The FX documentary series, The Secrets of Hillsong explores the scandals and criticisms of an American clout-priest and the Australian group’s religious founders he aligned with.
Our motivation for the concept and design of the episodic package came from the language of these franchised hype-churches, these digital revival tents. Where in the past spitting preachers were enough, now lights, lasers, LED panels and screens command the congregations.
We created a package primarily using in-camera, photographic effects. Real lasers, real smoke, real LED effects, real aberrations of light and lenses were captured and sequenced to deliver a predator and prey narrative, all in keeping with Sunday school traditions. Custom cut screens were intricately built to allow for novel transitions between cruciforms and live action plates. These screens echo the massive electronic onstage LED panels used by these church groups and also the low tech dividers of traditional church confessional booths. Further manipulations were performed with motorized acrylic and glass lens elements between live action plates and high output light setups. As the series exposes the charlatans as constructions, so too does this majority analog package we assembled for FX.
“You know there’s a lot of people wanting someone, to tell them what to do.”