Caught! | A poem

They dragged me to the square
I knew I left a trail of shame in the dust.
But drag me they must
Subject of lust
I’d been caught red handed
Now I’d be branded
Shamed, cast out, spat upon.
Despised,
I realised
I didn’t care, for inside I screamed
Inside I shouted, reckless, self hating anger!
I never doubted-
That I had nothing
So had nothing to lose
Numb. Cold. Hurting. Hurt or be hurt.
I reached out for love
Reached out for the love I’d never had
Reached out to belong, to be held.
Oh what a mistake!
What a mistake.
This love didn’t touch the inside
Couldn’t touch the soul side
Just made me despise
Realise
The cold, pointlessness.
Emptiness.

They dragged me, they beat me
They hate me, they cheat me
They dump me, expose me
To stone me
To break me
To end me
To e n d me
Caught
In adultery

…..
The silence is perceiving
Why is no one accusing?
Or kicking or growling?
That man he has spoken
Every conscience has woken
The fury has broken
A whisper has won
All my accusers have gone
To the last
Heads downcast
Forgot my past
But remembered theirs

His voice quiet and hushed now
And yet like the thunder
Every word he utters
Shakes me to the core.
They bypass the gore
The grime and the crime
He says “not condemned,
Go make amends”
Why does he stare?
Why should he care
But his eyes pierce my heart
Give me a new start
I want to run?
I want to cry,
I want to hide?
My life runs before me
I know He sees through me
His love seems to fill me
To melt me, to heal me
His gaze holds me speechless
Mercy spreads as it reaches
Inside all my thoughts
My fears and my feelings
Oh wonderful love
Wonderful love
Now he affirms me, understands me
Confirms me
Kindness. Pure kindness transforms me and lifts me.
Light fills all my being
I feel like I’m singing
His praises ringing
Me, who condemned stands here ready to die
Instead I shall fly
Instead I shall follow
This man who gives me
Tomorrow

You’re more creative than you think

God, the greatest of all creators, the One who fashioned the Sun, and the humpback whale, and the Great Dane, made us in his image. The Divine image has been stamped upon us. We alone are made in the image of God. God has given us the glorious task of representing him on the earth. Of showing the world what our God is really like. Of showing the watching world that our God is a creative master who loves to bring beauty out of chaos.

Here’s an excellent post by Stephen Altrogge on creativity:

Make God Look Great. Create.

‘The Journey’ – A Live Music and Stories Event

The Vision

I was tasked to help bring to life a vision that a few guys had for a music event which brings out our churches history with songs, and stories why those songs came to be.
At first I was a little reticent as I didn’t want it just to be a nostalgic throwback, but Rob, Chris, and Aidan assured me it would reflect how God uses everyday people to shape his church. And they were right as the time together was deep and inspiring. It’s well worth a watch.

Choosing Kit

These days you can get a good looking image for comparatively little money, and I’d had plenty of experience with using Sony’s A7 series mirrorless kit whilst working for Upbeat Image. These full frame cameras give you a lovely shallow depth of field and hold up well in low light – two essentials for recording the event. I was able to borrow a couple of these cameras (thanks Viv) and only had to hire a small amount. All the kit I used was able to record at 50 frames per second in full HD, as YouTube now supports that feature and makes for smoother playback compared to 25fps.

Kit List

  • 2x A7S – one on a moving gimbal, one on a tripod
  • 1x A7R – handheld with inbuilt image stabilisation
  • 1x GH3 – wide angle view
  • 2x GoPro – drums
  • 1x JVC camcorder – for a live feed to Chris in the engineers recording lounge

Working out how to set up the Came-TV mini2 gimbal with a little help from YouTube

Filming

During the event the audio recording was being handled by Chris, who was monitoring it in a separate lounge adjacent to the main room. Viv was roaming about on a tablet doing monitor mixes for the musicians.

I was aiming for an intimate feel with the filming, so it’s like you’re there among the people. The gimbal was important to achieve this so I could take the viewer around the room in a smooth way. When it came to the event it was hard not to get into the music and just concentrate on filming. Songs like A New Revolution especially!

The Cameras

Simon’s interview. My wife Anna was on the main camera for interviews and singers. This was an A7S with 70-200mm f2.8 lens which is brilliant for head shots

Anna had an external monitor with focus zoom so she could tell what was in focus, as it’s hard recording in HD to get such a shallow depth of field right

David was on the A7R with a 50mm f0.95 lens, perfect for getting artistic shots

David also captured the testimonies from a different angle

I was using the gimbal with an A7S and a wide angle 21mm f2 lens. Try using one for 3 hours!

The Panasonic GH3 was at the back getting a wide angle shot of the whole room

1st GoPro stuck on the side of the floor tom

2nd GoPro overhead

One of my favourite songs from the event:

Editing

There was a lot to work through – over 350GB of data! The files from the cameras were sorted into folders named after who operated the camera, and then backed up twice.
Due to David and myself moving about it was hard to edit keeping us both out of shot. But I just about managed it, though there are plenty of times you see one of us!
The pace of the edit depended on the tempo of the song, so slow songs had shots which lingered on the singers more, and fast songs had quicker cuts. Once I had done an initial edit of a track I sent it to our sound engineer Chris so that he could mix with video, and bring out certain instruments when they appeared on screen if need be. Once he had mixed the music he sent me a high quality file which I then aligned to the right place in the timeline.

The hardest part was the difficulty I had trying to colour grade the five different types of cameras so they matched! I got there in the end but still a lot to learn with this skill.

To add the finishing touches Aidan came up with some superb graphics to introduce each song and testimony. They were created in Cinema 4D and exported as a PNG sequence with alpha channel so I could just put over the top of the footage in the edit.

The best thing was that the event itself carried depth and meaning. Hearing the stories of why each song came to be, and then singing it give it significance and meaning. The worship songs near the end really lifted off as people were fully relaxed and able to blank out the cameras and mics.

Improvements

I’d make some changes to improve the filming. For starters I’d have only one moving camera with the rest on tripods or monopods to minimise crew in shot. I’d plan the event in more detail to work out who is singing beforehand and make sure one camera is on them the whole time. It would be better with a larger room so we can film looking past people onto the musicians, and have the foreground and background interest. Here’s to next time!