Youth workers, stop using 2 minute video clips!

On Wednesday 16th of November, I will be teaching another lecture to the youth work honours students (and anyone else who wants to come along) at the International Christian College in Glasgow.

The subject will be ‘youth work and film’ and I will be showing my short film, “prodigal” (see trailer below) and then talking about how we use film with our young people.

one of the issues I want to explore is the ethics of the two minute film clip.

You know what I mean. We all do it.

We pick a scene from a film that matches up with the point we are trying to make with our talk. Seems harmless doesn’t it.

But what does that communicate to young people?

Postmodernism has often been described as the pick and mix ideology. We pick what we like from here and there and build our lives around it. Postmodern religion would be picking bits from all different religions and creating a hodge-podge of spirituality.

And most of us would say that’s wrong.

For years, christians have cherry picked verses from the bible that suit their theology and ignored the ones that they disagree with.

And most of us, even though we do it from time to time, would say that’s wrong.

But then we come to film. And somehow it’s okay to cherry pick bits from films that fit our views and ignore the rest.

Well I say that’s wrong!

I believe that we need to move away from cherry picking film clips and instead show the entire film and let the film speak for itself.

Yes, this is harder. Yes, it means that we need to find news ways of doing illustrations, but I believe it is more ethical.

As a filmmaker, I want people to watch my whole film, not just bits that fit their sermons, and wrestle with all the themes that come out of it.Yes they may not agree with everything in them but that is good for discussion.

So that’s what I’ll be exploring and I hope it will be a lively discussion.

If you’re interested in coming along, please let me know.


4 responses

  1. I agree but it is not just a video clip issue it the use of purposed dominance in communication which may include whole films, images, chessey PowerPoints with words over the top, Chorus. It is counter to the gospel and completely out of step with hypermodernity.

    1. I agree with you Richard and may need to think bigger about what I’m talking about at the college.

      What I do with our youth groups is to sit and watch a film or a piece of music (and look at lyrics) and chat about what they think are the dominant worldviews in each and do we agree with them. i find this a much more interesting and less manipulative way of being critically aware of culture.

  2. […] Youth workers, stop using 2 minute video clips! ( […]

  3. […] should no longer be using two minute clips from films to simply make a theological point. Read them here or […]

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