Showing all posts tagged #story:


Maximize the Potential of the Wind

Posted on September 23rd, 2019

Know what your "ship" is; know who your "crew" is. Understand what they are capable of. Define a high standard and point in the right direction. Then adapt along the way to maximize what the "wind" offers. It doesn’t even mean changing course; it only means changing tactics. Enjoy the journey. "Sailing" is fun. The stories are treasures.

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects the wind to change.
A leader adjusts the sails.
—William Arthur Ward

Story Conference

Posted on July 19th, 2019

Revisiting one of my favorite Production Design memories - Story Conference 2012
This is from my Production Design Training slide deck. I ask questions like these when I’m designing:
  • What is the desired vibe?
  • What resources do I have in storage that I can reuse?
  • What can fit in my minivan to transport from Detroit to Chicago?
  • How can it look like it has more depth than the very shallow stage actually has?
  • Who is the crew? What are their skills and talents and passions? Do they want a challenge?
The journey to get to from concept to actual design (including materials list, rigging notes, lighting plot, setup checklist, and rendering of vision) took a lot of iteration. It required lots of emails including scanned sketches and study of blueprints of venue that I was out of town and not able to do an in-person site-survey. We also utilized video conferencing for "face-to-face collaboration between Executive Producer, Production Manager, and myself, the Production Designer) including screen-sharing and digital sketching. The most interesting development was the week-of donation of an LED screen that let us gain a lot of stage space because of the throw distance not being required; which was great for the final product, but required some last minute adaptability in redesign of all the rigging and the lighting plot. One of the key layers of this design that wasn’t there when I arrived at the venue was four lekos with abstract gobos. I pushed way hard for the day of rehearsal that our PM managed to find a way to procure the morning of the conference was some theatrical gobos to throw textural light at the curtains. Sometimes it's the simple, old-school, theatrical tricks that really create the mood and set the tone for the experience. When the team saw them turn on only minutes before doors opened, they realized why I was pushing so hard for such. Magical!*this post adapted from my post in September 2012. Feel free to look it up for greater detail and explanation of choices.


Contentment in the Journey of the Continuing Story

Posted on May 31st, 2019

"Grace is so nonsensical it doesn’t play into the facts, the narrative or the truth as we see it...the resolve is only as good as the tension."
-Joel Houston

Ispire Hope and Wonder

Posted on October 4th, 2018

As a creative, it’s important for me to remember that wonder belongs and is in all people…
People are longing for the wonderful. Imagine, hope, long for; creating a glimpse of the wonder that we as artists see…
I can inspire people reveal depth in beauty by crafting moving experiences and to breathe in hope and redemption to storytelling. It is a responsibility to move people to respond to the wonder of hope. To engage. To join. To be with. To partner. To dream further and increase in wonder.

I went to the Story Conference the other week. I was just reflecting on my journaling from the conference. This section of scribbles jumped out at me today and I thought I would share what I’m contemplating.

Resignation News (All Staff)

Posted on July 19th, 2018

I sent the following as an All Staff email announcing my change in employment. I suppose it works as a blog announcement as well.


Friends,

I wanted to let you know that I have accepted a position as Creative Director at Ward Church and am therefore sad to announce that I am resigning as Troy's Production Director. It is very bittersweet for me: I am very excited about my new responsibilities; however it is very hard to leave this place and I am grateful to have been a part of with you all.

My last day in the office will be July 24th. It has been a sincere privilege serving with each of you. I will not be a stranger to this place. I'm sure you'll see me around cheering you all on or saying hi to my bride.

Thank you for many memories over the years...since the fall of 1991 when my mom moved me and my brothers to Michigan; since the spring of ’95 when Steve Norman came on staff and invited me to engage in student leadership that summer before my senior year of high school; through meeting Jessica that following year; since Todd Elliott first hired me around the time we opened the new building (when our offices and the old video editing system were on Big Beaver); since leaving to help plant Genesis; since coming back on staff 13 1/2 years ago…Kensington has been such a key through line of my life! I will continue to cheer for you all!

Yours,
Eric





Lighting is a crutial part of a great photo and will captivate the viewer to lean in and interact

Posted on May 29th, 2018

Those of you who know me, have heard my passion for helping enhance story by targeting the subconscious. As a cinematographer and photographer, I am quite passionate about using lighting to help the viewer immerse themselves in the scene. I want to "break the fourth wall" (which you’ve heard and read me talk about the scene breaking out of especially with live production) but sometimes (especially with photography) I do by drawing the viewer in closer to the scene… Consider how the shapes of your subject and background elements and how they interact will tell your story. Our brains are designed to seek these things out. One of the main challenges we have as photographers is to demonstrate a 3D world in a 2D format. To do this well, good photographers see (and understand how to capture) the light (and shadows) that interacts with these subjects to make a scene come alive.


Volunteering as part of the Troy Production & Arts team

Posted on May 18th, 2018

Lot’s of you ask about what volunteering as part of the Troy Production & Arts team is like. This video let’s some of our volunteers tell you in their own words!


My story

Posted on November 5th, 2017

Here is the exercise I did in trying to outline talking points to tell my story in 10 minutes. (It took closer to 20 than 10, but…) the exercise in having it written was really good for me!

  • In prepping for this, I realize that I like to tell stories. Trying to figure out how to tell my macro story in 10 minutes was a pretty full exercise as it helps me realize what I think is the primary narrative my life so far… However it was not always that way. I believe that is the Holy Spirit it works for me
  • I know that I have the stutter. It’s rather a thorn in my flesh. And I continue to pray for the Lord to take it away from me, but perhaps it keeps me from becoming conceited…
    • An independent self conscious kid who learns how to have his earthly wiring - Architect, economist, artist, leader… become an Ambassador of Hope and Beauty
  • Born in Puerto Rico
    • No, I do not speak Spanish but my birth certificate is in Spanish
    • I have black and white memories of my second house. Color memories of my third house
      • I was a firstborn and got to enjoy life
      • I learned to swim
      • I learned to play the piano (not the rest or the story)
      • Apparently I had design in my wiring pretty early on…
        • Maybe even tell some story of my mom LOL
  • We moved to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania shortly before my younger brother was born...a couple years later my youngest brother (not even close to enough time for that part of my life in 10 min, but if you are curious, you could google my younger brother who is an aspiring model) Anyway, in addition to the reason I still have Pittsburgh loyalties - or perhaps it’s because the Steelers are simply a better team to be a fan of
    • It was in Forest Hills that
    • I learned to be a friend, to play, to imagine, to hope.
    • I learned to care for a dog
  • We moved across town to Mt. Lebanon (better schools - I understand making choices for such reasons…)
  • and within a year my parents had split
  • It was hard to move again. Hard to wonder what the coming chaos meant
    • ...My newest home was a duplex right across from the school i switched to
      • I learned to be friends with all ethnicities and backgrounds
      • I got my first paper route
      • I also learned to be an athlete
  • I joined the scouts
    • I learned to lead peers and how to have enjoy nature
  • Independence grew (as I stepped into jr. high)
    • I had to care for my brothers a lot while my mom put herself back through school and carry a job …which became even more a part of my life over the past few decades)
    • I would somehow allowed to do things like walk with a buddy just the two of us to the trolley station, take it downtown, hrough the tunnel, cross the bridge, and under ground where it became subway then a walk across the bridge to three rivers stadium to see a pirates game
    • While I was finding independence...
  • She found hope in getting connected with a church
  • And did the best thing ever for my potential faith journey: she didn’t make me come too!
    • She did invite me and eventually I came for the donuts and to meet some friends
    • I heard teaching about the wide road, and the narrow gate (where I was captivated by the imagery of a different path than the masses)
      • The narrow path appealed to the kid who never really even liked to be identified as "normal"
    • That summer I actually went on retreat with them (to MI of all places) where I learned about the passion and sacrifice that Jesus (the teacher of such captivating thoughts as the narrow path) made for me and in response to that story committed my life
  • Trip to Philmont (more about this trip which had hooked me on backpacking)
    • She could only find 3 possible jobs to apply for in all of western PA get a teaching job teaching science…but hundreds in southeast MI (where she grew up and where my grandparents lived still)
  • Move to MI for job and to be close to grandparents
  • Church shopping - Grandparents (I wish I had time to share about my grandfather at least) suggested this new church they saw in the paper called Kensington
    • The best part of the service was when the curtain opened at the end of the long message to wake me up and have something fun happen
    • But the best part was - 7 of us (including the leaders) in a living room - Breakaway - meeting Matt and the Doescher's love
    • Meeting him and Russ the following year…so much friendship has eventually grown out of the legacy of these two...
  • Being small (may have been as hard as the stutter …not really, but it wasn’t fun (my growth year doesn’t have time either, but I will say that it was
    • Bad for sports at the time, but good for sports long term
    • Also good for waterskiing behind a houseboat
  • My dad got diagnosed with cancer
    • He always had said that, "life is too short to _____" now he lived it for real
    • Don’t do things that aren’t life-giving
      • Sports is life-giving for me
  • Ceramics - realizing that there’s something to art - beauty in asymmetry
    • Oscillating narrative
  • My dad dying
  • ...Realizing in the wake how much I’m loved by those who believe
    • Recommit - not just believe but seek to follow
    • Steve Norman - invited me to live all in and taught me spiritual disciplines
      • Kanakuk
      • Learning the spiritual disciplines
        • Prayer life, journaling,
        • "Fully devoted life is normal for a Christ Follower"
    • Fruit of such is Leadership
      • In School
      • At Edge
  • Jaurez - meeting my best friend, Jessica, my future wife
  • What can I do to help tell the Good News?
  • Architect school or studying economics .....or Volunteering
  • Traveling the country - driving and running sound at festivals
  • Hired by Kensington - Part of the team going into the building (video, learning from some great mentors)
    • Todd Elliott
  • Launching Genesis
    • Learning to lead and carry things on my own
  • Crossroads
    • A beautiful picture of The Church and the fruit of LGLO
    • Proposing to Jessica
  • We got married in 2000 - wow we were young!
  • Traveling - we have never had a lot of money, but we do value traveling
  • Learning to freelance on the side while being at the ROMT
    • The greatest intersection of stewardship and creativity
  • Learning what the Work of God is - stop "doing" focus on being as a fruit of believing
  • A greater purpose - seeing others find their place as part of the Body (always a heart for the misfits)
    • #throughothers
    • It was certainly beautiful to see what that team was - that was far, far, far more than a serving team
  • End of Genesis
  • Strengths and becoming even more truly me when no longer responsible for doing everything on my own
    • ENTP!?!
    • maximizing ideation and strategy…
    • I certainly learned how to bring design back to my life
      • On stage - well over 2500 designs - many over the past 13 years since coming back to the superK
      • As well as via photography when I got a camera (digital let this frugal %@$+@&! finally justify pressing the shutter button)
        • (Shoot in manuel - I’d love to coach you how to capture beauty - it’s not only me who can…Let me share some about Jamie...)
    • coach and reveal beauty to enhance story… (but before I give any time for that story, let me share about my greatest legacy:
  • The boys!! - Our adoption story
    • I doubt I have the time, but I could not love them more
      • Met Kadin at 14months
      • Found out about Reese
      • Do we really want to step into this?! (Now?! TWO??!!)
      • Certainly fell in love with them!
      • They moved in full time at 2.5 and 11months
      • How beautiful!
      • ...very hard at times, but I’m so grateful for the privilege of raising such treasures
    • Jessica and I do love to teach and encourage parents and couples…
  • Fun to still have reminders of friendship
    • New Zealand
    • California Trip (with Matt…and Kadin at 14!)
  • Meeting with people and using any context to encourage
    • (I didn’t even get to share properly about my Grandfather)
    • But perhaps I can share part of his influence over coffee sometime…
    • In the meantime, that’s the 10min version of your Ambassador of Hope and Beauty



Additional thoughts:
In PR - With my family and/or me in the tree
Building blocks in PR
The Scouts - Philmont?
Breakaway
Baseball pic with me the Allstar SS next to my huge Catcher
Houseboat waterskiing
Ceramics - realizing that there’s something to art - beauty in asymmetry
My dad dying
Realizing
Juarez
Crossroads -
Wedding
Part of the team going into the building (video, learning from some great men)
Launching Genesis
Traveling?
Learning what the Work of God is
End of Genesis
Strengths and becoming even more truly me when no longer responsible for doing everything on my own
The boys!! - Our adoption story
Coaching and revealing beauty to enhance story



Create something beautiful today

Posted on March 27th, 2015

Create something beautiful today.
Whether a photograph, a spreadsheet, performance art, or leadership moment.
Make sure to care...

The filtering process of creating

Posted on February 21st, 2015

I've been pondering creativity recently. I suggest that creativity is more than an act: Creativity is a process.

That statement made, creativity is more than useless imagination, it is something tangible. Something is new that was not realized before! Creativity is turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. It is the ability to perceive, the vision to find hidden patterns, the action of making connections between seemingly unrelated phenomenon, the capacity to generate solutions.

It is not a single magical moment (though there are wonderfully encouraging moments of revelation along the journey) but rather the commitment to the process that is what defines the genius of the artisan who gifts us with her prose, his construction, their song, etc.

The creative doesn't start with nothing however. Usually (speaking for myself and for many of my friends) "writer's block" is the cause of to much "cluster" and a lack of focus for where to begin. Narrowing down the perameters is often the best way to begin. What are the core themes to be played with?

The process of creativity is a "filtering process" that begins with everything. Whittle away at the whole to focus in on the core beauty to be revealed. Then, when the creation begins to take shape, refine, refine, refine...

Eric Wolfe

Creative Director and Coach. Production Designer and Consultant. Developer of Ideas. Maximizer of Resources. Strategic Thinker. Creative Innovator. Visual Artist and Leader. Husband. Father. Philosopher. Photographer. Backpacker. Athlete. Cook. Artisan. Eric shares thoughts here about all of the above. He would love to connect to partner in coaching and revealing beauty to enhance story and experience. Please do reach out!