Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bishop’s Spring Conference—Learning a new visual language

“I’m Matthew Moretz, and I have things to show you.”

The Bishop’s Spring Conference, Mar. 12-13 at the Duncan Center, was all about “showing.” What Moretz, whose “Father Matthew Presents” videos have become a YouTube favorite, and television producer Bill Shomo offered participants was nothing less than the opportunity to begin learn a new visual language for communicating the Good News to the new communities that exist online.

On the second day of the conference, participants had an opportunity to tell—and show—how they’d make a video, starting with a script. Both presenters were adamant about the need for writing a script, planning both the shots and the words.

Divided into small groups, participants drafted a “creative treatment” for a video with a Gospel message—based on a satiric country song, “You Never Called Me by My Name,” by Steve Goodman.

After the small groups had presented their “videos” as skits, to enthusiastic laughter and applause, Shomo commented, “I don’t think either Matthew or I realized what great creative talent we have here!”

Young people had been especially invited to participate in the conference. Members of the Youth Commission led ice-breakers for the whole group on Saturday morning; Good Shepherd, Tequesta, brought 15 of its middle school youth; and three groups of youth presented their video ideas.

There was also a small group for Spanish-speakers. In their presentation, the Rev. Christina Encinosa pointed out that their first task had been to translate the words of the song into Spanish.

Not everyone will be making video, Moretz concluded, but he urged the group to make it a priority to learn this new language, and to create ways for people around the church who have these skills to come together and to pass them on.

Photo gallery from Bishop’s Spring Conference.

Click here to view a recent presentation by “Fr. Matthew” at a conference on church communications in the Diocese of Western New York.

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