Honoring Longevity in Marriage – Weekend Recap (May 1, 2016)

This week was a powerful and strong Sunday as we had the opportunity to highlight the power and legacy of lifelong marital commitment. It turned out to be exceptionally strong. We were addressing the topic of “Fighting for your Marriage.” In our creative team gatherings we had circled around several ideas – whether to do a funny video of a couple not getting along or trying to foster a marriage in the midst of the chaotic environment. However, one of our volunteer leaders, April Holladay, kept emphasizing the power telling the story of someone who had been marriage 60 years and the learnings that can come from hearing from a couple with such longevity.

We landed on featuring one of our own pastors, Tim Coop, and his wife Sandy. They have been married for almost 56 years. Not only had they been through so much in their time and have the wisdom to speak with so many, Tim has been an incredible advocate for marriages here at The Crossing and in his various ministries throughout the years. They became the perfect choice to feature.

We decided to add the last 10% by intermixing their story with the song, Forever Like That by Ben Rector (who has become a favorite of our creative team). Matt Biel and our team did a fantastic job of performing the song and intermixing the video with the tune.

Every time we mix song and video it comes with it’s own set of challenges. This time we had to accommodate a the intro of the song, which was very long. Through the rehearsal we were able to figure out when to start the band so they would start singing when the first video ended. Each time there was timing needed to make the moment seamless.

April Holladay, one of our core creative volunteers, worked hours coordinating the filming with the Coop’s. This was important as Tim is currently battling cancer and has been through a difficult period. Dave Cowan did a great job putting the piece together including great black and white photos from their lives.

The entire piece was rehearsed on Thursday evening and April put together this plan  so that our Sunday volunteer team could execute team the cues as they needed to happen. I would recommend to come up with a plan similar to this if you choose to do a video/song mash up.  When executed well…it rocks.

At the end of the day, the moment was extremely powerful and moved the audience. The telling of stories  It turned out to be one of our strongest elements we have done all year.

Here is the video:

Worship Set List:

Alive

Trust It All

O Come To The Altar

Special: Forever Like That

Resurrecting

Weekend Service Order:

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Full Service Video

Message Video

Art Meets Digital: The Story Behind Our Christmas Service Graphic

LIH_16x92Series graphics are something we do all the time. Normally we are working our standard digital graphic creation process to arrive at a effective, finished piece. However, when discussions began around our Christmas Eve Services and having local artist Jennifer Main do a live painting, we decided to take a different AND difficult approach for our graphic and marketing. This was a big deal because the nature of this service means our deliverables will be extensive and large INCLUDING a billboard size banner on our building facing busy traffic. This graphic needs to be strong.

The decision was made to incorporate elements of the live painting into the main graphic look for promotion and marketing. Conversations began with Jennifer (our artist) about our Christmas theme and she began the process of finding inspiration to communicate this theme in 7 minutes. This early version would drive our final graphic.

She sent us a couple different options and the team settled on a one “look” that would work well. From there the project was handed to our graphic artist. And the process began.

Here were are three main values when creating this promotional graphic:

  1. The graphic must effectively communicate.
  2. The graphic must be able to be modified to fit the 20-25 deliverables required for our numerous marketing and promotional purposes
  3. The graphic must stay true to the original artwork.

Initially we had to go back to Jennifer to have her “cut apart” her painting into the various key pieces. It was important for Jennifer to send us the highest quality image of the chosen design. Our graphic artist then edited all of the elements of the design so they could be moved and adjusted freely based on the different deliverables we were creating. Alongside this  a high quality image of the background was used as a foundation for all of our deliverables.

As you can see in the pictures, we did not use the painted “Love is Here” on the deliverables. Unfortunately, it was unusable because of the fusion of digital text and painted art. (digital text next to the painted “Love is Here”). Instead we  finding a font that worked better for our uses.

Example of one of the elements we cut out of the graphic:

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Main Advertisement Graphic:

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Invitation Card: 

LIH invite

It was a great project and stretched our team to make the elements come together and work to communicate our message while integrating the digital form and art form. Great learnings in this process.

Weekend Rundown: Beginnings (The Story – Chapter 1)

Sunday, September 7th marked The Crossing’s very first week of The Story series–a currently popular sermon series based on the book of the same title, which is essentially an abridged, novel-esque version of the Bible that is easy to understand and study.  As the creative team, our goal is always to effectively and creatively support the theme of the message, and the brainstorming around this particular weekend was no different–the main theme centered around the story of creation, and so we wanted to find an attention-grabbing way for that to be communicated! Keep reading to see if you think we were successful…

Buttermilk…a word that has rarely even come out of my mouth, let alone to be used in the context of…painting?  Fun fact:  a layer of buttermilk is great for turning a clear/see-through surface opaque, and as is often the case in our creative team meetings, a fact that was mysteriously stumbled upon in the quest for a way to make, essentially:  1) a giant, mobile projection screen on stage that could 2) be interacted with during 3) an emotionally-moving, live instrumental piece 4) while being narrated by an inspirational voice over.  Simple!  Once we had established that as “the plan” for the creative element of the service, execution began to take place.  Buttermilk was purchased and tested as “paint”; three 8’x4′ sheets of clear plexiglass were purchased and installed in a custom-built, rolling metal frame (thank You, Lord, for skilled and willing volunteers!); the back-projection of carefully selected time-lapse images of creation was tweaked and practiced to near-perfection; the musical piece (the song “We Will Run” by the band Gungor, including a three minute instrumental overture that’s on one version of the song) was adjusted and precisely timed (as well as expertly rehearsed by our amazing team of volunteer musicians); the voice over was written and recorded to match the projected images, which were brought to life live onstage by a charismatic painter who didn’t mind enduring buttermilk-splatter as we rehearsed the piece over and over.  If this sounds like it was an over-the-top undertaking, that’s because it WAS!  Below are a few links/resources to some of the specific elements of the whole piece; check back soon for links to related posts where I will further break down the process/”secrets” of some of the elements!

 

Link to a Youtube video of the piece in its entirety:

 http://youtu.be/oaaMGhHNUwQ?list=UUrz_tJvbmVPml5vgNTGiBEQ 

 

“We Will Run” by Gungor –  YouTube Video

Order of Service:

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Weekend Rundown: Be Reliable (Man Up – Wk 2)

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What a great weekend we had at The Crossing! Our main text for this weekend was 2 Timothy 2. Shane Philip, our senior pastor, talked about the importance of living a life that can be an example for others.

There were a couple creative elements that we used that were very strong. We found a very good video on YouTube that featured Bryan Clay who is the Olympic Gold & Silver Medalist in the Decathlon. This video on YouTube is in 5 different parts. We played 3 of the 5 parts in the service and it made for a great tie into the message. We enjoy being able to use a story at the beginning of the service and followup the story at the end of the message. This video allowed us to end cap the “Message Elements” section of the service to link everything together. The service flow below shows how we did that this weekend.

Bryan Clay YouTube Video

We did a feature song originally performed by Rascal Flatts called “Stand.”  This was a great song that was an awesome addition to the service.

Stand – Rascal Flatts YouTube Video

Stand Chart – Stand (Rascal Flatts) – B

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Stage Set: Splatter Backdrops

 

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We used this set twice in our former auditorium and remade it so we could use it again in the new auditorium. It is a great go to set. It is easy to make but also easy to hang and it is small enough it can be folded up and stored for a later use. We love the way they backdrops reflect the light and give a cool look.

The set is relatively easy to make. We got a couple rolls of Landscape Fabric at Home Depot and some white paint. You literally go outside (make sure you are in a spot where it isn’t a problem if paint goes everywhere) and just use brushes to throw paint all over the fabric. We made 12 backdrops that were about 20ft. and used 5 gallons of white paint and about 2 gallons of gray paint. However, we put a little too much paint on some of the backdrops.

Make sure to give the drops plenty of time to dry. We learned this the hard way when we brought them inside too soon and the paint had seeped through the holes on the fabric and we ended up scrubbing the stage for 2 hours! Another mistake we made was painting on rocks and the paint also seeped through and thousands of rocks had to be scraped off the back. Our recommendation is to use plastic underneath no matter where you paint to avoid this from happening.

We put poles in the top of the fabric and use an office stapler to make the backdrops hang like a curtain and have a really nice finished look — use lots of staples!

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Featured Song: Awake My Soul (w/ Spoken Word)

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 8.50.38 AMDuring “Truth is Stranger Than Fiction” we spent a week on the Valley of the Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37. We decided to do rendition of “Awake My Soul” by Chris Tomlin and Lecrae with the spoken word and it turned out great! We were able to do this song pretty much as it was done on the recording and it was a very cool element.

We had several conversations about the placement of this song in the service, whether pre-message or post. With the direction that the message it fit really well content wise to go post message, so that it what we did. However, it did not have the feel that we wanted it to have at the end of the message and in hindsight we would have placed the song pre message.

Chart – Awake My Soul – G

Awake My Soul @ The Crossing

You Tube Video

 

Featured Song: Sad

For a few days we tossed around the thought of doing a rendition of “Sad” by Maroon 5 for the first week of our Man Up series – Be Bold, based in 2 Timothy 1. We ended up putting the song back in the idea hopper because it did not quite fit the message and set a different mood than we wanted for that day.

Our Music Director changed a couple  words in the chorus to help it fit better for a church context.

We thought we would include this, even though we didn’t end up using it, in case it works better in your context or it sparks another idea.

Chart – Sad – G

Youtube Video – Original Song