Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's All in the Angles

I recently had an interesting conversation with a media minister for one of the large churches in the area.  He was telling me about his early days using media in worship settings and he told me that he had a significant amount of success using video in youth retreats in the 80s but he thought that might have been due to the way that they used camera angles to suggest certain ideas.  He said that this was probably unethical and that churches need to think carefully and theologically about how they use video and what they suggest with their angles.

This conversation really got me to thinking about how much churches should be pushing their agendas subconsciously through film and camera angles.  The question for me is, "what is appropriate use of film in a worship setting?"  This question is muddied by the generally artistic nature of film.  If film is the work of the artist, what are the ethical obligations that we should put on that film maker?  Is there a way to use film in worship neutrally, without pushing our agenda as a church?  Are there ways that pushing our agenda could hurt us more than it could help us in certain situations?

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