The 1-Minute Backstory:


An Interview with Jim Miller

InSight: Where did the idea for 1-Minute Inspirations come from?

Jim: Early last year I worked with focus groups to test the idea of developing short videos to support and encourage healthcare professionals in their daily work. I created three prototype videos, each between three and five minutes long, and asked people to respond to what they saw and heard.

InSight: And their feedback?

Jim: While this response was not universal, consensus seemed to be “the shorter, the better.” I commonly heard, “We healthcare professionals definitely need encouragement and inspiration but we’re so busy, we cannot take much time to view these.” I remember one man said, “These need to be really short: one minute, no longer.”

InSight: And you said?

Jim: I didn’t say anything. I nodded my head and wrote the comment in my notebook. But I thought to myself, “That’s impossible! 60 seconds to develop a meaningful, useful, inspirational thought? No way!”

InSight: So what led to your developing these Inspirations after all?

Jim: It was several weeks before I opened to the idea. One influence was the realization that most of us experience many complete one-minute messages many times a day. They’re called TV ads. If others can communicate that succinctly, why not I?

InSight: What has been your experience in creating these?

Jim: It’s hard to do! I usually begin with, or include, a quotation from the ages. Normally I write my own additional words as I expand upon the basic idea. But sometimes I don’t use any more words at all—just music and photography.

InSight: And you’re able to keep it to one minute?

Jim: I don’t count the introductory titles or the ending credits, which can account for twenty or thirty seconds. But, yes, the music I choose lasts exactly sixty seconds and that’s the timeframe I work within. Every word counts. So does every image, every dissolve between images.

InSight: Where do the ideas for your themes come from?

Jim: I wish I could tell you. Sometimes I look through my quotation files. I have tens of thousands of them, all on 4 x 6 cards, organized around hundreds of subjects. Sometimes I come across a meaningful idea in a book or magazine. Sometimes a thought jumps out when a person is talking to me. Every once in a while a thought comes from nowhere, seemingly, as I lie in bed at night or as I awaken from a dream.

InSight: Completing one a week seems like a task. Is it?

Jim: Back when I was in the ministry and had to deliver a new sermon every week, I used to say that I was surprised how many weeks of the year had Sundays in them. These days I say that I am surprised how many weeks have Wednesdays in them. But so far, three months into this experiment, I’ve not missed a deadline. When I began, I thought I could do each one in two or three hours’ time. Even now that I have developed a rhythm to this work, it still takes more like eight or ten hours on average to complete each one.

InSight: How long will you carry on?

Jim: I’ve committed myself to doing these for one full year. After that I’ll evaluate. Are they of value? Do many people use them? Am I continuing to enjoy the creative process? Somehow it will all become clear.

InSight: Can people purchase these Inspirations?

Jim: I’ve been surprised when people have asked that question. No, they’re not for sale. They’re free. But perhaps someday I’ll release them in a high quality format as a DVD. Once again, somehow it will all become clear.

3 Responses to “The 1-Minute Backstory:”

  1. lorelei Dekker Says:

    I love the thought and thanks so much for sharing and your work for Him.

  2. Marilyn Hess Says:

    As always, I find your work extremely inspirational. I love your one minute
    inspirations and forward them frequently.

    Thanks for all that you do.

    Marilyn Hess

  3. Marjorie Egger Says:

    I have enjoyed these meditations. They act like a breath of fresh air after long days and difficult work. It is my prayer that you can continue, although spending 8 to 10 hours every week producing them is a sizeable commitment. God continues to bless your work and I am grateful.

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