Category Archives: Creative

Sometimes inspiration comes from places you least expect when you least expect.  Having had the opportunity to work where I do, I’ve been really blessed to have a lot of creative freedom to projects we get to work on.  For any church, especially churches who love being creative in their messages, there are common seasons and common messages within those seasons.  The story of Easter will always be about the resurrection of Christ, the story of Christmas will always be about His birth and what that means to us.  But what I get to do is try to give a new perspective, try to make a story that may seem common and possibly lost in the middle of a holiday rush come alive.  So at times it can feel like we need to one up ourselves from last year.  Bigger, louder, more too see, etc.

But the point is often not how to one up ourselves but how to tell the story in a way that really matters to the viewer.  Tell it in a way that will “stick”.

This year, inspiration came from the old hymn, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”  Here’s a look at the opener that was played at Rockford First:

We had a blast putting this together.  With the help of Greyspot Visuals, we were able to make the story come to life, the way we wanted to tell it.  We wanted to use the lyrics of the hymn to tell the story of a path that we all take.  Whether a drummer boy, shepherd, wiseman or the modern person, we are all wandering in search for something, but the true reason on why God came to earth, to be in the middle of our mess, is the same for all of us.  There’s not one person He didn’t come for.

Christmas 2015 Opener Script

Christmas 2015 Opener Script

Christmas 2015 Opener Script

With every project, it had it’s obstacles.  Adding stars to the scene, was one of them.  We wanted to introduce the Star of Bethlehem without actually seeing it, to give a feeling of encountering greatness off frame.  But without other stars in the background, it seemed out of place.  So adding stars to a black background meant a lot of rotoscoping:

Christmas Opener - Rotoscope for Stars

Christmas Opener – Rotoscope for Stars

Here’s a small glimpse of the rotoscoping and fx with color grade starting with original looking footage:

Here are some more behind the scenes pics and shotlist breakdowns for the project:

Location Scout

Location Scout




Camera Op, Follow Focus, Director's Monitor

Camera Op, Follow Focus, Director’s Monitor


Christmas 2015 - Field Shot List

Field Shot List – Example

Christmas 2015 – Field Shot List

Special thanks to:
Greyspot Visuals, Inc
Colin Gregory
Jeff Anderson
Matt Sandberg
Igor Kasyanyuk
Greg Farnham
And of course the Talent


That one time I faked this jump in Garden of the Gods.

There’s nothing more thrilling AND nerve-racking for a creative than reaching beyond your grasp.  If you’re like me, then good isn’t good enough.  I’ve developed a habit of getting myself in situations where I have to deliver a product that I have no idea how to do.  It all starts with the phrase, “That’s cool but do you know what would be REALLY cool, what if we…”  Then I’m trapped.  Locked into an idea that was blurted out with boyish excitement not realizing what it might take to complete it.  Just about every time I do this, there’s a moment where I kick myself for opening my big mouth.  But in the end there has yet to be a time where I regret it.  Yes, every time I complete a project that starts this way there has always been something about it that drives me absolutely crazy.  “If I would have shot it this way” “I should have thought of this”  “I wish I had just little more time to do this…”  There’s always something.  However, I have always learned something new.  Some new way to edit.  A new perspective on the message of the project.  Something new about myself.  It’s all about the challenge.  It’s all about the question, “Do I have what it takes.” 

Can you relate?  Do you put yourself in situations where you are looking for that answer?  Are you reaching beyond your grasp?  How do you grow?  How do you get better?  If you find yourself saying, “I don’t”  Then I suggest you accept the challenge and TAKE THE LEAP.