Over the years I have always been amazed at how many creative/tech people I have run across that also love using their creativity in preparing food. When I watch Oprah shows that talk about overweight people eating to cope with some deep emotional scar I’m always thinking that’s not me. I just love to eat good rich food! I love butter and cream and gravy and butter and meat and etc… You get the point.
All of that to say – I’m going to start posting great food finds here on my blog. Here it goes…
I got sucked into ‘The Next Food Network Star’ for the last 4 weeks and followed the winner as she started her new show. Aarti Sequeira hosts a weekly show called Aarti Party. Her niche is to infuse Indian flavors into every day American food. Most of us have a very limited concept of what Indian flavors are. Aarti really opens the door to some amazing flavor combinations. Tonight I made one of her recipes for dinner. Her ‘I Ain’t Chicken Chicken’ was amazing. You can find the recipe here. The whole family enjoyed the meal. It was hard to put away the leftovers because I just wanted to keep eating them.
I downloaded the latest album, The Ship and The Sea, from the band The Autumn Film last week. This music is creative food for me right now. The lead vocal is haunting, clear, and emotional. The arrangements are fresh and classic at the same time. The lyrics thought provoking.
As a church, we launched the initiatives to help people engage in the long term spiritual growth plan that we put together. We called it Pursue-Connect-Invest.
Take the next step in. Make the move, take the initiative. Pursuing means you’re taking ownership for your spiritual growth and making steps forward on your spiritual journey.
Get plugged in. Connecting means you’re doing your spiritual journey in community. Whether you’re checking out a small group, joining a class or volunteer team, connecting with others is crucial as you continue on your spiritual
Go all in. Investing means you’re choosing to invest your time,
your talent, and your finances in the work of Jesus (in the city of Chicago and around the world.
In branding these we struggled with what direction to go. Not sure what inspired it but one day it clicked with me that these were applications that we were giving our people to use… so lets treat them like apps. Within 20 min I had the logos for them done.
We printed 24”X36” images and framed them for our lobbies. I also had 46” versions printed on coroplast and hung them in our main lobby.
For the Invest series, I wanted the media to look and sound different. I wanted to tell stories in a different way. This proved harder to coordinate than I initially thought.
I came up with the concept of just showing peoples lives instead of having them do a talking head testimony. We would send out a camera man and he would just document a day in the life of. Then the people could read the script and narrate their story. Well it sounds good on paper but much harder to pull off. Several people did not want camera’s following them around in public. We had one home run and the others were ok.
All the videos would be desaturated with a high black level. Also the music would be simple piano music. This was true until the last two videos, the history video and the 1% video needed to be a big end.
We also had one other story about a neighborhood school that had to fit into the theme of the other videos. The footage had been shot months earlier so we just had to make it work.
We launched a capital campaign in March. Tim Schraeder, Park’s communications director, blogged about the communications side of it here.
I had not planned a set change for the series as it backed up to our Good Friday and Easter services, but.. I was walking thru the gift shop at the Museum of Contemporary Art and saw a mobile that you could clip your photos on and inspiration hit.
I was inspired by the the fact that it would be in constant motion. Also, that if one element on the mobile moved it caused the entire system to move. This played into the heart behind out Invest campaign. We were challenging people to invest in one neighborhood, one injustice, and one relationship as well as financially. I also came up with the concept of putting a 12’ roll of photography background paper on stage and lighting the mobile with one light that was focused on the paper. This would leave shadows on the paper and represent the light of Christ illuminating our efforts. This provided a different aspect to the sculpture. The shadows were always changing and you never saw the same thing twice.
I constructed the mobile out of aluminum cross pieces. I connected it all together with aircraft cable. The elements were printed transparencies with Rosco gels laid on them and cut out together.
When it came to defining the sound to our Good Friday service, we were inspired by one of the musicians in our church. Christian Larson had recently stepped up and started serving in one of your bands.
While driving to work one day, I saw a dance in my head to go along with one of his songs. The story was about something beautiful and pure being destroyed and torn.
I talked to a couple of people and decided to move forward with it. I spoke to Jess Graff, a dancer who happens to be the wife of our audio guy. She was game so we ordered a costume and set a shoot date. We shot for 2.5 hours. I just kept cutting her costume and applying more makeup and mud. The snow was a last minute inspiration that worked really well.
We decided to use the seven sayings of the cross as the framework for our Good Friday service this year. I had the idea to have a local poet, John Shirk, take them and re-write them poetically. I had an actor friend of mine, John Dowd, do the videos. I shot the videos with a ring light in a tiny room. It was the most intimate video shoot I have ever done. I am honored to be working with such a talented group of people.