“Out of Character”

What do Pharaoh, a saloon girl, a pirate, a fairy princess, and Caesar have in common? They are all wait staff at The Time Warp, one of two fictional restaurants in the short film “Out of Character.” When the costumed actors gathered for filming, it looked a bit like a Halloween party – except for the lighting trusses, overhead microphone, camera, and other scattered equipment.

We were at a different location each of the two shooting days, so each morning we carted in equipment, plus meals and snacks for up to 30 people. While the actors got into costume and had their hair and makeup done, the tech crew got set up. Then each scene was shot multiple times from multiple angles, and for each camera angle, the lights and microphone had to be reset. By the time everything was packed up, it had been as a 14-hour day.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg! Work started months ago, with hours upon hours spent writing and editing the script, lining up the tech crew, auditioning actors, and planning the logistics of the shoot. And work is still continuing now with post-production tasks like video editing and composing background music.

All this for a finished product that will take less than five minutes to watch.

That’s an awful lot of work for less than five minutes! But it was worth the time and effort. This film will be one of several used as discussion starters for a new Bible study series by Steve Douglass, the president of Campus Crusade for Christ. Like the parables of Jesus, the films will tell stories that illustrate spiritual truths. They will help college students around the country (and maybe the world) engage on a heart level with the Scriptures in each lesson.

I really enjoyed working on the shoot (I ran errands and helped prepare and serve meals), and I look forward to helping with future films, along with my usual training duties. One thing’s for sure: when I watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” this Christmas, I’ll have a much greater appreciation of what it took to produce what I see on screen!

Thank you for your prayers and partnership!

Join Me for Keynote’s Vision Event Online

Thank you for your partnership with me and my ministry at Keynote! As you know from my monthly newsletters, God is doing some cool things through Keynote, but it’s hard to really paint a picture in a letter. One of the best ways to catch the vision of Keynote and hear the awesome stories of God at work is to attend Keynote’s annual vision event. I want to invite you to join us this year on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm to hear how “The story goes on.”

I’d love to have you join me in Westfield Indiana but don’t let travel prevent you from joining us. You can attend from your living room by watching our webcast at www.keynoteconnection.org! Check out the video below for more information.

An opportunity for a financial faith investment will be provided.

Strategic Planning

For the last several weeks, the Keynote Creative Communications Group (the Keynote team I belong to) has met at least once each week for strategic planning. We’re using a specific process that encourages us as a team to pray, dream, identify strengths and weaknesses, and make faith goals for what we’re asking God to enable us to do by the end of 2011.

Some people hate business meetings, but I’ve been enjoying these times. We’ve experienced laughter, debate, prayer, encouragement, confusion, discoveries, and more. In the process we’ve gotten to know each other better and have gelled into a team, not just a group of people working in the same department. I believe we’ve also listened to God’s leading and arrived at some specific goals that He wants us to accomplish in the next 14 months. Some of those include

  • expanding our training curriculum
  • developing new training relationships with Campus Crusade ministries here and overseas
  • making training material available on the web
  • completing several short films that can be used as resources for evangelism and discipleship.

Some of these goals seem like they are far too big for our team — but they’re not too big for God. I’m excited to see what He will do!

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