Skillful Productions Produces SoundCrawl

Hi There! We're Skillful Productions, a creative services company in Nashville.

You may have seen OUR POSTERS, come to OUR EVENTS, bought our MUSIC, or seen one of our VIDEOS.

Our specialties are Experience Design and Event Production, especially arts experiences. But along the way, we've picked up chops in a host of other fields as well. We're a comprehensive creative agency; we walk projects from inception to completion, and create in whichever mediums fit the project best.

To contact us, leave us a comment.

Thanks. We look forward to working with you.

This has been a skillful production.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Going Swimmingly!

So this week we got the prints back for this year's soundcrawl posters. They look pretty good, too. Very clean. (ain't no body dope as me.. ) [if you're older than 35 or younger than 25, you probably didn't get that]
AND we've landed some even more awesome performers. Sweet doesn't begin to describe it.

Soundcrawl is Oct. 1-2 in Nashville. Oct 1 is Art Crawl for about an hour followed by the Listening Room @ the Bank Gallery until 10. Oct 2 is Art of the Future, an exhibition of new media which includes live performances and innovative installations. info:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More friends on Vimeo

Hey! They like us! Romans12 has been added to Church Media Hub by Christ's Church of The Valley in San Dimas, CA. Check us out here:

Thanks guys!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I read Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis yesterday. It's an interesting book. I've not yet heard him speak, and I've never been to his church. I have seen a bunch of his Nooma videos, though. Velvet Elvis is interestingly similar in goals to The Reason for God by Keller- to explain the christian faith to postmoderns. I've also heard Mark Driscoll rail against this book for casting doubt on things like the Trinity, the Virgin Birth and 6 day creation. Truth be told, all of this is in the first chapter (excuse me, "Movement"- it continues to astound me that trendy descriptions are often taken from music! ) and primarily serves as an end-run around the opposition of the audience. Bell doesn't say, "There is no Trinity, there was no Virgin Birth, there was no 6 day creation." His overarching point is that the Christian faith is not a list of things you have to believe in a certain order to gain salvation. So while he's contrasting a trampoline-like faith (each doctrine is a spring) with a brick-like faith (each doctrine is a brick, and removal of one will cause a collapse), he uses these as examples, primarily for effect, I think.

If you don't know already Rob Bell is a pastor at Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, MI. I'd call it post-modern, post-evangelical, and maybe emergent. Bell is also widely known as the lead teacher in the Nooma videos (who pretty much own church video...there are a ton of competitors, but I'm not sure they can touch his emotive, intellecutal, soft-spoken, counselor/teacher/pastor/theologian/dude approach) Bell's biggest strength is that he views Jesus in light of the Jewish Rabbinacal tradition (something they totally left out of my sunday school!) Facts about how Rabbis gained their Disciples (and their right to interpret), local cults, customs & traditions really help to shed new light on a whole bunch of bible passages.

For instance, did you know that Caesarea Phillipi was center of the cult of Pan? (that goat-man guy). And there was this rock with huge crack in it that was called The Gates of Hell? There was, and was a part of the temple of Pan, where members of the cult would commit unclean acts with goats (half-man, right?) So when Jesus goes to Caesarea Phillipi and says and upon this Rock I will build my kingdom and the Gates of Hell won't over come it... it takes on all kinds of new meanings.

Things about Jesus' tassels, prayer shawl, and training are really enlightening. If you haven't seen the Nooma videos, these moments of Velvet Elvis will be quite striking.

Bell's coverage of the Sabbath, and of personal healing are also great news (if you haven't read or heard Hybels or Ortberg yet) to our overburdened, overcompensating American lives. Bell also covers the heresy of Rapture (this makes 3 books in 4 months covering it!) I believe he owes a debt of gratitude to N.T. Wright for this last point. In all of these topics, I believe Bell is a welcome voice in the field of American Christianity.

My biggest problem is that this book seems really concerned with distancing itself with evangelical christianity. His main points are not that Christianity is true and eternal, but that Christianity means loving others, God and ourselves. He seems to say "As long as you love people and feel connected to the guy who keeps it all together, you're pretty much a Christian." He takes time to discredit altar calls, church signs, the interpretation of "the way, the truth and the life," "wives obey your husbands", the aforementioned trinity, 6 day creation & virgin birth, and all of this to support the "love other people" command?

I'm much more comfortable with Reformed writers like Keller and Driscoll or Anglicans like Wright and Begbie who stand apart from the practices & heresies of American evangelicalism, but don't find it necessary to nitpick its flaws. Bell would never paint Catholicism, Orthodoxy or Judaism in such a light, so it bugs me he finds it necessary.

I feel like Velvet Elvis is like a Children's bible for de-churched postmoderns. It alters the presentation of Jesus to make it more palatable and welcome to those who question its value or have had negative experiences with Christianity in the past. To that end, its a great and valuable resource.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I've finally gotten to do some reading. A few weeks ago I was at the NWYC on behalf of Standard Publishing, and managed to get through Timothy Keller's The Reason for God.

Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City.

The book is basically apologetic (it's not sorry for anything, it's answering skeptics questions about Christianity).

Keller does a masterful job of dealing the basic reasons people, but especially urban, holistic postmoderns reject Christianity (he does ministry in NYC, remember). In my own experience, the artists I have been trained alongside of for 7 years ask valid questions of the Christian worldview, they just struggle to see that those questions are far more universal than they realize.

Why is it that our Upright Christians campaign against porn, but not against poverty or injustice? Why is it that artists campaign for social justice, but live amoral lives?
Why should I take your view of social justice, while you reject my view of morality?

It's great stuff.

Keller's response to the ubiquitous "All religions are searching for the same truth like three blind men touching an elephant analogy: "This illustration backfires on its users. The story is told from the point of view of someone who is not blind. How could you know that each blind man only sees part of the elephant unless you claim to be able to see the whole elephant?"

His response to "All religions are equally false. They are the product of their respective cultures" : 'If the pluralist had been born in Morroco he probably wouldn't be a pluralist. Does it follow that ...his pluralistic beliefs are produced in him by an unreliable belief-producing process? (from A. Plantinga). You can't say, " All claims about religions are historically conditioned except the one I am making right now""

"Many say it is ethnocentric to claim that one religion is superior to others. Yet isn't that very statement ethnocentric? ... The claim that is is wrong to [claim your religion is superior] is deeply rooted in Western traditions of self-criticism and individualism. To charge others with the "sin" of ethnocentrism is really a way of saying "our culture's approach to other cultures is superior to yours"

Moments like these fill the book.

It is organized into two parts: Part 1: The Leap of Doubt, and Part 2: The Reasons for Faith. Each part is organized into chapters, Part 1's chapters are all organized around questions or statements like "There Can't Be Just One True Religion." Part 2's chapters are organized around statements like " The Knowledge of God."

I found the first part to be far more groundbreaking than the second, though the second guides the reader from questions to truth and explains the Christian worldview.

The second part doesn't do anything that Mere Christianity or Case for Christ doesn't, but it follows specifically in line with the metaphors, conclusions, explanations and tone of the first part. Pleanty of postmodern americans are far less interested in the proof of the gospel than they are in experiencing the Truth of the gospel. I found great, loving, caring, thoughtful and intelligent responses to the all the questions the big heart-vegan-neohippies ask but the meat-n-three-blue-shirt-khaki-pants-club doesn't have a pamphlet for.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Vid.

Oh yeah, and Josh is making (what we hope will be) the final edits to the video. Yay! You'll see it here first, of course!


"Great" ministry

I've been thinking about "great" ministry lately. I've been in Nashville a little over a year now, and I'm a part of a pretty good small group from my church, and I've been a part of an okay, but not amazing on campus ministry bible study. As a former (and admittedly brief) "Professional Christian" it occasionally occurs to me that these somewhat haphazard groups have "things to work on" and might not be entirely "successful" in meeting or exceeding their goals... BUT, as I drove home from my job that I found out about from a friend of a friend in the campus bible study, picked up a voicemail and met a friend from the church small group for coffee at 11pm; it dawns on me that these ministries are largely responsible for my life as it exists right now.

Maybe their goals are man made, and their successes God given? The on campus group thinks its job is evangelism. It has been best at giving people a "group" a home away from home, and the entirely necessary reminder of Who's they really are. It's not a huge group of kids, but it's hugely important to the kids that are there. No one is going to write the next hot ministry book from us, but I do see people being developed as Christian leaders...

Is the point of ministry connecting folks and forming extended families? These two have done that for me. And really, I thank God for them.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Greetings IWU!

Hi! Thanks for swinging by. If you've found us through the premiere at IWU, you are in the right place! Romans12: Do Not Be Overcome By Evil has been years in the making, and we are finally in stage 2. We have the video with stereo audio you saw, and soon we'll have the mulitchannel DVD available. If you purchase the "beta" DVD, we'll send you the one you saw immediately, and you'll also receive the final copy as well.

You'll be seeing more and more of us in the next few months. At online retailers, on viral video sites, on ministry resource sites, and then the sequal will come out. The endgame is a series of pieces using multichannel soundart to create memorable experiences, available in physical and digital forms.

If you like what we do, and want to be a part, we are looking for "Producers" - folks who want to help us make SoundArt for Worship a reality. For a one-time contribution of $100, we'll list you on the site, and you'll receive a copy of everything we ever produce. Yep, everything. All five, ten, thirty or a hundred pieces we produce, between now and when Jesus comes back will be yours. We'll take your mailing address, you'll hear from us occasionally, and when a new installment releases, we'll mail you a copy. Think about it. ..... if you're done thinking, click here: