Archives For Creativity

Pushing Pixels, Not Missional

kinnon —  March 20, 2010 — 4 Comments


I make my living pushing pixels – whether those pixels are animations, creative design, moving images or stills. Because of a large broadcast trade show that goes live every April for which I do creative design, animation and production work – February, March and early April are exceedingly busy for me.

At this stage of the project, every waking minute, save the few I'm taking to write this, are spent pushing pixels inside Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects and Final Cut Pro – or on location in Toronto capturing pixels.

I think the discussion going on around how the definition of the word "missional" is an important one. There are lots of posts at this small corner of the interwebs that talk about that very thing. I wish I could contribute to the particular missionSHIFT conversation happening now, but I simply don't have the time to engage in the kind of intelligent conversation that needs to take place. Not for another month, anyway.

The trademarked logo above was designed by Imbi Medri-Kinnon and me for a new subsidiary of our 25 year old company, Medri Kinnon Productions Limited – we hope to launch Pushing Pixels later this year.

World-music guitarist, Jason Carter is in Toronto this Wednesday @ 7:30pm for a concert @ the George Ignatieff Theatre, Trinity College, University of Toronto. More information is here.

Various members of the Kinnon family have seen Jason numerous times as he's popped into Toronto – the first time in a private home in Leaside. He's a very gifted player. Liam and I will be at Wednesday's event.

The performance video below was shot over a year ago by me – early in Jason's experimentation with the harp guitar. Imbi and I also shot a conversation between Jason and John Franklin. John is the Executive Director of Imago – the arts organization staging the event @ the Ignatieff Theatre.

Imago: Jason Carter – Finlandia from Bill Kinnon on Vimeo.

Jason Carter and his harp guitar. Recorded in October of 2008 at Kinnon Studios in Toronto.

Imago: Jason Carter & John Franklin in Conversation from Bill Kinnon on Vimeo.

World music guitarist, Jason Carter and Imago Executive Director John Franklin talk about Jason's career and the Church and the Arts.

As some of you are aware, there are hours of footage in the Medri Kinnon vaults waiting to be turned into finished productions. Imbi's documentary on Church Leadership in the 21st Century is probably the longest and most involved. One of the important voices in that doc and one of our favourite people on this topic is Bishop Graham Cray.

Graham, and his beautiful wife Jackie (an Anglican rector), were in Toronto for Wycliffe's ReFresh conference in the early summer and Imbi and I shot a conversation with Graham and Wycliffe's Annette Brownlee talking about the launch of Fresh Expressions Canada.

Graham was one of the people behind the Mission-shaped Church document that led to the creation of Fresh Expressions in the UK – a partnership between the Anglican Church of England, the Methodist Church and the wider UK church community. Early this year, Graham became team leader of Fresh Expressions.

In Part I of the interview, Bishop Cray talks about the history of FX, it's application in the North American context and the monetary costs of creating a local fresh Expression of Church. The interview is introduced by Nick Brotherwood, FX Canada's Team Leader (and all round good guy).

FX Canada Interview w/ Graham Cray Part I from Bill Kinnon on Vimeo.

A Week Away

kinnon —  July 30, 2009 — 3 Comments

Imbi and I spent this past Tuesday to Tuesday on the left coast. Most of the time was on Orcas Island at KindlingsFest. And what a week it was. (All pics below are Imbi’s. The first one is from early Monday morning – just off Main Street in Eastsound, WA. You can view a bunch of Imbi’s shots from the event here.) This link will give you a little background on The Kindlings.


We were challenged and inspired by Dr. Jerry Root and his unpacking of the theme, Broken Beauty. One of Jerry’s students says, “(he’s) the most tender-hearted professor I can imagine. His passion for what he teaches is unmatched.” That would be Imbi’s and my take, as well.


Michael Kelly Blanchard was the musician in residence, and this thoughtful, yet hilarious troubadour had us alternately in stiches or in tears – ofttimes in one song.


Bruce Herman was the artist in residence and his gorgeous painting of the Virgin Mary illuminated the gathering. (The painting sold early in the Fest – but was there with us for all of it.)

KindlingsFest host, the irrepressible Dick Staub (one of my favourite people on the planet) did a great Kindlings Muse Podcast interview with Bruce that should be up in August. It is well worth listening to.


C.S. Lewis is the patron saint of the Kindlings, so it was appropriate that Anglican Priest, occasional actor and C.S. Lewis scholar, Michael Ward would be at the event to share his findings from his book, Planet Narnia – which inspired the BBC documentary, The Narnia Code. You can watch the trailer here.

Michael believes he’s cracked the code that unpacks the Narnia story – and properly connects C.S. Lewis the Medieval English scholar with C.S. Lewis the writer of children’s tales – tales J.R.R. Tolkien famously felt were set in “an awkward mishmash of a world”. Ward sets out to prove Tolkien wrong. I’ll let you be the judge. (I’m no Lewis expert.)

The week was also an opportunity for Kindlings Hearth alumi (including Mrs. Kinnon and yours truly) to catch up with our lives. Alum and Kindlings board member, Marty O’Donnell made the mistake of subscribing to my Twitter feed during the event – and now I’m being followed by way too many gamers – expecting some Marty-like wisdom from me. That’s not going to happen.

Hearth Alum, Tony Payne (Dr. Tony Payne of Wheaton’s Conservatory for the Intelligentsia in the crowd) wrote and performed a beautiful song from the week’s events that I will post if I get Tony’s permission. (I was sitting at the back of the church and shot it with our little Canon HF11 camera – and have yet to watch it back, so…) Tony is a wonderful music writer – whose hymns should be being sung in all English speaking churches – in my not humble but accurate opinion. His song from the week left me speechless.


One of my favourite writers in blogdom, Erika Haub with her husband, Doug and the gorgeous Haub kids (can someone say “high energy”, I knew you could) took the early morning ferry on Saturday to join us for the last day of KindlingsFest. Here’s a shot of Beauty and the Beast. Careful, you could scare the kids with this shot of me.

I missed the whole Gates-Cambridge Police-Obama story whilst lost in the beauty of Orchas – but Erika wrote a must read post. I will comment on it and my own thoughts on the incident in my next post – even if I’m a little late to the discussion.

The KindlingsFest was a treat for Imbi and I. It was a week of being both rejuvenated and challenged. I have much to unpack from our time on Orcas Island and look forward to sharing my thoughts here at this nanonode of blogdom in the coming days.

Let me end this by saying that it’s great to get back to the cool temps of Southern Ontario after the ridiculous heat of Puget Sound. Even if Phoenix is hotter than both.

We are in the home stretch finishing preparations for Windrider @ Wycliffe – next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings @ Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. (September 9th through the 11th, 2008.) Wycliffe is literally dead centre in the downtown university campus – with great transit access.

Each evening begins at 7pm and features a provocative, feature-length documentary & a discussion after with the director and producer(s). (There’s an interesting article in 27East – a newspaper in the Hamptons about The Third Wave – our Thursday evening film.)

Here’s a short video that Windrider @ Wycliffe producer, Imbi Medri-Kinnon did with Film Producer and Windrider co-founder, John Priddy – inviting you to this event.

Click here for more videos. And here for more details.

Movie: The Visitor

kinnon —  July 15, 2008 — 3 Comments

One of the best movies Imbi and I saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was Tom McCarthy’s The Visitor. (McCarthy was responsible for The Station Agent – another indy favourite.) Gareth Higgins has a film podcast coming up where he discusses The Visitorbut he says enough here to tell you how much he liked the film. I would concur with his statement that it “might still end up being the most engaging film I’ve seen all year.

Make a point of listening to Gareth’s podcast if you can – but you must see The Visitor. You might also want to check out the always informative and entertaining Kindlings Muse’ Dick Staub and his film critic crew on this podcast – where The Visitor is discussed along with Wall-E, Iron Man and other films.

See the trailer below. (The Visitor starts off slow but ends with an emotional punch.)

My friend, Grace, has a very interesting post on String Theory today. She asks these questions,

What if the fundamental substance of everything is vibrating strings, and what if these sound waves or strings are really the voice of God, meaning He not only spoke everything into existence in the past, but the essence of matter currently is His voice?

What if every created thing is the physical manifestation of His voice, and the actual physical substance we experience is, at the very innermost core level, the voice of God?

This reminded me of one of Roy Williams’ Monday Morning Memos from a few years ago where Roy talked about String Theory. (I pointed this out in a comment on Grace’s blog.)

Listen to a group of physicists talk about String Theory and it will slowly dawn on you that they’re explaining the entire universe as nothing but the quivering, dancing echo of the voice of God. “Let there be light.”

String Theory describes energy and matter as being composed of tiny, wiggling strands of energy that look like strings. And the pitch of a string’s vibration determines the nature of its effect.

In essence, String Theory describes space and time, matter and energy, gravity and light, indeed all of God’s creation… as music.

Which then reminded me of one of my own posts from ’06 that riffed on Roy’s memo. The rather long post is called The Power of Music in Church where I ponder,

Could it be that, we don’t just resonate with music, we are, in fact, music. Our physical reaction to music (toes tapping, body swaying, hands clapping, people dancing) is just a function of how we’ve been constructed. Which would explain both the power of music in the church, and the reason there’s so much discussion and disagreement about it.

Must be a day for following the beagle where ‘er she leads.

SamSparro-imk.jpgNot sure if it’s true in the Land of Amerigo Vespucci, but in Canada iTunes is offering Sam Sparro’s Black and Gold as a free download.

We all love the tune in the Kinnon household. Somewhere within the Tubes of You, Sam states the song is about God.

Not surprising to us.

Kathy’s Back

kinnon —  March 12, 2008 — Leave a comment

Well. Sort of. Windley’s Technometria on one of my heroes, Kathy Sierra. [via Doc]

And read this post from John La Grou – please take the 18 minutes to watch the TED video John links to.

That Dog’ll Hunt

kinnon —  November 30, 2007 — Leave a comment

And this guy can write. Can he ever. (You might just want to do what I just did and add him to your Google Reader – assuming your using GR.)

BTW – The title means whatever you want it to.