming over the course of a Sunday afternoon-evening. Jeremy and I co-direct, and we work through our storyboard, crossing out shots as we go. For the first time, our Christmas video required a second day of shooting, but it was just one of my scenes (seriously, like 10 seconds of footage), so we didn’t need to bring everyone back in.
- Then begins the time-consuming process of editing our adult shoot into the wonderful video you see before you. Jeremy carries the heavy load here, with my input helping to guide a few times over the week. Backgrounds are chosen, colours are corrected, effects are added, and magic happens.
- Finally, we preview the video for staff and cast and make any final edits we deem necessary before:
- We show the video in church!
And that’s the process. The Christmas video took well over a month from first recording the kids to final presentation, but it was worth it.
I hope you find the videos uplifting. In the end, I think that we’ve created something entertaining that also gets the story of Jesus out there. But what do you think?