The James Experiment Media Campaign Part 3

Drumroll…. Part three: video and radio, is my favorite part of this whole media campaign. We came to the conclusion that we needed someone to be the main actor of these video and radio bits. While the video and and audio of the bit is not that complicated, anyone who has been in the film or radio business knows that even in the simpler projects, experience and talent matters. However, our production budget was tight, just like everywhere else, so I started to think. I had remembered that one of my friends, Gabe Whitehurst, was an aspiring actor. So I gave him a call and he was perfect for the piece!

Jordan Fowler, our teaching pastor wrote the script for the piece and this is the final product of what we came up with:

It’s an interesting story of how we got there. When I first received the script, I perceived it as a lot darker of mood. This is where our communication broke down. When I, the video guy, planned out everything from shots, to location, to movement, to actor, to everything… you name it, I envisioned a much more reflective, deep, pensive video. To add on top of that, I really wanted to try ending the video with Gabe looking down the lens. However, I used my video lingo and told Gabe I want to end the video with him looking down the “barrel”. Barrel in my video terminology means lens, but obviously someone who does not understand video would think (and I didn’t think this when I said it) a barrel of a gun. haha.

So I was already taking the script a little darker than Jordan envisioned, but my actor, Gabe, took it even darker. Take a look at the darker version (this is before color treating):

What put the nail in the coffin for the darker version was the fact that we were launching this campaign on Easter Sunday. Our Easter services are celebratory so the dark version just wouldn’t do. We had to lighten it up.

After all the video was done, we sent Gabe to KLTY to cut a radio add to throw up on a few different radio stations. We sent him to KLTY to get it cut because we figured they could get a cleaner cut then we could. Looking back, I think our audio was cleaner, but o well! Here’s the Radio Spot:

Voice Overs are always interesting, so I put this video together just for extra insight on how everything is made:

The James Experiment Media Campaign Part 2

Part 2 of the James Experiment media campaign is the web. The whole point of the web portion of this campaign is interactivity. We wanted to create a microsite that people could come to find answers and encouragement. A place were people could interact with the james experiment.
As you saw in the previous post, our goal was for people to hear the radio add or see the billboard and go to our website: northwoodchurch.org. This microsite serves many purposes from a video to find themselves in, to places to meet outside of the church walls if they’re skeptical, to a place where they can post how the experiment is working for them, to even a place where we can post challenges and “experiments” of faith for people to try.

This part of the campaign was done by our worship pastor Brent Minter. He grabbed a theme from WooThemes that works with WordPress, skinned the microsite to look nice, and threw in all the content (written by our teaching pastor Jordan Fowler). All in all the microsite only took a few days work and is an amazing interactive hub that people can use to find out if faith really works.

This is just one of the many layers of this campaign that we can use to break down the walls of someone who is skeptical in coming to church. It didn’t take long… Use the tools that are already out there! Most of the time, there is no need to re-invent the wheel. Avoid the stress and use tools that are available Here’s a snapshot of the site before we skinned it:

James Experiment Before

And the final product:

James Experiment After

Is it the best looking website? Not by any means. But it is fully functional, serves and amazing purpose, and we didn’t pull our hair out in trying to code everything from scratch. Part 3 coming next, Video and Radio! In the meantime, check out the James Experiment website.

The James Experiment Media Campaign Part 1

Launching easter Sunday, our church is going through a movement called The James Experiment. This is a large push spiritually, fellowship-ly (I like to make up new words), and most importantly for this blog: media-ly. This is one of the largest pushes using media that we have ever done.

In our first brainstorming meeting we decided a lot of things. We decided that we wanted to use billboards, radio, video, and web to push this movement. Our goal was to get people outside of our four walls that have questions about faith, capture their interest, get them involved in the James Experiment, and ultimately change their lives with the love of Christ.

So, being the only media guy on staff at Northwood, right off the bat my brain starts spinning. “How on earth am I supposed to get all of these mediums out before Easter? Billboards are due weeks before Easter”, is what I was thinking. This on top of the week to week stuff that needs to get done. So I attacked it one step at a time. First came the Identity, and there were many ideas for the identity (these are quick mockups to spring ideas from):

Mock Up Ideas for the James Experiment

Took those and threw them onto some billboards to wrap our heads around the idea:

Billboard Ideas

We took those quick mock ups and outsourced the design to one of our church members and long time friend of mine Josh Berman. He did an amazing job on the identity and the billboard design (website size was enlarged before print to billboards):

James Exp Final

It’s hard to see but there is a nice texture in the background of the text, so its not a standard black backdrop. Part 2, coming soon, is our web portion of the campaign. Soon after that I’ll post my favorite portion: radio and video as Part 3 of the James Experiment media campaign.

Updated Good Friday Service Post

A while ago I did a post on what we did for good friday service last year. Here is the video of the service again, but I’ve added a bunch of downloadable goodies so that you can pull off this same service with ease. We have done all the hard work for you!

I’ve listed here a whole service ready to go for you. Stuff happens and sometimes planning suffers from it, so if you’re looking for a creative good friday service then here’s a good one… ready to go! I just ask that if you use all of this just let me know by commenting or email.

Here is the graphic files we used: download here. And here is the VO script: VO Script

Have fun!

Get Back To The Core

Let’s look back at a sermon series we did almost 2 years ago! 2 years is a long time in the video/graphic world. But still I look back and enjoy this sermon bump. It’s not the best; I’m not sure why I like it so much, but here I am talking about it 2 years later.
The whole sermon series of “Core” was about getting back to the core of our beliefs. It was an 8 week sermon series over the course of the summer. How do you take the idea of the “core of our faith” and turn it into a sermon series? FIrst, lets take a look at the sermon graphic we came up with:

Core Sermon Series

The whole idea was to take these pieces of magazines and put them together to one idea, to form “core”. Much like taking lessons, stories, commandments, and everything in the bible to form our faith. So I used that magazine idea to pull this bump together:

It’s a little old school – two years old. So don’t judge me. haha. It’s always interesting to see how other companies, media groups or whoever pull together ideas. But it’s a great exercise to look back and see how you, yourself, developed an idea from sketches to reality.