Why do you do what you do? That’s the question that we first asked YDisciple when they were looking to share their new structure for what Youth ministry can look like. When they first started telling me about YDisciple it sounded like something new and refreshing, yet the more we talked the more I realized it wasn’t new at all. In fact, it’s as old as Discipleship itself.
We started conceiving a script that would take us through that journey of history to our modern day concerns of ministry. We wanted to make sure this film kept a quick and fun pace and was rooted in storytelling. This was a fun film to work on and it’s been great to see YDisciple grow throughout the country and beyond in the last couple years since we made this video.
I will leave you with a promo we put for one of their video series in the YDisciple resources.
July 25 was the anniversary of Humanae Vitae, a document by Pope Paul VI that laid out the Church’s vision and teaching of marriage. This year the anniversary kicked off the start of NFP (Natural Family Planning) awareness week. The Couple to Couple League International (CCLI) wanted to lead the charge in awareness while also raising money to continue their work.
Increase awareness of Humanae Vitae and Couple to Couple League.
Receive $30,000 in donations to take full advantage of a matching fund ($60,000 total).
When seeing these goals we set our target audience to those practicing Natural Family planning, in childbearing age. But we wanted to make sure that the video had the appeal that this initial target audience would want to share out to their further audiences.
We began to brainstorm on what would speak to not only those already sold on NFP but also to those curious or just learning.
After toying with several ideas we landed on this idea to take us through the history of unpacking Humanae Vitae through the years since the release of the document. Using the audio from thought leaders during the past 4 decades, we sought to share the joy of marriage.
For the visuals we wanted a simple metaphor to show the ups and downs of a growing family. We used the dinner table as we saw the nourishment of the family relating to the banquet of a joyful marriage.
This video went along with a larger campaign for the week of guest bloggers and other testimonials that gave viewers the ability to dig deeper once they showed interest.
GOAL 1 RESULTS:
Facebook Reach (how many saw content): 105,634, a 1,206% increase over July’s previous high
Facebook Engagement (how many liked, commented, shared): 9,497, an 8,187% increase over July’s previous high
Facebook Likes: 3% increase to 7,107 (+ 224)
Twitter followers: 168% increase Twitter Impressions (how many saw content): 17,370, a 1,000% increase over normal Twitter Profile visits (people checking our Twitter homepage): 2,407, an 820% increase over normal
Over Record Views
Website page views: 6,158 views,
a 620% increase over our usual average of 996
– This is also a 211% increase over our previous record high of views/day (2,910).
– Traffic continued high into Tuesday, which had 3,496 views, a 352% increase over normal
GOAL 2 RESULTS:
In The First Day
Raised in a Week
By the end of Giving Day itself, CCLI had just under $20,000 in donations. By the end of the week, CCLI received $34,366! Add to that the $30,000 dollar matching grant for a total NFP awareness week that raised $64,366 to continue their important work.
“This has been a huge success, and a big part of that is the creativity and wisdom of your team in creating a video unlike what we first envisioned. I get so stoked when I’m working on something that feels God-led, and this is a prime example. Thanks for bringing the gifts God has given you into your work. It has blessed our mission yet again, and I imagine it won’t be the last time.”
Director of Communications; CCLI
BEHIND THE SCENES:
This video was a great deal of fun to produce. Once we had our idea we started by putting together an audio outline along with a storyboard.
We then found a location that would be conducive to a large table. We went out picked up all of our food and started on a long day of preparing meals and setting tables.
If you happen to be one of the eight people that hasn’t heard of “Stranger Things” it’s the current hit mini series on Netflix that is America’s distraction from politics.
With enough nostalgia to make Lisa Frank in a Member’s Only jacket jealous; it’s a throwback to everything Stephen King and Steven Spielberg (Stevhen Kinglberg you could say).
While there’s plenty that can be said about the binge watch culture or the paradigm shift in media delivery my reflection is on a different note. I’m only a couple episodes in (no spoilers, I’ve got 3 kids 3 and under I’ll be lucky to finish by 2019), but I can’t help but to wish I could be nailing the aesthetic that they seem to so effortlessly put on the screen.
1) Overnight Success Takes 10 Years
Unlike House of Card’s David Fincher, the creators of the show, the Duffer brothers, are virtual unknowns. It’s easy to see this project as the brothers knocking it out of the park with their first go at a big project. In reality these two guys have been making films since the third grade when they received a hi8 video camera as a gift. Their first IMDB credit was 11 years ago.
I’ve heard it said that 497 of the top 500 symphonies were made after composer’s 10th year of work (the other 3 were made in year 9). It’s a reminder to me that my best work is ahead, and that continuing to work and make better stuff than I made yesterday is the only way to get there.
2) Love the Process as Much as the Product
While it’s true that I would love my current work to be at this level, I have to ask myself, ‘do I love the idea of the final work more than the work itself?’
I’m working on some fiction stuff at the moment and I’ll tell you when all you see is what is on the screen it’s easy to forget how much work is going on behind camera.
Just take a look at the full credits. The wardrobe department alone is 25 people.
While we’re always working on more ambitious projects. I love the process of the short work we currently get to do. But I’ll keep practicing and try to bridge the gap between my taste and my work.
So take today to re-dedicate yourself to be a faithful artist. To keep making things (normal things or stranger things). Try to make each thing better than the last and be encouraged that you are growing and you are getting better.
If you’re still not convinced how much work and attention is poured into this project check out how much attention was given to the title sequence:
We’ve done many collaborations with Outside Da Box. Several months ago, while we were working on other projects, they mentioned in passing that they were looking to do a video on prayer in the summer. I happen to run into some words that mother Teresa said on prayer and I couldn’t keep myself from digging in deeper. I started digging deeper into what Mother Teresa had to say about prayer until I found a scene from an old documentary on Mother Teresa where she shared the beautiful words found in this video.
In the course of making this video I’ve probably listened 50 times, to her state how to listen and start on our path to holiness. Yet each time something new clicks. This isn’t just a random series of Christian catch phrases, this is a holy individual that has truly shared how each step leads to the next. If we truly want peace in this world, this is how we do it. If we want to make it to heaven, this is how we do it. If we to know how to love this is where we start. I pray you find these words of solace as inspiring as I have found them.
The hand lettering was done by my wife who can be found over at Fawnly.
God speaks in the silence of the heart and we listen, and then we speak to God from the fullness of our heart. First we listen, God speaks, and then we speak and God listens and that connection is, is prayer, is oneness with God. The fruit of prayer, is deepening of faith and the fruit of faith is love and the fruit of love is service. And the fruit of service is peace that’s why we need to pray to have a clean heart and if you have a clean heart we can see God.
And when we see God, naturally we begin to love one another that means, we see, and we look, and then we give our hands to serve and our hearts to love and that’s the beginning of holiness.
80% of the youth in our community qualify for free and reduced lunch in the school system. 15,000 kids under 18, in our immediate boundaries, also live in poverty. There has been a decline in family income dropping 23% or $10,000 per household. The population of our immediate community is racially diverse, with 60% being minorities.
Candidly, our church cannot accommodate our growing community. Our Masses are overcrowded. Parish social events are limited by size and are not accessible to people with disabilities. Classroom space for faith formation, education programs and our active youth groups is inadequate. And, we lack sufficient space for our social justice ministry, which provides food, clothing and monetary assistance to the poor.
In Oregon, 27% of the population as no affiliation with a church (compared to the national figure of 16%). That’s about 62,000 people in our area. Not only is the opportunity to serve the financially poor but the spiritually poor.
The fine people of St. Joseph the worker in Portland came to me and laid out their need. We came to the understanding that we needed to target donors outside of the parish to ensure a successful campaign.
Armed with this info and a deep understanding of the donors that we we’re targeting for this short film we got to work on writing a script. I had this idea of this stop motion scrap book. The concept was a book that opens with the “St. Joseph the Worker” on the front. We peer through an animated book of the history starting with St. Joseph and moving to our current needs. It includes pictures and videos, renderings and animations.It will gave us the opportunity to show real images (history, art, etc) but without taking ourselves too seriously. To see the initial script click here.
With a few tweaks to the script and some research into the statistics we wanted to share we began collecting photos, blueprints and other resources to build our final video. We made a couple of mock-ups of the individual frames to make sure everyone was on the same page and we moved forward with the final animation. The video received a great response tied in perfectly with their website and other campaign materials. It was a pleasure collaborating on this project and they are already over half way to their funding goal bringing in new donors and encouraging current donors of this worth while project.
It almost feels ironic to see this film going around on social media. When our friends at Outside Da Box asked if we would do a video on stealing I really didn’t have any immediate ideas. When I started flipping through the catechism and read a particular quote from Saint Cyprian and it reminded me of a different quote, so I started digging through boxes of high school stuff. This is our most vulnerable film yet, bringing you into the center of our family life.
The Problem: 6.5 leave the Catholicism for every one that joins.
50% of young people who were raised Catholic are no longer Catholic today.
79% of former Catholics left the Church before they were 23
Brandon Vogt refused to sit idly by while this was going on. We sat down back in May for breakfast and chatted about this idea when it was just a fledgling of an idea. At that point Brandon had done a huge amount of research and had just made the decision to pour all his efforts into making this resource. 2 months later and he had written the entire book and was ready to make some incredible resources. He made an entire series for parents of millennials that have left the Church. He even made the decision to give away some of the resources for free. It was truly enlightening to work on this project and see the strategies of effective evangelization that Brandon has been helping parents throughout the nation put into action.
Phenomenal men doing incredible work, helping with men’s group programming and facilitating. And to top it all off they’re giving all their resources away for free. Check them out at CrossingTheGoal.com.