...shining light on the media, one review at a time
Are you tired of the fight to get your kids involved in family devotions? Or, perhaps you got tired of the bored looks and whining a long time ago and gave up trying. The regular study of God’s word is a discipline, but that does not mean it has to be dull or feel like a chore. Rather, the reverse should be true of all Christians’ study. Even kids can come to enjoy and thirst for the powerful experience of learning about God through His word.
Achieving this reality is easier than ever thanks to the new Watch & Talk video series by Angelhouse Media. Presented by singer/actress Rebecca St. James, this series includes three volumes, each of which features films that are specifically tailored to enable a new, exciting kind of devotions.
This series exemplifies the best use of the film medium in short movies (under ten minutes each) that are included on every volume. Retelling biblical parables can be a risky business, but Watch & Talk manages to modernize these timeless stories in a way that offers a fresh take without compromising the truths and lessons in the tales. The series itself has a built-in failsafe against any errors in St. James’s constant encouragement for viewers to go directly to the Bible. After watching each short film, St. James tells viewers which Scripture passage(s) to read and reminds them that “the Word of God is living and active.”
By the time that St. James directs viewers to the Bible, even the youngest of the group will be interested and paying attention. This miracle is accomplished through well-written films that are designed to reach all ages. Like the original parables, the tales are kept simple in the telling, and these movie versions often feature children for particularly strong kid-appeal. Not all of the films have youngsters, however, but are a pleasing mix that will engage and connect with the whole family.
The idea for this series is a good one, but could fail if executed with poor quality. The makers of the short films, however, show the kind of creativity, skill, and even artistry that one expects to see from today’s independent filmmakers. The production values and polish are higher than that of many secular independent projects, while the question of finding experienced actors is cleverly avoided.
The acting dilemma is solved by the use of narrators, who supply voice-over storytelling in all of the videos, so that almost all of the lines the actors say are never heard. This technique may sound strange or tiresome, but it works in this series thanks to excellent narrators, as well as smart scriptwriting, cinematography, and directing. The only caution for the series is one audible use of “heck,” said by an actor.
The films in Watch & Talk are too important and fun to limit only to family devotions. They would do equally well used for small groups, Bible studies, or Sunday education classes (particularly for children’s Sunday School). In its high-quality retelling of the parables of the Bible, there will be no limits to this video series’ impact. So watch, talk, then tell others!
(Note: To download companion study guides for Watch & Talk, visit www.angelhousemedia.com)
Check out these similar titles:
Building a Courageous Home (Sherwood Pictures, 2012)
Animals in the Bible (Declaration Films, 2008)
Dinosaurs, Genesis, and the Gospel (Answers in Genesis)