Bible Video Still - photograph replacing paintings

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timfey
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Bible Video Still - photograph replacing paintings

Postby timfey » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:19 am

When I saw the announcement on the new navigation menus at lds.org along with the helpful introduction video with a still of the actor from the bible videos depicting Christ, I was taken aback. Not by anything to do with the training content of the helpful video but by the image of a mortal man who is walking around right now being a photographic representative of Christ. Upon checking jesuschrist.lds.org, I note this actor’s image is now the default face of Christ replacing previous representative paintings of Christ. This is very unnerving, to the point that I actually had a dream of him speaking in conference last night. I don’t know who this actor is, but if I were him, I would be very uncomfortable having my actual photograph as the new LDS representative face of Christ. What is unnerving is that this is an actual photograph of a mortal guy, not an artist’s obvious rendition of what they imagine Him looking like. There is a very significant difference between a painting and a photograph – it is clear a painting is representative, while a photograph implies this is actually the person and I think that is not treating the Savior with proper respect here. Please consider revising the approach of depicting the Savior with stills from the Bible videos. It is clear from the Bible videos that these are all actors (many such videos have been made and it is clear that this is not actual video footage from the original event). It is not so clear from a photograph that this is meant to be a representation of Christ vs an actual photograph of Him. Think of a lesson where someone displays organizationally how the Church leadership is structured with a nice photograph of President Monson above a Bishop/Stake Pres/etc, then above him is a photograph of this actor as the President Monson’s (and our) leader. That’s not too far off from what is depicted in the link below and on the jesuschrist.lds.org site: https://www.lds.org/church/news/new-lds ... d?lang=eng

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johnshaw
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Re: Bible Video Still - photograph replacing paintings

Postby johnshaw » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:13 am

At the bottom of the lds.org pages there is a link for feedback. This forum is mostly member-to-member stuff, this isn't a place where your thoughts will make it back to employees and decision makers at Church Headquarters. I would suggest you post this in a feedback form.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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lmcguire
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Re: Bible Video Still - photograph replacing paintings

Postby lmcguire » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:28 am

timfey wrote:...It is not so clear from a photograph that this is meant to be a representation of Christ vs an actual photograph of Him...


If I were playing devil's advocate, I might say:

a) It's clear to me that the photo is as much a representation as a painting (and possibly more so).

b) How do you know the paintings (which are generally true-to-life) don't look exactly like the model who posed for the portrait? (Thus making the painting look exactly like (a painting of) some mortal person - perhaps with longer hair.)

I can think of reasons more compelling (in my mind) than this to use paintings as much as or more than photographs, but that's me, and the impact for you is different, etc. (In other words, each person is going to react based on their own experiences and personality.)

Like John said, to communicate your thoughts and feelings to the people who are most likely to be able to make changes, go to the page in question, and use the feedback link at the bottom of the page. I'm confident it will at least be read and considered.

FWIW,

Liz

timfey
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Re: Bible Video Still - photograph replacing paintings

Postby timfey » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:47 am

John/Liz,
I tried submitting feedback using feedback link at the bottom of the page before posting this concern here, but get the following error on multiple devices/browsers:
Error: Page not found: /tools/feedback at /home/vcap/app/app.js:48:15... (try it yourself and see)
After digging, I noted the feedback form appears to have been out of commission for several years - even posted a note to indicate feedback capability is still broken before posting a new topic here - here's where the issue was identified back in 2012: https://tech.lds.org/forum/viewtopic.ph ... aef56a785f
Brings up another issue of a lack of mechanism to provide this type of feedback to improve things/ask questions/etc... Brings to mind Elder Bernard's comment about how revelation is distributed, but we won't get it if we don't collaborate and we need to encourage appropriate feedback to hasten the work.

russellhltn
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Re: Bible Video Still - photograph replacing paintings

Postby russellhltn » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:57 pm

I'm sure the feedback system will be fixed soon. Within the next few days, if not today.

I'd wait for that to get fixed and then submit your feedback. That way it can get routed to the appropriate people.

Speaking strictly for myself, the depiction of Christ is something the Apostles take very seriously. I can't find it now, but I've heard stories about how the Apostles personally engage in the search for the actor to portray Christ. Having seen Him, they know what He looks like. I'm sure the decision to go from painting to photograph was deliberate. And I'd be surprised if anyone less than the Quorum of the Twelve made or at least approved that decision. I'll speculate that the change was to show that Christ was a real person and not just an abstraction. At least that's my 2¢. But go ahead an report your concerns when the feedback system is fixed.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Bible Video Still - photograph replacing paintings

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:36 pm

I noticed today that the Feedback link isn't working. It was working a couple of weeks ago when I submitted Feedback about something else; they seem to be updating some things. This Feedback link worked for me:
https://www.lds.org/tools/feedback/?lang=eng

For the actor and those who know him, it would be a little strange; but I'm sure the actor keeps his hair short, etc. so he doesn't constantly get asked if he's the actor who played Jesus in the Bible videos. To me, photos and videos are pretty much the same in that regard and it has always been a dilemma.

As to photos vs. paintings, people relate more easily and are drawn to photos more, especially these days where high-quality photos are so common and easy to produce. Paintings are, outside of a historical context, becoming outdated.
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

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gregwanderson
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Re: Bible Video Still - photograph replacing paintings

Postby gregwanderson » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:39 pm

The series of Bible videos featuring this particular actor aren't perfect but, wow, they're really good! I don't mind seeing this man as the stand-in for Christ in other platforms (at least until something else is produced) and I don't think seeing a flesh-and-blood stand-in confuses people into thinking that we're trying to say Christ looks exactly like this. It's a tough call, I guess. The most widely-used painting (at least in our church) is getting old and it looks a bit out-of-date to me. Meanwhile, have you noticed that the "artist's rendering" of almost every soon-to-be-completed temple looks more like a real photograph?

It's artwork. Styles come and go. Specific images come and go. I think it's okay.
russellhltn wrote:I've heard stories about how the Apostles personally engage in the search for the actor to portray Christ. Having seen Him, they know what He looks like.

I've also heard about the Apostles participating in casting decisions. But I would stop short of declaring that they've each seen Him and know what He looks like. I'm not sure it's appropriate to make that statement and I'm not comfortable concluding that it's a requirement. And I'm also uncomfortable when others tell me I'm out-of-line with this opinion. If they're not talking about it in public then I think our discussing it is based in speculation.


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