For the past year or so, I’ve been working on a video documentary called The Real Jesus. Part one is entitled: Debunking the Myths of the Jesus Seminar. It is almost an hour long. I also have a working script that would take several more hours if it were produced in its entirety.
You can read the scripts and see clips from the video here:
Part one of the DVD has been about 90 percent complete since August. I like the way it came out. However, my biggest frustration has been that I am not a professional narrator. I am also not a theologian. So I wanted to recruit a good narrator and get about ten Bible experts in front of a camera to record answers to questions in order to flesh out the remaining ten percent of the project. However, the time and expense required has delayed completing the DVD.
Believe it or not, I work as a teacher and The Forerunner International has been my “hobby” for the past five years. I used to work on Christian media projects full-time in the 1990s. This is the type of project that would have taken a month or two to complete on a full-time schedule. I was recently at the point where I felt terrible that this is still not finished and requires more work.
But here is the good news.
Last week, I had a revolutionary idea on what to do with this video.
First, go here and look at this:
I uploaded this last week. It’s lower quality streaming video compared to the same thing I already have at my web site:
But it occurred to me that I might eventually get a bigger audience on YouTube, which has become one of the most popular Internet sites since Google bought it a few months ago. My clip doesn’t have a huge amount of traffic so far, but that will change once I advertise the following on my website.
I am going to produce the entire Real Jesus Seminar as a weekly Podcast!
Within the next few months, I expect that thousands of people will have watched The Real Jesus on YouTube (and as embedded video on other websites). In addition to offering one long seminar on DVD, I am going to offer 10 minute weekly or biweekly clips on the Internet. It will be just like having my own TV show. I will also create Podcasts of other videos I’ve produced.
People will still have the option of ordering the DVD, but I am going to do it differently at first. This way tens of thousands of people will be affected rather than hundreds.
Let me explain how I came to this conclusion. As I explained, the main log jam I encountered in completing the DVD was in getting good narration and finding some “expert theologians” to do the interviews.
It’s not as though theologians are hard to find in central Florida, the main problem is my time and money. I also talked to a video producer friend of mine about hosting the video. That is still an option, but the problem is his commitment to other projects.
Then it dawned on me that I don’t need experts to make it appealing. I can just do it in the style of a Podcast — since that is going to be the format in which most people would want to view it. Essentially, the “stand-ups” can take the form of a round table discussion with two or three friends.
I have two friends in Melbourne, Florida who produced a pro-life video for MTV’s Unfiltered program in 1997. (Yes, I know that sounds strange, more on that later!) I helped my friends, Joel and Ariel, with the videotaping since I was around pro-life activism 24/7 back then. I thought at the time that one day we would do a TV show together.
The way all television is going to be done in the future will be Internet based. When I was growing up, there were less than 10 channels to choose from. When cable came around, suddenly we had a few dozen channels. Then came digital cable and satellite with hundreds of choices. Now within a few years, we will literally have millions of Podcast channels on the Internet. Everyone who wants a TV show will have one.
When I say that I want to produce a Podcast, really what I am talking about is one or two minutes of commentary within one of the videos that I have already produced. Each Podcast will start with a short introduction:
Introductions: “Hi! I’m Joel” and “I’m Ariel”
Ariel: “This is our program on The Real Jesus. This is a DVD produced by Jay Rogers of The Forerunner and we are going to look at the presentation in 10 parts.
Joel: “We are going to look at part one of The Real Jesus — this is a presentation that examines the phenomenon of The Jesus Seminar and whether or not Christians ought to take their claims seriously.”
Ariel: “What is the Jesus Seminar? First, let’s explain what we are talking about.
Joel: “Apparently, it’s this group of liberal theologians who meet once a year and discuss what Jesus really said and did.”
Ariel: “So these are people who claim to be Christian theologians but all they do is cast doubt the validity of the Bible.
Joel: “And whenever there is a popular program about the Bible on ABC, the History Channel or the Discovery Channel, these are the so-called “expert” theologians that get the most air time.”
Ariel: “As Christians we want to be able to offer another view when we encounter someone who has seen one of these programs. I know I do because my friends always want t know what I think. So watch this and you’ll understand more.”
Then we will have the video for seven to nine minutes. It would be followed by a wrap-up of a short discussion and summary. “Wow! That’s great Joel! How can people get this on DVD?”
Some of the Podcasts will have more discussion. Rather than interview the experts, we will research what the experts have written and quote them as part of a round table discussion. I will appear in some of these as the video producer.
That’s it. We will produce the introductions and conclusions to ten programs at a time.
A few years ago people starting putting up streaming videos about their personal lives. It was a newsworthy phenomenon. But webcasting and podcasting have become even more popular now that more people have broadband. Streaming video will soon be up to broadcast quality and beyond. I read somewhere that by 2010, most people will get their television and entertainment this way.
So that’s the plan for the weekend. By Monday, I’ll write up a report on how it went.