Saying “Thank You” – A Christian Music Video

I’ve recently finished making a Christian music video to a song called “Thank You”. This is different from usual in that the singer would like to stay anonymous and keep the attention on the song itself. She is aware of the feedback it has generated and thrilled it is reaching many people for Jesus.
I and others had to put a lot of planning into making it as it was the first performance music video we’d done and care needed to be taken to ensure we looked after individuals. I first heard the song being played during the Winning Festival in August 2014:

I was struck then by how genuine the song came across, and thought it would be great to turn it into a video as it would communicate to everyone, especially young people.

Many months later Chris (the Jesus Army sound engineer) recorded and mixed the song in the music studio, with the decision to play it on piano rather than guitar:


Hearing the song on piano immediately made me think of the song being sung with a piano on The Deco stage with some spot lights on her. After a bit more thinking I had the image of a projector in the auditorium showing sequences above her head. Before we started filming I worked through any issues with senior Church leaders, safeguarding, and pastoral covering.

There were two videos to make – the video projected over the singer’s head and the final performance video. We shot the first video in an afternoon and had various angles of her writing the song in her book, singing to the camera, and outdoor shots. This was quickly edited and then we were ready to film the performance.

Using VLC Remote Control to playback the track and projector sequence

Using VLC Remote Control to play the track and projector sequence

JC Projector

Filming at The Deco with the laptop playing the music and video, out of sight next to the projector

I had drafted a rough storyboard for the shots at The Deco and had lighting cues ready for Tim to follow behind the lighting desk. As I wanted the video to retain the simple nature of the song I didn’t want to overcomplicate filming with lots of extravagant shots, so I mainly used a tripod and then a couple of slider shots close to the piano. It’s important that the visual direction is in keeping with the song and its message. We filmed the song around 20 times covering many different angles – something I’m used to when I make videos for my video production company – Upbeat Image.

I used a Sony A7s camera to film it (thanks Viv) with 21mm and 50mm lenses. With a 2.35:1 aspect ratio you must have a wide field of view to get everything in. Recording profile: 25fps 50mbs S-log2.

When it came to editing there were three ways to do it:

  1. Go through all the footage and mark the best bits, then cut the best bits together
  2. Have all 20 recordings displayed in the timeline
  3. Go through the footage cut by cut and choose each one that fits

I used the last method and that seemed to work well, though the second method would have saved time as the audio would have been synced first.

Editing in Adobe Premiere - a neat timeline and using a plugin called Film Convert to stylise the look of it.

Editing in Adobe Premiere – a neat timeline and using a plugin called Film Convert to stylise the look

Once I had completed the first edit and colour grade I sent it to a few friends to see what they thought and invited feedback:

The feedback was helpful to see what didn’t quite flow and what needed changing. There were four or five sections that needed more work – it’s a mission being told your work isn’t quite right but it makes for a much better piece in the end. I’d recently gone to an event called Film Northants and met a guy called Denis (yep that’s spelt correctly) and his suggestion was to completely change the colour grading.

Denis's colour grading idea showing much less saturation resulting in more mood and feel

Denis’ colour grading idea showing much less saturation resulting in more mood and feel

Once I’d made the changes I then showed it at a video training day I was running and opened it up for more feedback. It was the second time we were together and another great day.

The real reason for the video and audio training days - pizza!

The real reason for the video and audio training days – pizza!

Once all the comments were in, changes made, and the video was approved by the song author I posted it online and the feedback has been very positive. One comment which really stood out has to be:

“In my faithlessness, that’s the most moved by a Christian song I’ve been in a long time.”

May it reach many more people like that who need Jesus.

Video production by Upbeat Image. Audio engineering by Chris Hunt at Pigsty Studios. Lighting by Tim Gregory.

12 thoughts on “Saying “Thank You” – A Christian Music Video

  1. I typed into google – songs about thanking Jesus for loving me – and this came up. Thank you so much for such a moving story and a very beautiful song. At sat here in my kitchen in tears, thinking about my lovely church family who will hear this as a reflection on Sunday. Tell the song author that she is beautiful and has a beautiful gift. Thank you all for your creativity and for doing this. x

  2. Such a heart felt song! Everyone who I made listen to this song, felt inlove with it! I thank God first of all for making known a message behind the music to all who hear and will hear this song and I thank you all for such a beautiful and touching work that you are doing for the sake of the Gospel! I can’t wait to hear more of the author’s songs, she has such a speaking voice and also the anointing ! May God bless you!

  3. Its humble that she wants to stay quiet about who she is, however her style and voice can really move people to worship God…. (Jesus)…..I totally love this song and the way it was recorded.
    She really needs to share her gift 🙂

  4. The song is great, I love it. But keeping secret about who she is??? She has a great voice and I am wondering if she has any more songs out there??? Is this going to be a one off from her or is there more out there and more to come. WHO IS SHE???

  5. What an awesome song! These are the most descriptive words of “my life story” I have ever heard! Wow! It touched me deeply in my spirit! Knowing from where I came from and now loved and forgiven and sustained by our merciful Father God, makes listening to this song like a divine encounter again! Thank you ALL for this great production! May the faithful hand of the Most High be upon you and your families always!!

  6. this song makes me united with Jesus and touches my soul very deep. It makes my problems lighter. and my hope stronger. May Jesus blessing forever be yours.

  7. I am deeply moved, I have added this to the list of my All Time Favorites. Thank you for the “behind the scenes”, learning about the care you have put into making it and decisions you have made added even more to what i feel. Although I wish to know more about the author, her decision to stay anonymous humbles me and enunciates all her words… I am trying to say how grateful I am for this production, but all my words seems inadequate… all I could say is Thank you and God Bless You.

  8. This beautiful song and singer touched my heart and reminded me to be thankful to Jesus in the good times and through the most difficult storms I go thru. He is always faithful. This is on my song list. Thank you for sharing as his love touches our lives in this song.
    Christina

Leave a Reply