ADVERTISING
 
Tuesday, August 14   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Migration
Do Christians in your country have a Bible-based understanding of how migrants should be treated?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Interview
 

“Christians must be exemplary despite having smaller budgets”

“Interdependence is a Christian principle, it’s good to learn from what is happening across Europe”, says video artist John Lumgair.

AUTHOR Belén Díaz, Evangelical Focus LONDON 05 JULY 2016 09:33 h GMT+1
A Quirky Motion illustration.

We live in a society where image is everything and where the audiovisual industry has grown exponentially in the last decades. Does storytelling has something to say in the way we reach others?



John Lumgair is one of the founders of Quirky Motion, a British audiovisual company which produces videos, podcasts, ads, films, animation and documentaries.



 



John Lumgair , one of the original founders of Quirky Motion

Stories that are less true have the potential for harm, and also fail to be good artistically”, he told Evangelical Focus.



Lumgair believes that “some Christians are uncomfortable about being a minority in a strongly secular world, they attach themselves to the past and hide in the church”, and “attack the media as if its a monolithic monster, forgetting its real people trying to earn a living like everyone else.”



As Christian professionals, “whether someone is a Christian or not, we are compelled to love them, which means doing the best job we can, under the constraints we have”, he said.



Read John Lumgair´s full interview.



 



Question. What is Quirky motion? What kind of services do you offer?



Answer. Quirky Motion is an Animation and Film production company based in London.



We offer Animation in its various flavours, from living breathing characters to more graphical work. We even do some special effects, plus live action film. My brother who is a colleague has a background in film directing, so this is a big part of what we do.



Of course these skills can be used for a huge number of things, from entertainment to communication and much that lies between them! Sometimes we play a small part in a larger production, or do the whole thing from script to final production.



 



Éluder, a Quirky Motion short film.



 



Q. You work for both Christians and non-Christians clients. Is there any difference between the way you work for each of them?



A. Whoever we work for we want to do a good job. Martin Luther is reputed to have said: “The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”



Whether someone is a Christian or not, we are compelled to love them, which means doing the best job we can, under the constraints we have. We often find it takes more work to help Christians understand the medium, which can be harder work, but we also find some Christians may want to commit the project in prayer, which is a joy.



 



Q. Most of what you do is audiovisual: videos, podcasts, ads... What are the strengths and weaknesses of this way of reaching people?



A. Visual stories are very good at reaching people, which is why big companies spend money on them. We are wired to think in stories. When we ask someone how their day was, we are asking for a story. Constructing narratives is how we make sense of the world. But it’s also dangerous, because they take such a firm hold on our imagination.



It's sobering to be reminded that stories have been used to instil and reinforce prejudice. You only have to think of the damage done by the anti-Semitic stories that went around Vienna in the 1930s.



Andrew Butler - a psychology doctoral student at Washington University - did a study on how cognitive psychology can be applied to enhance educational practice. His research showed that films stick in our head 50% more than just reading the text. But most striking when inaccurate parts of the film are corrected by the teacher, students still believe the film over the facts.



Due to the power film has over the very root of our being, we need to ask hard questions like, does it misrepresent anyone, it’s it fair, is this really how the world works. Film in its purest form is a personal view, and in many ways is about making people feel what you feel. Done well it will help you stand in someone else´s shoes, so it can really build empathy, and challenge how you view the world.



Despite its extraordinary power, film is very limited in what it can do. It stimulates deep questions, makes you feel and think, but it cannot really teach anything very solid. Plus if it's not entertaining not even your mum will watch it, and unless you are Michael Moore, you don’t get to preach.



Now we no longer need to get permission from the BBC to make stuff, but there is a reason they never commission some stuff, and its not always prejudice. Christians can often get high on the idea they now have a chance, yet don’t realise how much work and cost it really is, plus they hope to use it as a platform for propositions, which is to profoundly misunderstand the medium. There is already fantastic medium for communicating propositional truth, and that is a book.



 



Quirly Motion anmation



 



Q. What role does storytelling play now that image seems to be everything?



A. On the whole, our society has become more visually literate, and I welcome this. It enables stories to do more. But because its easier to watch than read, I fear we are also less discerning and more passive.



This places a huge responsibility on people who make films which are honest. When I say honest, I don’t mean biopics (which are never really true). I mean showing the world as it really is.



To take a theological example, all people are made in God’s image, we are more like God that anything in the universe, it's mind blowing. But we are also deeply flawed, the image is fractured, and we are all capable of the grossest evil. We must hold these truths in tension. Which will mean the “heros” are flawed and the “villains” have some level of goodness in them.



I actually think that stories that are less true, not only have the potential for harm, but also fail to be good artistically. In a culture that is `amusing itself to death´ I think we have to create work that emotionally moves, that doesn’t just leave people in suspended animation.



 



Q. Recently you have participated in the European Leadership Forum in Poland, where you were in contact with other European media people. Why is it important to network with other Christian media?



A. Trying to do anything without the help of others is in essence pride, and the Bible isn’t too keen on that! Of course not everyone has the privilege to come to ELF, but we should seek to connect with others as much as we can.



Interdependence is a very Christian principle. It’s good to learn from others and see what is happening across Europe, to encourage one another. So many wonderful people are doing fantastic things. I think aching big things will mean working together.



 



Because, a fun animated documentary to learn how to spell!



Q. How can we work together to be a light in a secularised European society?



A. If we don’t have a light shining in our own lives then we’re sunk! The next stage is how we treat others in our industry. Do we treat out freelancers with respect? Do we pay them fairly? How do we talk about our colleagues, and clients? I think we owe it to one another to challenge each other on this kind of issue. Christians must be exemplary, despite having smaller budgets.



Because of the way the secularisation is going, there are more cases of hostility to Christians. We need to be supportive of one another, because one of us will get it in the neck at some point! The love we have for one another is a key way we are a light. I’m hopeless at it, but being supportive of one another in prayer is essential, particularly as it’s easy to compromise if we don’t have support.



Sadly some Christians are uncomfortable about being a minority in a strongly secular world, they attach themselves to the past, and hide in the church. They attack the media as if its a monolithic monster, forgetting its real people, trying to earn a living like everyone else.



ELF had some fantastic lectures, dealing with a number of hot topics, helping us each other think more deeply together. A number of years ago, the British theologian John Stott talked of “double listening”, the idea of listening intently to both the Bible and the world around us, in order to relate the Bible back to the world. This is done best in discussion, particularly as we bring different European perspectives. Its out of dialogue that we may be able to get new projects off the ground.



Chamamada Ngozi Adichie in her brilliant TED talk talked about how she grew up reading kids books that were culturally alien to her world. That “the single story” is dangerous because it starts to misrepresent how the real world is. We have stories that are alternative to the mainstream, and an important voice in a pluralistic world. Being an unorthodox voice takes courage, and you feel less crazy when others are also telling stories.



 



Q. Is there anything else you want to add?



A. Having said all of this, you might look at our work and think this all sounds a bit grand and that we hardly match up to our ideals. An in essence, we Christians are merely anchovies in a world of whales. But in a way, if we are faithful with the small, God smiles on that.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - “Christians must be exemplary despite having smaller budgets”
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Being a peacemaker Being a peacemaker

Ken Sande, Founder and President of Relational Wisdom 360, develops a practical systematic theology for pursuing peace and resolving the conflicts of real life. 

 
“No one should have to leave their values at the door” “No one should have to leave their values at the door”

Author Krish Kandiah talks with politician Tim Farron about the Christian faith, politics and secularism.

 
What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader? What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader?

Clinical Pastoral Counsellor Emoke Tapolyai reflect on three characteristics Christians who have been given leadership roles should develop.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
Trailer: “The Peace Between” Trailer: “The Peace Between”

A film about the experience of refugees in Europe. Churches, small groups and individuals are encouraged to use it during Refugee Week: 17-24 June.

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.