Red Ferris Wheel
Zach Fonville is one of the few media producers that “gets it”. He creates stunning, creative visuals to use in the church that aren’t distracting. I was SO happy when I heard Brad Zimmerman at CMDtv talk about Zach because it changed my church’s Sunday morning. Before RedFerrisWheel, we were using some cool loops, but it just wasn’t “there”. But after hearing about RFW (and USING them), it just wasn’t the same.
Why do I say he “gets it”? I think that Zach understands that it isn’t the visual that matters, but rather the emotion and message in the song and in the worship that matters. His visuals just reinforce that emotion and message. His use of color and visual simplicity is fantastic. He forsakes a focused image for blur and abstraction. I love that because even though the worshiper is watching a video, there’s nothing to attract your eye to the video, but rather focus on the words and the worship, while also being able to take in the color and the visual. I LOVE that.
One of the defining characteristics of Zach’s pieces are their use of color. They are usually pretty simple, kept to 1 or 2 colors, but some offer more a variety in hue. One of the greatest things that you can do with ProPresenter 4 or ProVideoPlayer is change the hue of the video. So even though his original piece was blue, you can change the hue to green or yellow to match the environment you’re setting as one of the worship leaders! (If you haven’t heard of “color theory”, I highly recommend reading the first part of Smashing Magazine’s mini-series HERE.)
If you lead worship, you need to understand how color and visuals both aid and detract from worship. As Stephen pointed out in his “3D Worship” post, worship is for GOD and not for us. Yes, God gives us an awesome gift in being able to enjoy worship, but we need to remember it’s for his glory and not our own. Our worship needs to reflect this in every aspect, even down to the visuals we use. Are the videos you use during your services aiding worship or detracting from worship? I challenge you to ask yourself this question:
Why are you using it?
Do you have an answer? If not, you need to be careful. The point of using visuals in worship is not just to do it. God doesn’t JUST put trees in the ground to look pretty. He also put trees in the ground so that they can grow, get big and develop leaves that produce oxygen for us to breathe. God has a reason and purpose for EVERYTHING he does. Do you?
Like I said before, I love Fonville’s work because of its simplicity. In many cases, his work aids my congregation in worship. I highly recommend checking him out and taking his stuff for a spin. =]
Zach’s website is RedFerrisWheel.com – he offers all of his visual creations on his site for FREE…there’s a lot of motions on there, as well as bundles of stills. So knock yourself out, and spread the word! You can also follow Zach on Twitter: @redferriswheel
Nathaniel is Proctor’s awesome summer intern at Grateful Inconvenience. He does it all: somersaults, push-ups, and spit balls. Be careful: if you see him in the wild, he may walk up to you and give you a high five.