Video from Crowder Band shines with praise

Nick Berryman | Lariat Photographer
David Crowder sings with his band at the grand finale for his Fantastical Church Music Conference in October. Crowder is a graduate of the School of Music and a board member of the church music program.

By Liz Appling

An unusual but creative concept for a recent music video is now the backdrop of yet another triumph for the David Crowder Band.

Although the band has been making albums for several years, the “SMS (Shine)” film debuted as the second official music video released by the band and turned into an immediate success, drawing recognition from outside the Christian music community.

Using 700,000 Lite-Brite pegs, the video combines 1,200 images to create a live-action sequence for a love story that becomes the focus of the video.

Lead Singer David Crowder said the interpretation for the video intends to reinforce that grace and redemption exist in proximity no matter how “bleak life may seem.” “That’s the intent of the video, is to in some way be light in the spaces that we enter,” Crowder said.

This video was difficult to create and has gained acclaim for its creativity.

The video has been featured online by national publications, such as USA Today and Entertainment Weekly.

Paste Magazine also endorsed it as an “Awesome of the Day” while Fox and Friends included it in a recent morning newscast.

In addition, it has also been posted in Billboard Magazine’s video vault.

Crowder said the making of this video was extremely different than the first video, making the entire process a new learning experience for the already-accomplished band.

Crowder said video uses stop-motion and still photography to create the animation effect for the Lite-Brite concept.

“One thing we found out from using stop-motion is there is a lot of problem solving,” Crowder said.

For instance, the band had to think of a method to efficiently assemble each Lite-Brite picture during the month of filming, Crowder said.

He explained they had to explore ways to have about 100 individual Lite-Brite frames assembled for continuous and faster filming rather than reassembling one Lite-Brite each time the frame changed.

Ultimately, the band made the concept work by recruiting volunteers from University Baptist Church, where David Crowder also serves as the music and arts pastor, to help build the Lite-Brite frames for upcoming days of filming.

Toph Whisnant, the community pastor at University Baptist Church, said the band made an announcement after church one Sunday that they needed more hands on deck for this project, drawing in nearly 75 volunteers for the first afternoon of Lite-Brite picture-making.

The church’s volunteers continued to help until filming was completed by taking the supplies home and working individually or in a group, then bringing the assembled frames to the church to be delivered to the barn the band uses for recording and, now, filming.

Carrollton senior Drew Waggoner said he was impressed with the video immediately, noting it was a great song choice for the band as well.

“I knew David Crowder was gifted musically, but seeing the video gave me a better appreciation for how artistically talented he is as well,” Waggoner said.

Waggoner said Crowder’s albums and live performances are always good quality, but now they are truly taking their gift to the next level with this video.