Monday, August 10, 2009

Why the internet was invented

Seriously, this has bigger name actors than the real movie... and a clarinet solo.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Twitter feeds: Panthers

I'm amazed at twitter. It's incredible how quickly news travels when it's crowd sourced, and it's even faster and more reliable when it comes from first hand sources. Case in point, today my good buddy Shannon and I went to the morning practice at the Carolina Panthers training camp. As we were walking down the hill, we saw a player being carted off the field, but couldn't see his number from our vantage point. As Shannon was asking around to other fans (who also didnt know what was going on), I pulled out my iphone and checked twitter. I immediately found out who the player was, and within a few minutes had a general idea of his condition. Pretty impressive

In honor of that, I wanted to share the list of folks I follow who feed me this info. I'm sure there are others out there, so if there's someone I missed that you follow, but sure to let me know in the comments section. Oh yeah, and if you want to follow me, you can find me at @markameeks.

So here goes:

@CarolinaHuddle - VERY knowledgeable, fan-run website with one of the most active feeds.

@CharlesChandlerr - Panthers' bet writer: The Charlotte Observer

@CJWilson27: - Panthers CB (3rd Year)

@CorveyIrvin - Panthers DE (Rookie)

@cpanthers - Official News Feed of the Panthers

@DanMorgan55 - Panthers Pro-Bowl MLB (ret.)

@daringantt Panthers' beat writer: Rock Hill Herald - one of the most active feeds. scooped the official Panthers' feed re: Kemo's injury.

@EveretteBrown - Panthers DE (Rookie)

@jonathanstewar1 - Panthers RB (2nd yr)

@jonbeason - "The Beast": Panthers Pro-Bowl and All-Pro MLB (3rd year)

@MattEMoore - Panthers QB (3rd Year)

@MikeSolarte - Sports Director for News 14 Carolina, and most importantly an all around great guy. A guy I consider myself very lucky to call a friend.

@rhysjlloyd - Panthers Kicker. Gets extra credit for calling Jake Delhomme a Muppet in his most recent tweet.

@scott_fowler - Sports Columnist: The Charlotte Observer

That's it, kids. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Layers and Textures and Brushes, Oh My!

I'm usually not one for a lot of messing with my photos. Other than some contrast or saturation bumping, I usually don't do much "toying" with images. These are things I use in my design stuff all the time, but usually don't incorporate into my photo work. That being said, I've been playing around today with brushes and textures a little.

Armed with some inspiration from Barton Damer at the Gurus Conference as well as a stack of free brushes from Brusheezy, I settled in to playing around.

Here's what I started with; a picture of Courtney I showed you guys a few days ago.

And here's what I ended up with. (full resolution version here)

This is a little "much" for my usual tastes, but I'm trying to expand my boundries. This ended up being about 28 layers, and I'm pretty pleased overall. I'm not crazy about the black gradient on the right hand side, but I've decided to use this image as my desktop for the time being so I've got to have that to give some contrast to the (theoretically) few icons I have on my desktop.

Hope Court likes it, because if not, I'm sure I'll get another of the looks she's giving me in the pic.

EDIT: I got a little carried away and made another, similar image for my second desktop. Here's the end result:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'd vote for her

If anyone out there knows this woman, please encourage her to run for office. These are the kinds of people we need making our decisions for us. I'd move to California just so I could vote for her. Genius!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

R2 Cafe Music - 7-26

I got a lot of questions on today's countdown music today, so I figured I'd get back in the old habit of blogging the playlist. Here goes:

The Lost Get Found - Britt Nicole

Roll With Me f. Colt Ford - Montgomery Gentry

Forgiven and Loved - Jimmy Needham

Steal My Sunshine - Len

Washed By the Water - needtobreathe

Out of my Head - Fastball

The Atmosphere - And Then There Were None

Closer to Love - Mat Kearney

Countdown Music
Robot Rock - Daft Punk

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"The Verge" Trailer

The Verge - Trailer from Mark Meeks on Vimeo.

here's the trailer I made for the new R2 sermon series, The Verge. Quotes are by FDR, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy V and MLK, music by Lee McDerment. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Micah 2:13 - Why I love iMovie

Here's a short motion graphic I did for an upcoming service. I did this in about 20 minutes using iMovie. It still amazes me how simple this thing is to use and how great the results can be... especially considering it's an application that comes free on your friendly neighborhood Mac.

Motion Graphic of Micah 2:13 from Mark Meeks on Vimeo.

For those of you interested in the music it's God Moving Over the Face of the Waters by Moby. I first heard it on the movie Heat (which I highly recommend). However, we will probably not play the music in the service. This will be used between worship songs, so the band will likely accompany this piece. I just inserted the music as a place-holder.

Sneak Preview: The Verge

The new sermon series at R2 starts in a couple weeks. Here's a preview of the print materials that we've produced. I'm really excited about this one.

Main logo (screens):

Text slide (for scripture on the screens):

Postcard Front:

and back:

Business Card (for inviting friends)

Look for another post in the next couple days where I'll talk about how this design evolved. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mackenzie Comer - Sweet 16 Shoot

I had the honor yesterday of shooting Mackenzie Comer to document her turning 16. These were taken at an old barn near her house. Kenz has pretty funky tastes (and I mean that as a good thing) so I tried a little "extreme" post processing on these. Mom was pleased (and after all, that's really all that matters), as am I, so I think this was a pretty successful shoot. Hope you enjoy. Full set can be seen here.

For those of you who don't know, Kenz is Courtney's little sister, making pleasing mom all the more important. I got a couple pictures of the girls together as well. Court makes a great photog's assistant, but can be a reluctant model. The last shot is a perfect example of Court's "I'm humoring you, but I'm NOT liking this" face. I get that one a lot.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Kinetic Typography

CAUTION: This video uses audio from the movie Pulp Fiction, therefore the language is pretty rough. This is totally unsafe for work or for around the kiddies, but I'm posting it because I'm so impressed with the animation. - MM

I was cruising the Graphic Design Forum and stumbled across this awesome example of Kinetic Typography. I'm sure you've seen stuff similar to this, it's becoming pretty popular in TV commercials and the like. It's something I'd love to get better at and be able to incorporate into my stuff. Here's an early attempt i made to replicate the effect from a few months ago. You can see I still need some work.

Friday, May 29, 2009

can. not. wait.

man, this looks great

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Album Art - Drew Holgate, Return to Daylight

I've been given the distinct honor of designing the CD Cover art for the new EP from my good friend Drew, Return to Daylight. I presented several different options to Drew for him to go with, and he chose the one you see below with very few changes. Drew's the Worship Pastor at R2 and he and his band are incredible talents. I'm very honored to be involved with this project. Look for more on this project in the near future.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why I love High Point

reason number 573,291

I can't believe I actually have it

So the year is 1990, I'm a 7th grader at Oak Hill Junior High and everyone in the entire 7th grade world wants to be Andre Agassi. Agassi is doing for tennis what Tiger Woods would do for golf a decade later. He's introducing an entire new generation to his sport. He's injecting crazy hair, spandex, and neon into a world of boring old guys in white.

And everyone wants his shoe.

Problem is, it's sold out. Everywhere.

Well, my time comes for me to get some new shoes, so my mom takes me out to CBS Sports, the only place in town with any sort of selection of cool shoes. I, of course, want the "Agassi"s... (Nike Air Tech Challenge II in Hot Lava for you sneakerheads). Turns out they have one pair left... the pair that was on display... and it's a freakishly big size. I thank God for my freakishly big feet and overnight become the coolest kid on the block.

But here's the thing I remember most about those shoes. It wasn't bringing them home, it wasn't wearing them to school the next day and people's jealous reactions. It's certainly not how they improved my tennis game because to this day I've maybe picked up a racquet MAYBE a dozen times... It was that night, as I was getting in the shower, seeing those shoes on my bathroom floor and thinking "those are really mine. I'm the kid who gets to wear them." I know it's terribly selfish and materialistic, but it's a memory and a feeling that was absolutely ingrained in me and one I've never felt since...

...until recently. It's amazing how something or someone can come along and make you feel old feelings all over again. Coincidentally this time it's something else from 1990 that has me feeling that same feeling all over again. "I can't believe this is happening to me. I'm the one who gets to experience this."

I don't know where those shoes are today, and I can't pretend to know what the future holds for me and Court, all I know is that right now, I feel so happy, so blessed, to be in this situation. I'm so thankful to God for bringing us together, and I can't wait to see what He has in store.

Avoiding sounding like a jerk in emails

Below is the full text from a blog written by David Silverman (not David Silver) about helping with tone in email. I know this is something I've struggled with in the past, so I thought it might be useful to others as well.

A reader writes with the following query:

"I manage 15 staff who are scattered about. I email them since it's the easiest way for me to communicate with all of them at the same time. Often my emails are very short and to the point. It's business. Two staff see that as my being harsh and have no problem letting me know that. Example: "Would you please update these primary care providers in the database, including addresses and phone numbers?"
Six days later, I sent the following email as follow up to my initial request: "I would like this taken care of by Thursday this week. If you are having trouble getting this done, please let me know."

In return, my employee sent me a lengthy 4 paragraph response on how insulted she was by my follow up email. I would like your opinion."

One the one hand, the employee's response was out of line. What was he or she hoping to achieve? It didn't get the project done and it almost certainly didn't improve your relationship. I'd go as far as to say it's justified for you to reprimand someone for aggressive behavior like that.

But that's me speaking as a boss (or customer) who's sent similar emails to yours. I've also been the recipient — and felt rising anger every time one of my bosses sent an email beginnging with, "Please provide the revised presentation..."

Perhaps unexpectedly, it was the "please" that drove me over the edge. And while I didn't fire off a petulant four-paragraph response, I did seethe quietly. And, more importantly, I didn't feel very much like "providing the revised presentation."

Anyone whose ever been part of an online "flame war" has had the experience of a tiny "e-mole" becoming a mountain. (And yes, I am also shocked that I would attempt such a terrible pun.) Studies have shown that readers add (or invent) emotional bias that is often counter to your intent as the sender.

In this case, all of the niceties you thought you were writing ended up sounding very different in the mind of your employee.

In the echo chamber of the employee's mind, and the absence of other cues from you, "I would like" was probably heard as a passive-aggressive demand, if not a derisive sneer. "If you are having trouble," was meant as "I'm here to help," but interpreted as "I think you're a dolt for taking 6 days to do a minor task." The length of your email also compounded the emotional dissonance. You thought of it as just a quick note on a task, but your brevity came across as curt.

Lastly, the form of communication itself (email) could be interpreted as, "Just so you know, I'm documenting your incompetence."

Ouch, right?

Here are some suggestions for preventing this next time:

1. You could call. Your goal is to check the progress of the task and give the employee a chance to respond with questions — a call could accomplish this while allowing both of you to hear each other's tone of voice. Since you say at least two of your staff find your emails harsh, this could be the easiest solution.

2. Include deadlines when you first make a request. If you don't have time to call, or if time zones make calling a hassle, email can still work if you revise your initial request to include a due date, or, for a bigger project, a due date for an status update. By giving a date, your follow-up won't feel as aggressive and your employee will be less likely to take it personally. Deadlines will also help your staff prioritize — perhaps rendering follow-ups unnecessary.

3. Be conversational. Even if the first email was unchanged, the second email could be written to avoid a blow up. You don't need lots of smiley faces or exclamation points. You just need to write the way you might actually talk. For example, your second email could read: "Hi Cindy, just following up on the email below — can you let me know how far along the task is? I was hoping we could have this by the meeting on Thursday, is that a possibility?"

4. Use the passive voice. It doesn't make for great writing, but it can help you avoid sounding accusatory — and it sounds like your employee felt accused.

To handle the situation as it is now, call. Let your employee know you meant no disrespect, and that your goal, and theirs, was and is to get the job done. And let them know that the I'm-an-emotional-person-and-you-hurt me email has no place at work.

Lastly, I'd like to use this as an opportunity to repeat why I think even the "simplest" emails need to be revised with care. It takes time and thought to ensure you don't give the wrong emotional cues.

Let's open this up to my readers and get you some more opinions. Does anyone have other advice? Do you disagree with the recommendations I've proposed?

The Rev's Got a Band

Found this video on Jason Boyett's blog. The cheese factor is off the charts in this one. If the Rev had a worship band, I'm sure it'd be this guy.

The Rev is Back, Too

The Rev. Bro. Dr. Bshp. Floyd D. Barber the Third made another appearance at R2 this past week. Here's the clip if you missed it. "filmed" in photo booth with my macbook sitting on the back of my truck.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm back

I've beyond slack about keeping this little corner of the internet up and running. I could blame twitter, but I've pretty much been slack there. In the next couple days I'll be catching you up on what I've been up to. Hope you'll enjoy.

Sorry for being extra-lame.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Having tinkered with animation a little, I've really come to appreciate how difficult it can be. This is just ridiculously impressive to me:

Thanks to Already Been Chewed for the heads-up.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wild Things

I had no idea this was in the works. I can't wait.

Friday, March 20, 2009

SuperNews! - Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates

Stumbled across this tonight. totally awesome!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Israeli Mobile Phone Ad

Found this on motionographer which I found in collide. I love this.

Re-Blog of Tony Morgan

Here's a total quotation of Tony Morgan's latest blog post. Sounds like this is a book I'll have to put on my "to read" list. Original post can be found here (if you're involved in any aspect of ministry and you're not following Tony, you should be.)

I recently finished up the Kindle version of Anne Jackson’s new book, Mad Church Disease. First of all, let me reiterate that I love reading and taking notes using the Kindle. Completely changes how I engage a book.

Secondly, this book in particular is one of those books that every person on staff in a ministry should read. If you aren’t currently facing the “disease” of which Anne writes, you probably will. Here are some of the highlights from my reading:

“I had allowed spending time with God to be replaced by spending time doing things for God.”
“The fear of letting people down, especially in spiritual matters, can often cause us to feel obligated or pressured into meeting unrealistic expectations, or worse, spending more time doing things for God instead of being what God wants us to be.”
“If the leader is exhausted, then the people following that leader will feel exhausted.” –Bill Hybels
“There are a lot of Christ-followers who haven’t taken the time to figure out what their holy discontent is, and so they’re doing a gradual slide into apathy and complacency—and that is unconscionable in a broken and lost world.” –Bill Hybels
“My experience is that it’s really easy to trash-talk churches or methods that aren’t what we think they should be.”
“There are no perfect churches to serve in, no perfect pastors to work for, and no perfect environments.”
“I could have prayed to be healed from depression, but if I hadn’t taken the necessary steps, I would have never come out of it.”
“An unguarded strength can become your greatest weakness.” –Wayne Cordeiro
“You are responsible both for the choices you’ve made in life and for seeking God’s plan for your healing.”
“You should design your ministry around your family values.” –Craig Groeschel
“One of the most important words in your healing—’NO!’ You may feel guilty for saying it. People may get angry at you for saying it. But you must say it!”
“The leaders who were the healthiest were the ones who never disrespected the people who hurt them.”
“We believe lies that tell us that our worth is in our productivity.”
“We cannot be dependent on ourselves and on God at the same time. When we consider the practice of rest unnecessary, we will also inevitably lose sight of the necessity of God.”
Aside from the great insights, Anne is obviously a gifted writer. I think you will enjoy and be challenged by this book.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Tribute to Jace

Last night at the R2 Creative Team meeting, there was a formal announcement. Since Pastor Nick will be moving on to lead our student ministry, the wise decision to promote my good buddy Jace Breeback to the role of Creative Director was announced. To honor the occasion, I put together this little video of him talking about his vision for the Creative Team. Enjoy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Been WAY too long

So it's been over a month since my last blog post. Way too long. Sorry about that - I'll do better.

I went down with some of the great folks at R2 to the Unleash conference at Newspring Church in Anderson, SC. Had a blast with good friends, got some great ideas about how to do things better in my role in the church, and was really inspired by some awesome worship. More about Unleash in general in an upcoming post.

Here's what's really inspired me to get back to blogging. I really felt God speaking to me this week, and it started before getting to Newspring. It all started when we were hanging out at a coffee shop just having a blast kidding around with each other. Dont remember the context of the conversation, but somehow it came up that I was a cheerleader in HS (this is the one thing I always play off as being embarrassed of, but in truthfulness, i had a blast doing it). My small group co-leader Jade was there and asked me a really interesting question. I think half jokingly she asked me "how did that experience affect your chazown?" (our small group is reading chazown and if yours isn't, it should be.) I thought about just giving her a flippant, joking response, but then decided to give it some real thought. I said "well, it tought me that it's good to sacrifice your own needs for someone else's." You see, as a guy on the cheerleading squad, your number one priority is to not let the girl you're holding or throwing up in the air hit the ground - even if it means you hitting the ground instead. I took some pretty nasty falls and got really banged up literally diving for girls on several occasions... but none of them ever hit the ground.

On Thursday, Perry Noble was talking about how church leaders should continually be asking God for "the ball." That a leader should say, "I'm willing to take the punishment. I'm willing to take the risk. I'm wanting to be the one to advance down the field." Perry was talking to the Senior Pastors at that point, but I think a lot fo that fell in the wrong ears... I've heard a lot of chatter online for other people in the Church talking about how they want the ball too.

Here's where I think the problem lies. There's only ONE ball carrier. The church staff has to take an offensive lineman mentality. As a church staffer, it's not my calling to carry the ball. It's my calling to get out there and take the pounding to make the job easier for the guys with the ball. The thing is, there's no glory in that, there's not a lot of recognition or glory in it. But as a guy who really enjoyed being an offensive tackle back in my football playing days, I can tell you that there's a lot of internal satisfaction - and that your role is a vital one.

Perry finished up by asking "does your pastor know you've got his back?". My response is I'd do anything for Jason (and frankly any of the other pastors at R2) and I'm totally onboard with his vision, but I don't have his back. Being behind the ball carrier does nothing to help him out. I want to be out front, doing everything I can - giving blood sweat and tears - to do any small thing to make his job - spreading God's Word, doing God's Will - just a little bit easier.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Growth Groups Promo

R2 Growth Groups Video from Mark Meeks on Vimeo.

Here's the Growth Groups promo I put together for last week's service. This is the first movie I made with iMovie '09. I used a stock video R2 purchased for a previous sermon element, spliced it together with some photos I had lying around. Background music is bookends theme by Simon and garfunkle.

Also note, this is the first video I'm linking from my new viemo account. It's like youtube, but more vimeoer.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009


Hope you all enjoyed a rediculously awesome game last night. Even if you're not a fan of the game (or evenif you didn't watch the game) you've gotta LOVE this:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

if we didn't have enough to worry about...

the horrifying story

Lie To Me

New show on Fox - caught the first two episodes on Hulu. I know everyone's got too much tv already, but this is really shaping up to be a great show. Oh yeah, and Kelli Williams is pretty attractive too.

here's the pilot:

here's episode 2:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fan-made Thundercats Trailer

This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. This guy took existing movie clips, colorized them to make the characters look like the Thundercats and sliced them together - this is really pretty incredible.

By the way, the real Thundercats live action movie will be coming out in Summer of 2011

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy Birthday dear Ma-ac.......

as someone else said when they saw this commercial today, looks like they invented the Mac before they invented the sportsbra.

Monday, January 12, 2009


ProPresenter is the presentation software we use on Sundays at R2. Essentially everything that's shown on the screens on stage (and in the cafeteria) and all music you hear (that doesnt come from the band) comes through ProPresenter. ProPresenter is honestly the sole reason I switched to a Mac. I've always liked it, but since a crash we had on Sunday and the resulting tech support experience, I have to admit that now I totally love it. Great service, prompt response, and the right answer the first time - for FREE.

Kudos guys.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Birth of Legend

It's amazing what some people can be talked into.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Extreme Harding

This is just too awesome.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Audi Q5 - "Unboxed"

Ken Wilson's blog turned me onto Motionographer, which also turned me onto this incredible ad for Audi's Q5 SUV. Really creative and wonderfully produced.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cafe Music - January 4th

I'm a little late getting this one posted. Here's the rundown of the cafe music from yesterday's service. Hope you enjoyed it.

iContact - Group 1 Crew
Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas
Give Me Your Eyes - Brandon Heath
Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) - US3
Let Go - BarlowGirl
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
Prayer '94 - Bon Jovi
3 Minute Song - Josh Wilson
What a Wonderful World - Art Garfunkle with James Taylor & Paul Simon
On the Radio - Regina Spektor
If I Had $1000000 - Barenaked Ladies
Joy to the World - Three Dog Night

Happy EVOLUTION!!!!!

Been a while since my last blog (I mean, c'mon, it was last year!) but here's why... all my free time as been dumped into this project, a video promoting the goals of our Evolution series - a series that will outline all of 2009 at R2.

This vid took me about 40 hours to produce. This is also the first videos that R2 has produced that's made entirely of R2 generated materials. Everything from the car trip background (notice that it's the drive from I-40 at Windover in GSO all the way to the front doors of SW Guilford) to the text, to even the background music was created by us for this video. I think it's by far our most sophisticated production yet. Hope you enjoy, and more importantly, hope you enjoy 2009 - the year of Evolution!