Monday, July 23

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Today, we began work on the main part of the video project, involving an extensive interview with Terry about his life and work here in Germany. After breakfast, we went over to the Church, which was to serve as our location. It took about an hour to set up the shot and the lighting. Andrew tells me it doesn’t always take this long, but we’re using borrowed stage lights (not video lights) and improvised diffusers and reflectors. You can see the tin foil hanging on a music stand in the photo.

I’m really impressed by the skills of Andrew and Jeff. They really know what they’re doing. Based on a telephone pre-interview they taped a little more than a month ago, Andrew has a great plan for videotaping interviews with both Terry and Ellen (we’ll be recording Ellen’s interview on Wednesday). This way he can guide them through the process and help them get their message across in the final project. Andrew and Jeff and Kristy have all invested a huge amount of time in just getting to know the Millers, and I believe this will really show when the video is released.

Once they got all the lighting set-up, Andrew & Jeff spent all day on Terry’s interview, recording about four hours of video to a little hard-drive device that attaches to the camera. Andrew acts as the director and interviewer, and Jeff does the camera work. While the interview proceeds, Kristy creates a written log of the content in each shot. This will help a lot in the editing process later. (In case you’re wondering what I do, I sit in the next room and try to make as little noise as possible. I also occasionally carry stuff.)

We’re recording in HD format, using professional equipment, and I think everyone will love the results. Each night, Andrew downloads that day’s material to a huge, two-disk hard-drive that automatically stores a copy on each of its two disks—sort of an auto-back-up system. Once that’s done, he clears the data from the camera recorder to make room for the next day’s shooting.

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Terry & Ellen Miller have been serving in Bavaria since the early 1970s. They are both a great testimony to the fact that missionaries are ordinary people who have simply made themselves available to serve the Lord in a way that every Christian should. Life is a short term mission. So whether you’re a secretary in Nashville or a Church-planting pastor in Augsburg, we all serve the same Lord and share the same gospel.

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Tuesday, July 24

Today was spent getting setting and location shots to use in the documentary. After breakfast, we drove about an hour to get to the concentration camp memorial at Dachau. Terry gave us a personally guided tour. What a place pregnant with lessons of the fallen, depraved condition of humanity. And while the specific horrors of Nazism are particular to the German landscape, you can find the horrors of sin in any culture. And like the citizens of the town of Dachau in the 30s and 40s, we often insulate ourselves so as to be unaware of the world’s atrocities. Humans and human society stand in need of a savior.

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One of the things that struck me most about Dachau was how many of the visitors seemed unaffected. There were busloads of teenagers at the sight, and for the most part they looked as though they failed to appreciate the enormity of the things they were seeing. Of course, one shouldn’t read too much into how teens act on the surface around their friends, but even this is a reminder of how complacent we can be about sin and its horrible consequences.

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After a mid-afternoon lunch, we headed back into town to work on more location shots around Augsburg. We began at the Dom (pronounced “dome”), an ancient gothic church with high flying arches and lots of interesting gargoyles and statuary. The Dom has two altars, one on each end of the building, because at some point in history the bishop, who’s house was near the entrance to the church, thought it was too much trouble to walk to the far end of the church to serve mass.

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After getting the shots we needed at the Dom, we walked up the street to another Church, St. Peter’s, which has a high bell tower you can walk up for a spectacular view of the whole city. The tower, which is called the Perlachtower, is 230 feet high, and was completed in 1616. The base of the tower dates back to 1060.

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There are 258 steps to go to the top of the tower and when you get there, there’s an attendant in a little booth that collects the 1 fee. That way, I guess, if you get half way up and change your mind, you don’t have to pay. We arrived at the top around 5:35, and they close at 6:00, so we were the only ones there. Andrew was disappointed to find that the windows were barred and this made getting the camera shots a little tricky. He had also noticed that just two levels down, there was a door out to a catwalk balcony, so he asked the attendant if he could go out there to get the shot. Surprisingly, the guy agreed, even though this is not normally allowed because of the obvious danger. You can see this little balcony in the photo. It’s about two feet wide, and it’s about 200 feet off the ground. Here’s a view through the doorway, which was about as far as I wanted to go.

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Tomorrow we’ll spend the day at the Millers’ working on Ellen’s interview segments and getting shots around the house to depict the Millers’ every day life.

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