We’ll call this a follow-up to my previous post about series promos; A bumper (also called a ‘roll-in”) is a short video piece that rolls just before the pastor comes up to speak.
A well done bumper uses visual elements and content that work in conjunction with what has been established as a look or theme for a given sermon series.
A good bumper should convey just enough information about what your congregation is about to experience… maybe a key verse of scripture and something visually compelling that draws your people in so that the pastor doesn’t have to give a big explanation about the series or sermon and can dive right into the message. Bumpers also have a very practical purpose in that they can give you 30-60 seconds to get the band off the stage and the pastor on (or make other staging changes) without having to do it in full view of the congregation.
Here’s a few examples:
Liar, Lunatic, or Lord was a really cool series based on some of the teachings of Jesus where his actions caused those around him to question who he really was. You don’t need a fancy set or paid actors; I shot this in downtown Charleston, SC with using one of our worship team’s drummers.
Switched was a series based on a handful of chapters in the Gospel of Luke where we saw that Jesus was telling stories that gave great examples of how, when we believe in Him, things in our life get “switched”. This was a unique series of bumpers, in that we came up with a different one each of the four weeks; each shot using a different person and dialog, but always on a shot on a set of train tracks to keep that theme as our constant.
Found was used in a four-week series that lead up to Easter this year (’09). This one was a bit of a challenge in that our graphic artist had come up with a great looking bulletin cover, depicting a message in a bottle washed up on the beach…This did not make a smooth transition to how we would translate that into video. After hitting 3 different specialty stores, I finally found (see what I did there?) an old-looking bottle, complete with a cork! You might imagine the looks that I got at the beach that day while shooting a bottle sloshing around in the surf! For music on this one, I recorded Martin Chalk, one of our worship leaders, singing Amazing Grace outside of our offices so that it had a similar “outside” sound to go with the footage.