Celebrate With Family 2011

Many people worked long and hard on this one! We have a HUGE behind the scenes video blog scheduled to post in January so stay tuned for that. In the meantime here’s some behind the scenes info on this years Christmas services:

Planning for the service doesn’t begin at all until November 1st. We literally have nothing in mind until then and it’s a mad rush to get it all put together in roughly 7 weeks.

Many of the songs this year are completely original arrangements. This proved to be quite risky but very rewarding.

Drummer Boy was inspired by Sade’s Soldier of Love, Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Really Care About Us & Coldplay’s Princess of China.

The costume design for Drummer Boy, I hate to say, was greatly inspired by Justin Beiber’s Santa Claus is Coming To Town video that played before Arthur Christmas and Michael Jackson’s classic military jackets. Lisa Ensor did a phenomenal job decorating them for us.

Cirque du Soleil has been a big inspiration to us these past couple of years. You can see/feel their influence all over this years performance.

The clown piece was actually an idea we developed last year but abandoned because we felt it was too difficult to pull off. You have no idea how many hours were spent watching clowns perform just so we could learn how to communicate without speaking. EVERY single physical gesture they make is very intentional was developed during several intense practice sessions in front of a mirror.

We arranged a gorgeous version of Favorite Things to be sung by Dyana Bush that was cut in the last rehearsals because we felt it just didn’t fit quite right. I’m sure we’ll find a place for it next year. She sang it beautifully.

Hours were spent picking each song that plays in advance of the service. It’s all French music and most of it isn’t Christmas music at all. It was chosen specifically to get you in the right frame of mind to accept the clown bit that starts the show.

EVERY shot in the Santa Claus Is Coming to Town Movie sequence was made by us including the shot of the city.

We watched the 1943 film Double Indemnity very closely to authentically craft the dialogue for Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. The scene where Fred MacMurray meets Barbara Stanwyck for the first time was especially useful.

You may notice a line or two from the old movie in Home Alone in the Santa Claus is Coming to Town movie.

The scene from the movie Chicago called “They Both Reached For the Gun” was of great use to us in creating the dance for Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.

The set this year was heavily inspired by Radiohead’s 2008 Tour. Although our’s looks similar to their’s we used ours in a much different way, giving it, I think, a totally different feel.

Last but not least thank you so much to ALL the people who worked so hard to make this year’s performance the HUGE success that it’s been. You guys make it happen!

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Whitney George
Lead Pastor
Whitney George is the Executive Pastor at Church on the Move, where he oversees the operations and ministries of the church. Whitney is passionate about the local church and loves connecting with other church leaders. He and his wife, Heather, have five children and he loves Notre Dame football.