Green Screens, UU Media and Lookin’ Like a Fool

 Green Screen on TVAt a recent workshop for ministers and religious educators on multi-generational worship the point came up that it is helpful to be willing to take risks and make a fool of yourself.   Funny costumes, goofy voices, skits, humor — I’d have to agree.

During lunch my table’s conversation moved to using fun and humor in UU media outreach.   It was fun learning that many people at the table had seen some of my goofy UU videos experiments.   Talking stats,  each video reached more people than the majority of our worship services, with the prep time being the same as producing a worship service, sometimes less.

Inspired by this conversation and a review of video stats — videos keep working after you produce them —  I just ordered a new green screen rig.  I had one at our old house in RI, but it didn’t survive the move.   I’m looking forward to producing a new line of  UU outreach videos.  Have ideas for videos?  Comment on this post!

Some previous videos:

Rod Serling, Twilight Zone Anniversary – During the 50th anniversary week of the Twilight Zone I told Amy someone should make a video highlighting that Serling was a Unitarian Universalist.  “Do it.”  And so we did.  A little chat over lunch, adapt the show’s intro,  crank out a video that afternoon.   It is too slow and too long,  but I’ve had a handful of people email me saying “If Unitarian Universalists can handle Rod Serling, you’re probably perfect for me. I’m going to visit a congregation.”

The Purple Alien video – this was made way back in 2007 on a day when my filming (kids tv) was canceled.  It was made with a green piece of construction paper and a little finger puppet and some cheap “vlogging” software.  It was, for a time, just about the only UU video on Youtube.  I know many people loved it, many people hated it and, based on people emailing me, resulted in a bunch of people visiting congregations.  Because it was silly and, yes, kind of stupid, many UUs felt okay sharing it with friends.

You’re a Uni-What? – Though it didn’t use a green screen, the most popular video I’ve made is the “Uni-What?” video.  It couples interviews with me and Amy talking about Unitarian Universalism.   This video was my final project for the digital media program I attended back in 2007.  I chose to study media production instead of following a seminary track figuring we had a greater need for media trained UUs.  This video has been one of the top two UU videos on Youtube since being released.

Not as fun, but still a quickie green screen video, here’s a little promo for a previous district conference. Note this is for last year’s conference.

And lastly here’s a little bit more about my passion for sharing our faith with others.  This is from the first meeting of the newly merged Northern New England District.  I MC’ed the UU Good News Session.   That’s right, in addition to all the church geeky consulting things I do, I am a high energy MC for large Unitairan Universalist gatherings.  Want to raise the energy and fun level of your event?  (617) 744-9784.

Note uuplanet-tv has been relaunched as

2 thoughts on “Green Screens, UU Media and Lookin’ Like a Fool

  1. A while ago I had an idea for a Mac-and-PC kind of commercial (two actors standing side-by-side against a simple white background) with two UUs talking about their beliefs/practices. The conversation starts out with sort of polar-opposite type statements (“I’m an atheist” / “I believe Christ died for our sins”) but gradually moves toward more and more similar statements (“I believe in feeding the poor” / “I believe we all need to take responsibility for the earth”, etc.) and eventually we learn that the two people go to the same congregation, or something like that.

    It’s a joke on the Mac/PC genre itself, since the point isn’t too make fun of the differences between the two people, but to highlight the diversity of UUism itself. Maybe the allusion is a bit too dated. But, had it been done back in the heyday of those knock-off commercials, I think it would have been a bit of a hit.

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