“I’ve been pelted with eggs, sprayed with custard and house paint, pranced around in an inflatable chef suit with Masterchef winner Kate Bracks, been soaked to the skin tumbling through the bush dressed as Bear Grylls, performed some frothing skate tricks with my false legs and hung out for a day with a fluffy yellow guy called Nudge. This can mean only one thing… The God Rock DVD!”
Through June to September 2012 Colin and his crew have been deep in the scripting, pre-production, shooting, editing and post-production of the much-anticipated God Rock DVD, available now on his website or through Christian retailers.
“Creating a DVD is always a huge time for me and the whole team,” says Colin. For about 10 years, I’ve worked with Rob Harding as director and co-collaborator on the DVDs. We’re a lean machine and lots of ideas to squeeze into the available space. It’s like undergrad film school meets beach mission make-do meets real TV! We have all the grown-up stuff, like budgets, scripts, camera operators, sound and lighting – which means we need to plan carefully. Then I dress up as Mrs Collywobbles or stick a pillow up my velour tracksuit and we start the real process of making a Colin DVD!”
God Rock is perhaps Colin’s most musically complex – and infectious – album ever. Matching that energy to vision was a challenge that Colin approached in his usual way. “We just made it all up. I love that about my job, I make stuff up for a living! We’re always searching for the mix of simplicity, fun, colour, movement – and, somehow, a connection to the lyric. Then we try and match ideas to actual locations, dates and cast members.”
A disused warehouse became the location for a Super Chef cook-off.
“The TV cooking shows always have a look to their key cast members – I thought that we should take that a step further. So we had a cowboy, a caveman, a fairy princess, a pirate, me in my inflatable chef suit…and Kate, a real Master Chef winner!”
The same location was used for the surreal “God Never Says Oops”.
“That shoot not only messed with our heads – it messed with me! Somehow I agreed to the idea that the clip would play in reverse, starting with me being pelted with custard, eggs and paint, finishing with me peacefully sleeping in bed. Because we shot it backwards, the day ended with every hand on deck spraying, chucking, shooting me with mess. The glee of grown men doing this was truly disturbing. And the clean up with a solitary fire hose, mid winter, was…character building!”
“God United”, which Colin describes as a “mob football anthem about the Trinity”, saw Colin donning the coach’s track suit (and gut pillow) to see his kiddy blue team rise to defeat the foreboding (and grown-up) red team in a fast and furious indoor soccer extravaganza, featuring a frenzied crowd of extras on the sideline and a serious Rev Matthew Murray as ref. That afternoon – in the single figure cold and rain, Colin swapped the soccer clobber for survival gear and strode through the bush with his mini Bear Grylls mates for “Survival Man”. Colin came down with the flu over the next few days, admitting, “The soggy results looked like everyone endured real survival conditions…because they did! Like Mr Grylls, we were all lucky to get out alive!”
The Helensburgh skate rink was host to “Kick It, Flip It” with some skilled friends coming to Colin’s rescue. “I was always very aware that it’s one thing to sing a song about skateboarding, but it’s quite another thing to actually skate! I was certain we needed some serious dudes to pull this one off, because I can only do tricks when I’m using my false legs skate rig and running along!”
The results, compliments of superb shooting, are some of the most visually impressive moments of any Colin DVD. “Tom Gleeson is one of Australia’s best Directors of Photography. It was such a blessing to bring his skills to our project – the tricks look incredible! And to have a real graffiti artist, Mistery, creating a giant mural as we shot the clip…it all looks amazing!”
The DVD again features Colin’s puppet sidekick Nudge, performed by Mal Heap. “I think the links show the fruit of the time Mal and I have spent on the road doing shows together over the last 18 months. I always try to find the happy balance of content, playfulness and relationship – and adding Nudge has added a dimension to the whole dynamic. Plus he gets to shoot foam darts at me with a Nerf gun – perfect!”
The links and the “God Rock” clip saw Colin’s local church transformed into a music room come rock stadium, complete with cheering crowd! “It was amazing how the team got the set and the lights – and the audience – all in the right place at the right
time. And using my church’s facilities was a nice dimension – God’s local people participating in my broader endeavours.”
Colin completed the project exhausted but elated. “I think the DVD is visually rich and a great testimony to the talent and generosity of everyone involved. Jamie Cohen shared the directorial duties with Rob and called in some amazing contacts to work on our little project. We had an army of helpers and volunteers in front of and behind the camera. And our little office really red-lined to co-ordinate it all. I finished it all very humbled by the help I’d been given. The results are so far beyond my reach, were it
not for the help of my friends. And in the end, the purpose is to declare the timeless, powerful, delightful truths of God in Christ. So I pray that all the colour and movement has that final outcome as kids all over the world watch, sing and, by God’s grace, encounter Jesus through in the gospel.”
View the God Rock DVD trailer: