Ellerslie: Discover Majesty

CASE STUDY
Eric and Leslie Ludy lead the Ellerslie Discipleship program at their campus in Windsor, CO. Their training focuses on the Gospel – that it is real and can transform a man or woman, who can then impact the world for Jesus Christ.

THE PROBLEM

Even though the client has produced several short films about the truth of the Gospel, which had achieved a collective 4 million views, they felt a new video was needed that directed the audience to learn more about their discipleship training program.

The Ludy’s wanted to visually illustrate the theme of “majestic Christianity” while also communicating how the training at Ellerslie equips attendees to live victoriously. 

In our Discovery Meeting with them it was decided that it would be important to include heartfelt interviews from alumni. They had filmed interviews in the past, but described the experience as stiff and difficult to capture the emotion and heart of the stories.

Part of the success of their previous projects included Eric Ludy’s unique and dynamic teaching style through the use of excerpts from his sermons. For this project the client had a recording of one of Eric’s sermons that fit the concepts they wanted to convey but also wanted to integrate it with the interviews.

THE PROCESS

One of the first steps was to work with the client to pick alumni whose stories conveyed the themes that were needed. We also opened the vault on our “secret sauce” of interview questions from our previous award-winning projects and created a specific list for this project.

The Ellerslie brand already has an established and well refined look and feel…which we wanted to match in the video. For the b-roll, we needed a cinematic allegorical approach that could illustrate the various stages in the Christian journey, including encountering difficulty and finding victory. In talking with the Ludys we settled on the idea of a medieval knight traversing the beautiful Colorado mountains.

As we researched nearby locations, we found a camp that had the scenery we were looking for – streams, mountains, forests, and even a rustic horse barn for the opening scene. As we worked with our art director on the medieval costume, we curated an extensive library of images to convey the desired look and style.

When discussing who to cast as the actor, Eric Ludy remarked (with a sly wink) – “I’m sure it will be a short, spindly guy.” Instead, we were excited to work with our good friend and actor Nato Jacobson…who is tall, strong, and fit the look of a soldier. Needless to say, Eric and Leslie were pleased 🙂

THE PROject

When we arrived in Colorado, we did a location scout at the camp, choosing locations and taking photos. We then spent the next two days capturing the stories of five alumni whose lives have been changed through the Ellerslie training.

“Because of Ellerslie, I’ve actually been able to take truth
and tangibly implement it into my life.” – Sarah

For this project we teamed up with Motion University, which allowed film students the opportunity to gain experience and training through working on the production. 
Our crew, which totaled 22 people, including the Motion University team and students, headed to the Colorado mountains for the next two days of filming.
The rushing river, breathtaking meadows, towering mountains, and serene forests offered a beautiful backdrop for the rugged nature of the story. 
Our art team worked tirelessly to care for our actor. Putting on his costume alone involved multiple people and took around 30 minutes. 
A couple of our PA’s ran up and down the Colorado hills and forests with foggers, creating the beautiful layer of atmosphere for the film.
Our director, actor, and director of photography coordinated to create the cinematic imagery of each shot. It was a privilege to work with Adam Gregory as our Director of Photography, and his skill and artistic eye made the visuals outstanding!
Our actor was wearing over 70 pounds of chain mail and costume, but never complained or asked for a break.
A favorite moment was filming the last shot. Working with the setting sun and rainy weather presented challenges, and we built in as many contingencies as possible, but at the end of day 1, a storm rolled in and threatened the concluding shot we needed. We took shelter and prayed for the storm to pass. Shortly after the storm, the clouds parted and a streaming beam of light burst through the misty mountain view. It was more beautiful than we had imagined, and in one shot, we had the closing image we needed! 

We headed home for some much needed sleep and cleaning the gear!

In Post-Production, weaving the sermon and interviews into a compelling structure was more difficult than we had anticipated. After several versions, it clicked and we had a cohesive and captivating edit. Finally, we added the b-roll to complete the multi-layered visualization of “majestic Christianity.” To enhance the story, we brought in a professional sound designer to add the rich textures of rushing water, booming rumbles, and crunching footsteps.

The finished film, combines all these layers to support a message that is full of truth, epicness, and majesty.

Response

We were so grateful for the opportunity to work with Eric and Leslie and there’s nothing that makes us happier than happy clients.

“Wowzer! That is extremely powerful!…This turned out AMAZING! I love this, JC! Great job!”
– Eric Ludy

“Love, love, love it!! It’s so far beyond what I would have expected!!”
– Leslie Ludy

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