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Church announces video contest for members as part of new initiative

Ever watched a Mormon Messages video and thought, “Hey, I can create something like that,” or seen a photo of the Hong Kong temple and said to yourself, “I live near that temple and I can take a great photo of it, too”? Well, you’re in luck, because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants to see, and utilize, your talent. 

Create, launched in May 2011, is one of the Church’s newest ventures to find talented members around the globe and incorporate their work to help further the gospel. Photos, videos, music and radio content are just a few of the mediums the Church is looking for, with writing and design coming soon. 

“There is a great need for photos, music and videos to fulfill the many media projects the Church is undertaking,” said Anthony Park, associate producer for the Church’s Media Services Department. “Involving members from around the world gives them a chance to participate as well as fill that need for media content. Our members have great talent, and they can contribute photos and video content from their parts of the world. This shows that we are a global, worldwide Church.”

Currently the site is hosting a video contest from January 30 through February 20. Members are encouraged to make a short, 20-60 second video introducing the purpose of Create. Contest submissions have creative leeway. Entrants can use people, music, text, or anything else they would like in their video, as long as it successfully explains the theme of Create. 

The winning video will be posted on Create’s homepage, and the maker of the video will receive the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s CD Heavensong. Up to five finalists will also be posted on a page on Create.

So why did the Church decide to open this contest up to members, rather than creating a video themselves? Said Park, “Utilizing the members and their creativity is a resource the Church has never tried before. By opening this contest to members, it allows them to feel a part of this growing media society, and also a part of the Church . . . we’re hoping to launch more contests using all the mediums to give members an opportunity to participate.”

And when he said all mediums, he meant it. The site already has calls for several types of media, and it is continuing to expand.

Photography.  As far as photos go, Park said they are looking for professional-quality photos that can be posted on Church websites, in magazines, and in manuals for the purpose of spreading the gospel. This means that photos of families participating in Family Home Evening, temples, or regular, daily occurrences are encouraged. “Our designers have been surprised at the quality of photos our members have contributed, and they have started to use these photos more and more,” he said. A list of specific needs can be found on the Create page. 

Video. Video submissions can allow for a bit more creativity, as long as they remain high-quality. “If members have the talent to create their own Mormon Message we welcome that. We would also like to receive very short videos of people bearing their testimonies or teaching a gospel principle,” said Park. These videos can be a wonderful visual way to share the teachings of the gospel with others, and like the photos, will appear on Church websites. 

Compositions. Professional-grade original music and arrangements of public domain hymns and children’s songs will be used wherever the Church has a need for beautiful music. Create is accepting instrumental compositions, original songs, and even music performed by choirs or singing groups. A list of public domain hymns can be found on the Create page. 

Written word. While not yet ready, the Church will soon call for original essays, scripts and even news stories from members around the world. “In some areas of the world it’s hard for us to get news,” said Park. “If we have members who want to write about something that happened and take a few photos, it helps the Church spread the word about something going on in a different continent.” 

The Church hopes that Create will remind its members that everyone, from California to Siberia, is a part of this Church. Its influence spreads everywhere, and by helping to produce good, clean, positive media, the gospel will reach even farther. 

“This is a consecration effort,” Park said. “It’s a way for members to contribute the talents that they have and help further the gospel efforts around the world. Everything is going online, whether it be books, photos, or videos, even sharing the gospel. Members getting online to share their talents is the main purpose of Create.”

For more information about the contest and how you can submit your work, visit create.lds.org or visit Create’s Facebook page, titled Create LDS Media.
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