Bumper Video — A Creative Mini Film

‘Lies We Believe’ Offered Chance to Portray the Supernatural

So, recently, I had the opportunity to put together a bumper video for a sermon series titled, ‘Lies We Believe,’ for Shawnee Alliance Church in Lima, Ohio. The series addressed the various lies that Satan whispers into our thoughts in his efforts to steer us away from the good things God has in store for us.

I love doing these sermon bumper videos because they really give me a chance to let loose with my creativity, special effects, and pension for moody or dramatic scenes. The opportunity to visually represent the most powerful supernatural forces in the universe totally geeks out the filmmaker in me — we are talking about the power of God after all — or, in this case, the wiles of the devil. Sermon topics also touch heavily on the human psyche and the way we react to spiritual influence and situations in life. That’s always the stuff of good story and, subsequently, good film.

The Story

For the Lies bumper, we wanted to represent the various forms that the lies come in. The series was to focus on four primary lies – one each week – but we wanted to represent that each of those has variations. For instance, the lie “I’m not good enough,” is essentially the same as, “they’re better than me.” I chose to use audio of Satan’s voice whispering different versions of the lies into people’s minds while even more versions of the lies floated eerily in and out on the screen with a custom motion graphics template. Finally, a voice, representing each of the character’s own thoughts spoke the main lie that the others were were versions of. I thought this best represented how Satan whispers in our ear repeatedly until the whisper becomes our own thought.

Behind The Scenes

To get the audio, we recorded staff members acting out the lies. They all did a great job, though one gal in particular, who is so filled with the joy of the Lord all the time, had tremendous difficulty “feeling” the lie and required many takes. It was quite entertaining. I knew right from the beginning who I wanted to voice Satan — Assistant Pastor Kris. He did not disappoint. Kris is never afraid to stir the pot once in a while and required very little coaching to get the perfect devil’s whisper. Thanks, Kris! 🙂

Visually, I used stock footage of individuals in various forms of worry or emotional stress to suggest a mood of self-dissatisfaction. And while the voice of Satan spoke his whispers, a dark, smoky cloud writhed near the person’s head, representing his dark influence. At the end of each scene, except for the last, when the character finally accepts the lie as their own, the smoky cloud goes away as Satan has won and no longer needs to exert his influence. In the last scene, when the lie is accepted, the cloud grows, becomes darker and envelops the character. The blackness of the smoke also transforms into inky blue and red swirls, which then becomes the closing title graphic — the sermon background graphic as chosen by the staff. The graphic was given to me at the start of the project and played a large roll in my decision to use the smoky cloud to represent Satan.

The third scene made a break from the standard stock footage — which all began to look the same to me after picking three for the other scenes. Instead, I turned to my own footage collection and grabbed a clip from one of my short films, putting my friend and star of two of my films Alex Parker center stage once again. Alex, you’re so versatile!

A Rainbow of Bumpers

The ‘Lies We Believe’ bumper video is a sort of narrative bumper, a bumper that introduces a topic through imagery, It kind of tells a story of its own to prepare the viewer for the topic that is coming next. But there are many other types of bumper videos, also called “introduction videos” or intro videos, or just “intros”.

One of the most common types of bumper or intro videos is the branded intro. This kind of bumper is the short bit of video you often see at the beginning of YouTube videos that are released on a regular schedule. They identify the YouTube channel or video series that the video is a part of. You will also see them at the beginning of training videos or motivational videos and the like. They serve a similar purpose as a title sequence to a TV show. Sometimes a branded bumper is used in the middle or end of a video to re-identify the channel or to identify a sponsor. A branded intro is usually fast-paced and either features or ends with the channel or series logo. And, of course, it’s accompanied by music designed to get the viewer’s attention so they sit up and take notice of the video.

Noble Warrior Studios can help you with both Branded Intro and Narrative Bumper videos, or whatever sort of bumper video you have need of. We can film and record custom footage and audio, or edit your intro from stock. Get your intro customized for use on the web, DVD/Blu-ray distribution, live projection or other media format. Please give us a call and get a free quote on your project: 419-905-0324.

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