Awhile back, I mentioned some upcoming projects that were related to Christmas. Well, they are all done, and even something extra was added.

One of the videos I was working on was a music video for the song “Silver Bells”, which will be part of the Christ Community Church Christmas Eve services. Jordan Green and I went to downtown Omaha, a few weeks ago, to scout out locations for the video. Jordan is a photographer, so he had a good idea of what he was wanting for the video. I added my two cents, and we had an idea of what we wanted for the video.

Two weeks ago, in the evenings, the Comm Team (and Comm Team friends) spent three nights filming in the Old Market and Gene Leahy Mall. Because of some of my other video projects going on, I was only there for one night of filming. It was fun, though. I was outside for five hours straight in temps that were in the twenties. Greg Nunamaker and I handled the 15′ jib for the shoot. (Here’s info on what a jib is.) We had to move it around Gene Leahy Mall for a number of different shots, which made for an adventure. The shots we got with it, though, turned out great.

While my work on the project was minimal in the end, it was fun to work with the team and volunteers on this project. Plus, I think it shows some of the beauty of downtown Omaha at night during Christmas.

Another video I was working on for the Christmas Eve services was a montage of classic Christmas films. Originally, the hope was to have as many as ten films referenced. As I started work on it, I found this to be difficult. I decided to stick with the known films, and films that had themes which worked with piece. (The montage was to play as the band performed three songs.) I kept it to It’s A Wonderful Life and White Christmas.

I did have to make some adjustments to the films for it to work. Everyone just assumed that all the classic films are in black and white, but White Christmas is not. So, I had to convert it to black and white for the piece. The other difficult thing was the aspect ratio of the films are different. Well, the aspect ratios of the films I had to work with are different. It’s A Wonderful Life was 4×3, but White Christmas was shot in a widescreen VistaVision. I had to adjust the aspect ratio of the White Christmas clips to the same size of the It’s A Wonderful Life clips. This was done so it would not be a distraction to the audience when it played.

The last video I have been working on lately was a surprise. Because of the Double Your Impact campaign, some of the planning for the December/Christmas messages hasn’t been as thorough as we would like. Changes, last second tweaks, more changes. Recently, the Christmas Eve service had a thorough revision. We were looking for another creative piece to fill a void in the service, and I offered up my usual Christmas idea of Charlie Brown. This time, it stuck.

The past few years, during the December/Christmas messages, I’ve been trying to leverage A Charlie Brown Christmas in some fashion. Two years ago I thought we were going to do a live adaptation of the animation I came up with, but it fell through at the last minute. I wrote a post that vented about the process without stepping over the line.* I was bummed because I thought the idea was great.**

*At the time, my boss said I did a good job of sharing my frustration while keeping it in line and in perspective.

**I don’t respond like that anymore to killed ideas. Yes, I’m still disappointed when ideas I think are good aren’t acted upon, but it happens a lot with creative work. I’m use to things changing in midstream, projects stopping after you’ve already worked on them for awhile. It happens.

I’ve edited together a montage of scenes from the animation, and the story’s theme will be referred to during the message. It’s a last second add to the Christmas Eve service, and not how I originally conceived it would be used over the past few years, but A Charlie Brown Christmas will be a part of the proceedings for a December/Christmas message. It’s taken a few years, but it came through. I’m happy about that. Maybe it isn’t how I envisioned, but how often has a project I’ve conceived ever turned out like I originally thought it would? Almost never.

That’s the latest with three videos I’ve been working on over the past few weeks. As I mentioned, they’ll all play in the Christmas Eve services. You’re more than welcome to come!

After the videos have played in the Christmas Eve service, I’ll post them here.

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