So Will I (100 Billion X) // Behind the Lyric Video
Before I go into the details, if you haven't watched the video watch it.
Behind the Video
So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong United
I was approached to do a video background when the song was put in the setlist for worship at my job. I had heard the song before and loved it. I knew the feel I wanted it to have, and to be frank, the song talks about the creation of Earth, so it's pretty obvious what the video was going to be about. I started looking for stock footage of stars, mountain, nature, etc. but with a budget of $0 it was impossible to find good quality footage. I was frustrated. I tried animating stars, but it looked terrible. My ideas had all but failed, so began to see if I could just get the background Hillsong United used itself, instead of trying to create my own generic nature b-roll video that had already been done. That's when I found this video online. I saw a couple seconds and knew exactly the direction to go with the video.
Instead of trying to find good stock footage/spend a lot of money doing it, I could find old footage for free, which would give it a unique, authentic feel to the video. I had used this incredible site before for other projects. It has loads of old footage on it for free, so I began to dive deep and find old footage. I found old nature documentaries, Apollo 13 footage, and 8mm home movies. I began taking clips out of the footage and assembling them to the song. Needless to say, it took a while, but I had the idea, and I wasn't going to compromise that idea just because of the daunting amount of work involved. To add to the amount of work, our worship center has three screens: One center screen and two side screens. I had always wanted to experiment with a main video on the center screen with a different video on the side screens. I figured this was the perfect opportunity. So I basically made two seperate videos, that had to match, but be different, not clash, and also sync up to a live band.
It actually ended up going well, despite a couple minor bugs in the first service (that was my fault, I forgot to change the video on the side screens to the secondary video). In the end the video played and the congregation loved it. I attribute that to the incredible song. Seriously, listen to that if you haven't. If it wasn't for an incredibly song, it doesn't matter how cool a video is. However, if they are both cool they support eachother.
Possible what I was most excited for, though, was the way the video started. To preface this, our church does not use worship backgrounds, just a plain black screen with white text. We don't want a background video to distract people, we want it to enhance worship, and we decided most stock worship backgrounds are terrible and don't add anything. So I specifically edited the video to shock people. They are used to a black screen, so the first 45 seconds of the song is black, but then the lyrics "and as You speak" are sung, the video fades in, as if the world is being spoken into existence out of darkness. I wish I could have experienced what this was like with the congregation. The shock of a video background that they aren't used to, paired with the awe of the world being spoken into existence. Incredible.
After the weekend I decided to make the video into a lyric video since I had the main content there. I knew I didn't just want a generic sans serif font. It didn't feel right. I ended up going with a style I have done previously. It involves writing the text out multiple times (in my terrible handwriting), then playing them consecutively. It gives it a really unique, authentic, and raw look to the text. It feels organic, and reflects the raw creation sung in the song.
It took a long time. This is a song that rarely repeats lyrics. It ended up being 58 lines written out roughly 10 times each, scanned and individually masked in After Effects. I knew it would be a long process, but I didn't let the daunting amount of work discourage me from pursuing my idea. I found the time, and the dedication, to make my idea a reality even though a lot of people would have been scared at the amount of work involved. I wish I would have tracked the hours this project took from start to finish. It might have been my biggest, most daunting one yet. But it feels so satisfying to finally show it to the world.