When Martin Charlesworth recently met with a group of people hoping to partner with Word online in translating and distributing the Life of Jesus material in Africa, he was asked about the possibility of continuing the studies with the book of Acts. Imagine his delight in being able to say that filming of Acts was starting a week later!
Not only does the Word online story continue but more importantly, the story of God’s plan of bringing salvation to the whole world through Jesus and then his chosen disciples, the Apostles, continues from the four Gospels into the book of Acts. The same writer of the third Gospel, Luke, continues his account of the spread of the good news in his writing of the book of Acts.
So, recording has now started on this new series. There are some interesting developments in the process: a greater number of cameras are being used to improve the presentation of the videos; filming in a larger room; and a live audience. Previously, the filming was completed with only the camera operator and Martin present - a rather sterile atmosphere in which to communicate the importance of the message.
On the first day of filming five episodes of half an hour each were recorded, with little need to interrupt the flow and all technology behaving beautifully - thanks to good preparation beforehand. Having an audience meant Martin found it to be much easier than his previous experience.
Members of the small invited audience have commented on the privilege they feel at being present at this early stage in the development. They enjoy the narrative style that Martin employs, despite his explanation that he speaks more slowly than he normally would and carefully chooses his words to accommodate the culture and language of a much wider audience- people across the world, many with English as a second language. Nevertheless, most of those present intend to repeat the experience as often as they can manage!
The process of editing the videos, subtitles, transcript, tagging and writing study guides has begun but in smaller (hopefully more manageable) bites. Many of the same team of volunteers will swing into action, overseen by the project manager. We have all learnt from working on the Life of Jesus series and will no doubt remember the best methods we found last time. This will all take time but we hope the new material will be available in the new year for everyone to use and enjoy - in the same way you have been able to access the Life of Jesus material.