Wednesday, August 31, 2011

close to the end…

That’s correct, we are coming to the close of our year long study at CrossCurrent.
We just finished up the Minor Prophets and are closing out with, Revelation of course.
This is the staging requested by our pastor for the last two Sundays.

So, we are gearing up for the next series, using these as our basic design material. It's called Mio Nomad System. It's pretty nifty.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

Maybe not overly creative this week with the stage. You know, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fire furnace, yada, yada.
But, we used this for for our countdown this week.
Louis Armstrong - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Very interesting responses from people waiting in the lobby, when this vid started playing. They started turning around and looking at the vid monitor in the lobby. Which was cool. Was it because it was something outside of the norm? Something really retro?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

why designing for Philistines...

why designing for Philistines?

I thought I had explained my thought process behind designing for Philistines and I didn't. Doh!

This is a repost from June 2008, about why I blog here at "designing for Philistines".
What happened I started blogging when it occured to me couple major running themes going on in my blog…

1. The biggest one being that:
I am a freaky designer of cutting edge and culturally relevant (read something relevant to people after Jimmy Hendrix, Prince, the Spice Girls and after 9/11)
5S (using all 5 senses)
experiential worship elements...
I am obsessed with this concept. I spend hours and hours research, searching youtube and such.

2. AND I REALLY dislike terms like “seeker” and “lost”, unless you are referring to the t.v. show. I find them extremely condescending and churchy sounding and actually so do they.

Why Philistines? It’s all Jon - of scl fame’s fault…he’s one of my fav (and prolific) bloggers. In his post "Calling People Seekers" – he discusses what “we” Christians call “people who do not go to church”. It really resonated with what I have been feeling for a long time AND from what I hear from those wonderful “people who do not go to church”.

3. I spend a lot of time with those who hang out at the well (read: people who do not go to church), and I love them to pieces. Those are the people who I feel compelled to design for. I want them to get a chance to know this guy named Jesus.

I have tried to find an online community that is like minded and have not been able to find one, so I decided to start one.
This blog is geared to researching, designing and implementing culturally relevant elements for worship. I may be blogging for myself, then again there may be 17 more people like me out there in the blogsphere who are “seeking” this type of information.

We will see. So welcome...
this is designing for Philistines...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

into the woods...

No stage design this week.
We are off to Meadow Kirk for Baptism Sunday!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

can you guess what this is?

Been twirling design ideas around in my brain for our next series at CrossCurrent for a couple months. More to come.
This is what I have been looking at.


I love "hooks".
It is a means of attracting interest or an enticement. Mmmmm, I love enticement. Something that makes you think again.
For example in music, a hook is a musical idea, often a short riff that is used in popular music to make a song appealing and to "catch the ear of the listener".
I having trying really hard for a while to create thought "hooks" from one week to the next.
Not easy to do when people don't really buy into the concept.
But, we did manage to accomplish it with the QR codes. It mostly happened because of miscommunication. The presentation of the whole idea wasn't offered in week one of the series; so people were left with the "empty" feeling of why in the world were those strange blocks of dots everywhere? People were curious.
Thankfully, the next week it was explained really well. But, it did create a hook. Nice.
For me this darn kangaroo is a perfect example of a hook. I really liked the short lived series "Fast Forward". In the premiere, just before the first commercial they focused on this picture of a kangaroo-and said remember the kangaroo... Obviously they were going to explain it later in the series. I remembered the kangaroo-it caught my attention. Then the series ended abruptly and they never resolved "the why" of the kangaroo. UGH!
Now the kangaroo haunts me. THAT is a great hook.
So, currently, this picture is my desktop picture, as a reminder to remember the importance of the hook.
I will continue to weave "hooks" from one week to the next.

Friday, August 5, 2011

little cloud of bounciness...

One day I was simply walking into a local library for a meeting. As I was walking in I stepped on a really cool mat in the entryway.
"Wow"! It was like stepping on a little cloud of bounciness. The feeling was very cool and fun. My instant thought was how am I going to incorporate this into an experiential element for - you guessed it - church.

So, I pulled out my camera to "capture" a picture as a reminder of this moment.
Seriously, this is how is works in my mind. I haven't had a chance to use this concept yet. But is is there-in my memory, waiting for the right moment...

musing on creativity...

I’ve been musing about creativity and how it happens in the brain, again.
Honestly, I wonder if I am really creative or if I have more of a gift of extrapolation.
I often note there is a difference between artistic and creative. I don't feel that I am necessarily "artistic". But I do have an intrinsic "nose".
My mind constantly "sees" things that inspire some sort of creative gut check. I "see" a snippet; and think "Oh wow, what am I able to do with that?"
This is the ceiling from The Cheesecake Factory in Columbia, Md.

Another small example: I have used a simple faux mirror to interact with on stage for a dance routine.
After we had done that, I captured this frame from SYTYCD. Way cool! I had an idea, then I saw it somewhere else.

Or even more recently. I was watching SYTYCD and saw this...

I file these "snippets" away in my brain and hopefully my computer. I actually have a file entitled "inspiration & thoughts".
I also will blog about it, mostly just to keep the little idea locked down somewhere until it is needed.

Another key element is being well read. Constantly reading, watching, searching, looking, checking out...

Seriously, I study things like marketing (Very helpful)
Yet another thing I do is keep up with what is currently relevant.
Just this week, I was reading some articles on creativity by googling “how does creativity happen?” Some of the information I gleaned from this search was:
The second link I hit was “How does creativity happen?”, really good stuff.
-Even Albert Einstein once defined creativity as "combinatorial play," referring to the intellectual playfulness aspect of creativity, the putting things together in a new way.
-Ah, “putting things together in a new way”. That makes sense to my mind.
-Amy Tan abnormal chromosome
-and I found an e-book "Untitled"

The biggest revelation that I had during this research was - the average person isn't really wired for creativity and most people aren't willing to do the hard work that is involved in creative process.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

be still...

Found out about this video from his book "Untitled" Thoughts on the Creative Process.
This is abolutely brilliant...

BE HERE NOW from blaine hogan on Vimeo.

what you are able to do with a very small budget...

With a little imagination & work; believe it or not, you can create impactful stage design elements on a very limited budget.
Here is an overview of some of the stages that we have created. Drama sets, Starbucks old promo's,  interactive elements - most between $20-$50  to create.

We are a completely mobile church and though we do use some of the same ideas over series, we mostly create a new stage design each and every week. We have built up a nice colection of cloth to use on our stage. Simply by watching for sales, and hunting at Walmart.

So, I want to encourage people that are out there designing on a very small budget.

You can do it!

QR codes…

Was going to make a larger QR code for this week, went to Kinko’s (second time in two weeks) and ran into a snare. The printer we were using @Kinko’s only did 3’x3’ images, and then we’d have to go to a photo printing machine that cost a lot more (double or triple). Honestly, considering that all of this comes out of my pocket-I went with the least expensive option. Oh, well. Needed to adjust on the fly. So dropped the idea of the 4’x4’ image and went with a 2’x2’ image and simply added and rearranged the images on the stage accordingly.
So, got the images printed, cut, glued onto the coroplast, cut again, holes punched, fishing line threaded through and hung with safety pins.

The pastor introduced the idea and explained QR codes: sort of understanding often comes through the type of "lens" you use to interpret things. He "snapped" a qr code (the first one in this slide show), which was simultaneously shown on the big screen. Then showed the picture that was associated with that QR code (the Ezekiel; "If you don't get it, you don't get it picture), which again was shown on the big screen.
Each QR code was self-generated and then populated somewhere on the internet.
We had QR code links to the following:
I converted and dedicated an old blogspot place I had for this message on Ezekiel. It was just so much easier to do myself than explain and ask people to populate images and txt in other locations. A lot of the images and txt where then simply added to the blogspot and QR code links created.
The Vision of The Valley of The Dry Bones by Gustave Doré (on Wikipedia), public domain image

Ezekiel by Michelangelo (on Wikipedia), public domain image
Ezekiel logo image with tag "If you don't get it..." blogspot
Image of New Jerusalem
Explanation of why we are doing the element.
The Most Important Story (from the Relevant Word)
So What (from the Relevant Word)
Smile God loves you (Easter egg, just a funny ha,ha)
Other locations: Think and Talk blog post for Ezekiel 25-48. A blog on our website about where we are in our year long study and pictures on the Creative Arts page on XC website
If you are reading on facebook, designing for philistines blogspot pictures of the stage this week.