Mar 17 2014

Quotable: John August

“Before you write your story, write the whole thing from the villain’s point of view, because the villain views himself as the hero in the story.”

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Nov 6 2013

VBS 2013 Development Diary: #14: Digital Content Creation & Management

As I have previously mentioned, the first skits we started doing were entirely written by me an hour before we performed them. There was a single Microsoft Word document with all of that week’s skits–that was it.

As the years have progressed, we have strived to do better, and as a result we have created more content each year. Here are some of the tools and services we use:

Postcards & Signage

We make signage in the form of banners for external display and small signs that we print in-house and laminate for the bathrooms, seating, teams, classrooms, etc. I create most all of these in Adobe Illustrator and then save them to PDF so that Sherry can print them. We print our postcards and banners through Vistaprint.com, which actually appears to meet the trifecta of fast, good, and cheap.

Music

Allison records drafts for the theme music on her iPhone or cell phone. Right now she doesn’t actually write the music–it just stays in her head and she plays it for our pastor’s daughters, the violinists at church, who then pick it up and play it, then transcribe their own notes.

Skits

I write the skits in Microsoft Word for Mac, using a custom screenplay template I found online and utilizing the excellent and free Courier Prime font from JohnAugust.com. In the future I plan to switch to Fountain or something similar so that I can start formatting these properly.

Backup Storage and Collaboration

I use a product that just caught my attention earlier this year and has now become invaluable–Dropbox. It’s one of those products that I can’t see getting very much better–it’s almost perfect already. It’s like a folder out on the internet, accessible from all your devices (Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Blackberry). One of its killer features is that it allows you to share folders and collaborate with specific people, which definitely beats the old method of emailing back and forth. Plus–it’s free for the first 2GB of storage. Download it here to give me some more space, or just download it from Dropbox.com. The only downside: there are no assignable permissions, so ‘shared’ means ‘everyone sharing the folder has the same permissions as you.’ I did have one of my co-sharers delete two very important folders. Fortunately Dropbox.com has an interface to recover deleted items back to a certain point.

Trailer

We planned a trailer for our VBS, but we ran out of time to execute, and it was one of the darlings that had to be murdered. Allison and I wrote the script for the trailer in Microsoft Word, then printed out storyboard templates we found online. I drew the storyboards, then we scanned them, cleaned them up in Adobe Photoshop, and synced them to the iPhone. Next we pulled them into iMovie for iOS where Allison edited them together. I recorded the voiceover, imported the music and sound effects and edited them in with her images.

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Mar 27 2012

Quotable: Jenny from Big Fish

“No, it’s logical
if you think like your father.
See, to him,
there’s only two women:
your mother
and
everyone else.”

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