Video Messages

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I’m not a big video watcher. If given the choice, such as with news stories online, I prefer to read the article.

Maybe it’s so that I can skim, maybe so I can interpret the story for myself instead of having the newscaster do that, and maybe just because reading feels more private whereas turning on a video immediately attracts the attention of my children.

But I use video a lot when I teach. It’s such a powerful medium, hitting us with both sight and sound, able to add color and images and music to words.

With some scenes in my novel, I’ve been thinking how much easier they would be to show in a movie. If you want tension in a movie, you have lighting you can dim, sets you can creepify, music you can make ominous, glimpses you can give of movement in the shadows. In the novel, I have to do all that with nothing but words.

Last week my sister-in-law shared a video message from our church on her blog, which got me thinking about videos as rhetoric rather than just storytelling. And yesterday I stumbled across this one below that appeals so well to my personality.

I love her message of individuality within religion, of how she says she thought God wanted her to be a certain way and then she realized she “totally made that up.” And I love the way it’s paired with a green bird on her finger, a painting of a female matador, and all these other visual glimpses of the unique individual she is.

If I were to create a video expressing my perspective on being a Latter-day Saint (LDS), or Mormon, I’d want it to be a lot like this. (Except different, obviously, since the point here is uniqueness.) And I’d want to share it not just with those who aren’t Mormon but with other Mormon women too.

Sometimes we do get wrong ideas, interpreting words the wrong way. Sometimes we get stuck by those wrong ideas, like the LDS women I sometimes meet who feel like they “can’t” or “shouldn’t” have their own pursuits, etc. Sometimes the simple yet powerful medium of video is perfect for providing new perception.

But it’s also great for someone like me who teaches two evenings a week and writes novels at home during the day, trying to balance my own ambitions with raising young kids. The message I take from the video is reassurance that I’m okay.

What video messages have you seen that used the medium well? When do you think the audio and visual components of video are necessary to help words mean more?

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7 responses »

  1. One of the most powerful messages I’ve ever seen is the one delivered at the end of “The Testaments.” I first saw that video in the MTC and besides myself, most my district was crying in the moment when Papanwa says “But you can see, and that is enough” and the Savior comes and says his name and heals him (I’m misting up picturing it). I can’t get through that part with crying because it speaks of faith, of miracles, of healing and of the personal love and attention the Savior has for each of us. That’s my favorite video message.

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    • I agree! There’s a video about Christ that my stake always shows during baptisms (while you’re waiting for your turn), and that makes me cry too. When it’s well done, video is so emotionally powerful.

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  2. I saw this one the other day and smiled through the whole thing. I realized I’d made some stuff up too. I don’t have to be someone else’s perfect. I can be mine. Such a happy thought. 🙂

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    • Love the way you put that. I love that life is about readjusting, tweaking our perceptions, heading in new directions, and letting some things go. And I love coming across messages that inspire me to do all that. 🙂

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  3. Let me predicate my statement with I’m not religious at all, nor am I a woman, but that was a great and inspiring video about being who we desire to be. Thanks for posting that!

    p.s. Found your blog by accident. I think from Diana Stoneman’s Sweet and Sour Grapes webcomic. I read the True Grit post and saw this one too.

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