God is amazing.
I wanted to write this, to sort of explain how BNN developed, and where I see it heading, but really, those first two lines pretty much sum it all up. I am simply amazed at what God has done with this thing so far, and I’m psyched out of my brain about the direction it has headed.
This wasn’t my idea. I wanted to clear that up right away. It’s a common misconception that BNN is my brainchild, but, as tempting as it would be to take all the credit, it simply isn’t true. Granted, I’ve done much of the concept and character development, as well as most pre- and post-production work, but credit needs to go where credit is due.
Somewhere around 2007, my wife (Esther) and I were sharing a house with her sister (Emily) and brother-in-law (Chris Quandt). We had already been recording an audio podcast, called The MadCast, for about a year, and were discussing how fun it would be to do a video podcast. We tossed around a few ideas, such as doing a news parody, and then Emily nailed it!
“Oooh, you should do a news report on Bible events!” She suggested!
We all agreed that this was a great idea, and we tossed around a few more ideas about it. A few months later, with some creative assistance from my wife, I wrote 3-4 scripts.
And then nothing happened.
For a few years, those scripts sat in my computer, gnawing at the back of my mind, but not really being used. Meanwhile, I continued to work in various other forms of new media, such as webcomics, podcasting, and other video projects, but not really fully investing my gifts in the One who had given me those gifts in the first place.
Then, in late 2009, I mentioned the concept to my pastor, Mike Butera. He encouraged me to pursue it, and straight up asked me what I would need to get started. Within a week, I had a green screen. In January 2010, we ran some tests to see if we could even pull of any decent-looking green screening, which turned out way better than I expected.
After that, we started getting together on a monthly basis to film. I would take the footage home, play around with it, and try to work out a lot of the visual aspects of the show (logos, titles, backgrounds, etc). It’s truly a miracle that it turned out looking as halfway decent as it does. Some of the original concepts for things, such as Raymond O’Neil’s studio background, and the lower-third design, were pretty lacking. Thankfully, I had several other people –mainly Mike and Esther– who served as a separate set of eyes and ears. Without them, it would have looked kind of… well, lame.
On June 12, 2010, we launched the first episode of BNN, and held a premiere night at RiverCity Calvary Chapel, showing the first 4 episodes, along with some other short videos.
What exactly IS BNN all about? Why did we create it?
There are a few answers to that:
1. To Invest our Talents. You might be familiar with the parable about three servants who were given different sums of money by their master. Some invested the money and increased it, but one servant buried his money and never used it. In the same way, I believe God has given each person gifts. This could be talents, skills, knowledge, or even material or physical blessings. I don’t want to bury my gifts; I want to invest, and produce something beyond what I was given in the first place. For too long, I’ve not been pursuing such investments. BNN is one way that will change.
2. To Provide Knowledge. Some of our viewers might not be familiar with the Bible, or some of the stories we’ll be covering. Some viewers might not know what the Bible is truly about. The message of the Bible is woven throughout the Old and New Testaments. It is my hope that, for some, BNN will be an introduction to the Bible and, ultimately, God.
3. To Provide Perspective. The great thing about the Bible is that it’s alive, and fluid. It’s kind of like watching Back to the Future, where each time you watch it, you can notice something different, if you pay close attention. You can have certain parts of the Bible practically memorized, and then you go through something in life, and you see that the verse you thought you had nailed down comes to have a whole new application to your life.
Our goal is to promote that sort of experience. Maybe you’ve read a story in the Bible where such and such a thing happened, and such and such a person did something. But what if you stopped to ask:
What would that look like if I could observe it?
How would I react if I were witnessing these things?
How would that person react?
What would they say if they were interviewed?
These are some of the questions BNN will stop to ask. Hopefully, this will help bridge the gap between “stories” of the Bible and the reality of the Bible.
4. To have fun! God has given everyone on the project a passion and a talent for what they do. I believe God hand-picked people to be involved with this project. When God’s people get together to do His work, it’s truly a fulfilling experience.
I also believe very strongly that God has a sense of humor. I think that humor is a gift that can be used to serve God, just like any other talent. I hope you find yourself laughing as you watch each episode of BNN.
Well, there’s more to talk about… the “WHO” can be found on our cast and crew pages. The “WHERE” (as in “where this is headed”) is currently TBD, but, if the enthusiasm and support that we’ve received so far is any indicator, all I know is that we could be headed for some very good places!