Archive for category: Entertainment (Page 2)

Biggest Loser’s new logo

01 Dec
December 1, 2012

Well, it’s almost here … after half year hiatus, the Biggest Loser will be coming back in January with a new cast, Jillian Michaels back, and a new logo (see above)! I actually think the time off the air will do the show a lot of good. I’ve thought for a while now that two seasons a year would wear viewers out, especially with two hour episodes. I think the return to one per year, with (hopefully) shorter episodes to go along with the shorter season will actually give the show what it needs – it will leave people wanting more!

I’m intrigued by the logo redesign, though. Maybe I’m still getting used to it; it’s actually the third in the series history. Season one saw the original logo; if you notice ‘the’ is actually on the upper left, and the the rest of the logo isn’t quite as smooth or refined as later versions. That’s Gary Deckman rocking his finale weigh in, by the way, one of my long time inspirations. By season two they made the switch to the logo that carried the show through twelve seasons and the special editions, however, even as far as season three there were still leftover shirts from season one popping up now and then with the original logo. I know I received at least one.

Of course my favorite is the logo I wore. I’ve always felt like it perfectly summed up the show through the shrinking waistline, the tape measure, and besides that, it just looks good. I think I’ll miss seeing contestants sporting it on the show! But I definitely agree with the recent seasons ratings declining, the show definitely needed some retooling and rethinking. Then again, most of the decline I still attribute to the changeover in production companies. Hopefully this time around they find the right inspirational feel for the show in their editing!

But now that I’ve had my long winded say … what do you think of the new logo and what you’ve seen so far of the new season?

Wreck-It Ralph

10 Nov
November 10, 2012

We took the boys to see Disney’s new movie, Wreck-It Ralph the other day and it was a big hit. Our boys, of course, loved it. It’s the story of a 30 year old video game in local arcade and it’s digital inhabitants. Ralph, the villain, is tired of being a bad guy and goes on a quest throughout the other arcade games to be the hero for a change, along the way making new friends and winning a different relationship with the characters in his own game.

For kids, it’s a huge win. There’s a good message about accepting yourself and not comparing to others, tons of video game action, new characters and more. As I was watching it I was surprised to realize there doesn’t seem to be a huge blitz of video games being released to cash in on it … that day is probably coming, though!

For me, it was a lot of fun. Loved seeing the retro style video game characters, seeing Q-bert and crew begging for spare change, and other systems I grew up loving. Definitely well written, fun for adults and kids. We’ll be getting this DVD when it comes out!

I wrote a (FREE) Halloween Devo

23 Oct
October 23, 2012

I love the music video for King & Country created for their song, ‘Proof of Your Love.’ It’s a lot of fun, great story, had my group completely enthralled, and packs a powerful message that can go several different ways. Plus, it has Zombies. And with Halloween around the corner, and everyone freaking out over The Walking Dead’s third season (it shattered tv premiere records a couple weeks ago), it seemed like a great time to come up with something based on the video! When I was hanging out with the band before their concert at my church, they were excited by the idea as well. In all honesty, the discussion guide could be used year around, but it felt timely for Halloween.

Anyway, click through and grab the devo and discussion guide from Youth Specialties!

What I learned from hosting a concert tour

11 Oct
October 11, 2012

I played the main coordinator/host role in the Proof of Your Love Tour we hosted last Friday night at our church. While it’s not the first concert event I’ve done that for, it was certainly the largest. Thankfully, we had an amazing turnout – my goal was to sell 500 tickets, and we ended up selling 545 by the end of the night. I learned a few things along the way …

  • Don’t take on more of a financial commitment than your budget can afford to lose (actually, I learned this one on my first concert ten years ago … when I lost almost the whole cost!). Of course you want to succeed, but if the crowd doesn’t come out you have to be able to handle the loss.
  • Presales are key. We put a HUGE emphasis on selling tickets ahead of time which made a massive difference both in my stress level as I saw the numbers increase and in building momentum – when we hit the point of being able to say we had sold hundreds of tickets people started getting interested in coming who weren’t before – they didn’t want to miss out if everyone else was going to be there!
  • When it comes to preshow promotion, in the months before hand even if people commit to taking care of different pieces, I have to be more aggressive about making sure it actually happens. Turns out, as much as it may matter to me, no one cares about an event several months out the same was as the guy who is responsible for the budget breaking even.
  • I actually wish I had charged more for tickets. I kept the price as low as possible, but in hindsight I probably could have charged $2-5 dollars more per ticket, which would have given me the $2500 I would have needed to do a full scale radio ad campaign, which may have resulted in a sellout crowd (700 people).
  • We sold about a quarter of our tickets online through iTickets.com, which was great. It’s a Christian event website which lists events for free, and can also sell tickets at no cost to the event (they charge a service fee to the buyer instead). This was a big help and where a lot of our sales from outside our church came from. I’m really glad we went that route.
  • I used Facebook ads, with the link going directly through to iTickets. We ran the ads for the four weeks before the event, with them appearing more and more often as we got closer to the date. We sold FAR more tickets through iTickets than I have for events in the past, which I think connects directly to our Facebook campaign since that was the major communication tool directing people to iTickets. I loved that I could target by region, age, interests, etc.
  • Social media in general is a great tool, but it’s hard to motivate students to use it to promote events. The tour sent me a box of cd’s to use for giveaways/promotion, so I ran a contest – during a period of time, every time I logged on to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, the first post I saw about the concert with the link to the event page or profile picture changed to the tour poster would win a cd. I gave away a bunch; at first it was slow, but as people saw their friends winning cd’s, they started posting as well … which had their friends from outside the church posting questions about the event and getting excited it was coming. It was great because I timed it in the days just before the concert so what happened was a lot of social media chatter about the event as it was just about to happen. I wished I had thought of doing it sooner so I could have teased the contest for a couple weeks before it happened.
  • We did a giveaway during the event; I scored cd’s from the different artists and a tour t-shirt, as well as some cd’s I already had. My total expense was probably $10-15, but I ended up with a prize package worth $80. We had people fill out info cards to enter the drawing … now when I do my next event I have a mailing list and an email list with hundreds of names on it that already turned out for a concert. This is promotion gold in my mind and a huge key in being able to build with future major events.

All in all, the event was a LOT of fun and a huge win for our student ministry both in terms of people having a blast and making our church the place to be that night.

The Proof of Your Love Tour recap

10 Oct
October 10, 2012

Last Friday night completed a process that began last spring … the Proof of Your Love tour took over our church! For King & Country, Jason Castro, Dara Maclean and Heavens to Betsy pulled off an amazing event that was a total blast for everyone who came. If you missed it, check out our Student Ministry Facebook page for photos and videos!

The show was definitely full of surprises; of course we expected the three main artists/groups to each get sets, but were pleasantly surprised by the backing band (Heavens to Betsy) for all three acts getting a ten minute set at the beginning which left everyone wanting more. Even more surprising (and awesome), after their individual sets, for King & Country, Jason Castro and Dara Maclean took the stage together to perform a short set together – it was awesome. Check out the video above to see them all doing ‘Hallelujah’ together, a very, very cool rendition.

I love the video below; it was an explosive finale to a great show (if you skip to the 1:02 point, everyone takes the stage to blow it out big time). All in all, it was an amazing first major concert tour for our church, with GREAT attendance, amazing bands, and a huge response from everyone who came. We had a crowd of all ages … and I keep hearing from EVERYONE how much they loved it!

One of my privileges, as one of the concert coordinators, was getting to spend the day with the artists and their support crew, as well as the cleanup time afterwards, and I was incredibly struck by their heart for God, their humble spirits, and willingness to make sure that everyone who wanted time with them got an opportunity to do so.

 

Awesomeness achieved!

04 Sep
September 4, 2012

I have a short list of dream concerts I would like to attend at some point in my life. Three to be exact; two of which are U2 and Bon Jovi. I’m sure I don’t need to explain why. The other, and perhaps longest running on my wishlist?

Roxette.

Of course you know who they are; the Swedish duo made famous in the eighties for songs like The Look, It Must Have Been Love, Dangerous, and Joyride. They also have a couple dozen albums worth of other massively cool songs.

For my birthday, my wonderful wife surprised me with tickets to their 2012 world tour concert happening in New York this past Sunday!

Needless to say, it was awesome. Also kinda crazy to be packed in with thousands of other Roxette fans! I honestly never would have thought twenty years ago when I first (secretly – their tunes were banned at my strict missionary kid boarding school!) got hooked on their music that I would some day attend one of their concerts!

Biggest Loser is casting kids?

08 Aug
August 8, 2012

Well, I have a lot of thoughts on this one.

Here is what I know based on my own experience as a former contestant and the stories from my other alumni: the Biggest Loser experience itself, months of isolation and reality TV manipulation, as well as the resulting media attention, the brutal online fan reactions and criticisms and more all made being part of a weight loss competition something that has long lasting emotional and psychological ramifications. Yes, I had a blast doing it, but I have many friends who have said after going through it that they would NEVER encourage one of their loved ones to ever be a part of it. It’s brutal.

As a youth worker, I know all too well the confusion of adolescence. With hormones raging, enormous pressures from peer groups, schools and home, and the crucial identity formation taking place, the teenage years are a volatile and intense stage of development with massive potential for long lasting damage.

I cannot imagine a scenario where throwing a group of 13-17 year old adolescents into anything remotely similar to what my fellow alumni and I experienced as being anything other than damaging for them.

What do you think? Agree or disagree? And why?

Anti-piracy Pirates

22 Jul
July 22, 2012

One of the ongoing struggles in a our new technological age is the issue of online piracy and what to do about it.

Pirating music for your anti-piracy commercial is probably not the best way to go.

In a strange twist, it turns out the makers of the above video didn’t pay for the music they used to make it … and after being made aware of their piracy made the decision … to continue not paying.

What a weird world.

Obesity Trendsetters

24 Jun
June 24, 2012

This brings me joy.

Star Trek: TNG in theaters!

22 Jun
June 22, 2012

It’s like Gene Roddenberry planned my birthday! Or two days after it, anyway. In honor of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s 25th anniversary, on July 23rd they’ll be showing two remastered episodes in theaters across America (including the one down the street!). I’m actually really, really looking forward to it – I think it will be a blast to be in room with a bunch of other fans seeing these classics on the big screen! You can get more info here about the event and what cities it’s showing in.