This is a look Behind the Scenes(BTS) look at our Advent Conspiracy videos for Mission Community Church.

Every year, our church goes through the season of Advent(historically/globally/locally). During this Advent season, our local church(mission68.org) rallies around a movement called Advent Conspiracy(not to be confused with the Church calendar season of Advent) where we Give More, Spend Less(if you'd like to know more about Advent Conspiracy, head over to mission68.org). Early in September, our weekend creative team sat down and discussed ways that we could not only approach the church calendar "Advent" but also Advent Conspiracy. One of the ideas to communicate Advent Conspiracy on the weekend was as series of videos to inspire our church to Give More and Spend Less. A couple of weeks later, I sat down with my buddy Will Fryar(willfryar.com) who is our lead filmmaker over coffee. Will and I share a deep love for film photography so it's easy to pass time with that. Once we got back on task, we dreamed up a few ideas of how to tell this story. Our original idea was to tell the story over 4 weeks on how there are many parts to building a fire. You can't just make a fire with logs, or just kindling, or just a match, you need all of these things working together. With this idea and a few others, Will went to work. 
A week and a half later, Will brought to the team a storyboard. Travis(art director), Nick(communications director), Will, and I sat down with storyboard in hand and started picking it apart. In the spirit of true collaboration, we put our heads together and decided to tell the story using the same cup the kids in Malawi use to eat and drink from every day. This red cup would be the star of our series and it would play multiple roles. 

Once we got the storyboard together, Will started working on location. He ended up finding a sweet location in Flagstaff called Lockett Meadow. We've all been up in Flagstaff and agreed that we could find the locations we needed up there and Lockett Meadow would be a perfect location for our closing shots. When we were thinking about booking hotels, we thought we might be able to get the scouting done on the first day, start shooting and finish on the second day. We decided that we should book 2 nights just in case we needed to finish up on the third day. 

We left bright and early Monday morning. Here's the gear that we packed.
Panasonic GH4
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L
Metabones speed adapter EF to M4/3
Stedicam Pilot AA HD
Edelkrone Slider Plus
Aviator Carbon Fiber Jib

Field Mixer
Tascam D40
Sennheiser 416 Shotgun Mic

Canon 5D Mark II (PAUL)
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Series
Minolta XE-5 (PAUL)
Pentax K1000 (WILL)
Canonet QL17 (TRAVIS)

We arrived in Flagstaff and headed straight to Lockett Meadow, just 15-20 North of Flagstaff. We scouted the area for a good hour or two.

After scouting the lay of the land, we decided we needed to get back to town, grab some grub, and find the other star of our short films, a Christmas tree. Travis, our art director, found a local tree farm and set everything up to meet the farmer and get our tree.

After grabbing a pickmeup from Fire Creek Coffee Company(AMAZING COFFEE), we headed to meet our farmer and pick out our tree. This was a much harder task than we'd imagined. All of the pine trees were thin and it was super difficult finding one that was big enough and full enough.

Once we had finally settled on one, we were off to our first location, down river.

Part 2 coming soon!