We recently completed a video that we were hired to do by Bright Sky Press, a Houston-based publisher of fine books for national and international trade distribution. The video explores the message of Venerable Master Miao Tsan, abbot at Vairocana Zen Monastery in Garden Grove, CA, lecturer and author of several books including his newly published, “Just Use This Mind.”The book explores the philosophies of Zen in teaching people the concept of becoming the master of one’s own thoughts. Not just for Buddhists, the collected wisdom of Zen masters outline a way to live your life in harmony, health and happiness and embrace the concepts of the eternal.Working on this project was a real challenge as well as a lot of fun. Having just been to China before embarking on the production aspects, I already had an ‘eastern / western’ context and intentionally wanted to stay away from doing the typical zen style. We were tasked with producing something to speak to all religions and speak in language that was accessible to all audiences, including those unfamiliar with Zen.
My writer was absolutely spot-on in articulating my thoughts and visions for the script. Choosing voice talent was more difficult in that I knew what I wanted, I could hear that voice in my head. Finding someone that had that voice was the challenge. I sampled many voice talents before finding one that I felt could capture the right tone. It took us several takes before she finally got the right voice and I couldn’t be happier with the results.One new challenge for me was finding and working with a remote crew since the abbot is in Los Angeles, CA.