I’ll Build You a Rainbow – Classic LDS Filmstrip

LDS filmstrips have pretty much been forgotten by LDS church members. Back in the 1970s and 1980s they were used to share the message of the restored gospel to church members and non-members. They were slowly taken over by video equipment. Since the invention of DVD and streaming media they are virtually non-existent. The libraries of church buildings might have them. Many libraries are just giving them away, throwing them away or giving them to Deseret Industries.

Filmstrips are 35mm film frames projected through a simple projector and projected onto a wall or white board screen. The light for the projection comes from a simple light bulb. The audio was provided by a cassette tape or record, during the course of the audio a series of small beeps would indicate when the slide needed to be changed. Someone had to actually listen to the beeps and change the frame accordingly.

Even though they have lost popularity there are still fragments of these filmstrips in LDS culture. The LDS Church has converted some of these filmstrips to video tape and DVD but in very limited instances. One filmstrip that was converted to Video tape was called I’ll Build You a Rainbow.

I’ll Build You a Rainbow starts out with a montage of a boy and his mother playing games together, going places together and just hanging out. The montage is really long. The filmstrip ends with an ambulance coming to the boy’s home. The mother relates to her son that she is going to die and that he needs to be a big boy now. The filmstrip ends with a song about how the mother will build a rainbow for her boy and to look for them in the sky.

Despite the fact that filmstrips are a very outdated technology, this filmstrip has somehow endured and the memories still remain. This particular filmstrip is probably remembered because of the emotional impact, despite the fact that the film is cheesy; most individuals get chocked up towards the end. There are other filmstrips that church members might remember but this tends to be an enduring classic.

Other filmstrips that members might be familiar with would be, the Indian Seminary program stories, Ordination and A Boy and the Power of God just to name a few. There really is no point in resurrecting filmstrips as a source of entertainment or instruction because of the modern day equivalents which are far more superior however, they do have cultural and a impact church members who might remember them from their youth.

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