Blair Treu: Mormon Director - Mormonism, The Mormon Church, Beliefs, & Religion - MormonWiki
Blair Treu (left), Jeff and Emily Wadman, and Kanasa Kawamitsu talk after a media event for the new Meet the Mormons film in Salt Lake City. Photo courtesy Blair Treu. Show Notes. In this episode, Mormon Artist podcast host Katherine Morris interviews film and television writer and. View Blair Treu's profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. Writer & Director; large-format documentary film entitled "Meet the Mormons".
Treu saw the format as the most meaningful way to share stories today. They want to see what it's really like. They don't want to see sensationalism. I think they want to see the truth.
They are saying, 'We want to show what we experience as members. They are saying, this is what we'd like the church to be.
That bodes well for the church in the future. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency in the church's general conference a year ago in which he said, "regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this church.
Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said the church needs those of every race and nationalitythe young and old, married and single, rich and poor, converts and those descended from pioneers.
This has been going on for a little while and generally is a good thing. This is at the core of why I pitched the project in the first place, and that was to create something authentically, with real, live families who are not perfect, who have struggles, who are in the midst of those struggles and who have learned as a result of those, and who are open enough and honest enough to share that with us.
- Blair Treu
- 'Meet the Mormons' an example of church efforts to portray 'lived experience' of real members
- Episode 3: Blair Treu, director of Meet the Mormons
We wanted to show what our membership is really like, to show that diversity, but we also wanted to show what the common core between all those is, that there is also great unity in our faith and faith in Jesus Christ. The new stories have again been created in documentary-style format and, as of July 16, are available to view at the Legacy Theater in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The nine stories will be in a rotation playing every 30 minutes throughout the day.
Sister Jones is the narrator in the original Meet the Mormons and is again in the new segments. Their testimonies come through in the way they live. Their story gives viewers a glimpse into the everyday life of a horse trainer and focuses on the importance of family.
The performing group includes four siblings—two brothers, Aiki and Akashi, and two sisters, Kanasa and Akino.
It was about four years ago this month when there was a group of us gathered, and it was our responsibility at the time as a group to come up with new and innovative ways to kind of assess where we were as a church with its media and talk about ways that we can do better in reaching our audiences—and coupled with that—ways in which to use social media to reach those audiences.
So, it was kind of an eclectic mix of a broad array of backgrounds. And in that meeting one day, the topic of the Legacy Theater came up.
Blair Treu - Wikipedia
We had been asked by the First Presidency to come up with some new ideas to replace the film that is running in the Legacy Theater right now, just kind of on its last bit—its last hurrah. Prophet of the Restoration. So, we were asked to come up with ideas to replace that film. And this grew out of that. In essence tell our own stories. So, we kind of thought that through and felt like, hey, this could be something worth exploring. And so, I put together a little presentation, sent it on up the line, and there was interest there from the First Presidency.
And President Monson said, you know, is it possible to give me a little taste of what this might look like? Can you make a little trailer, as it were, about what this is? But, then I started—you know, after thinking about it for a few days, I thought, you know, we can certainly throw together a little trailer.
Meet the Mormons: New Faces, New Stories
And so, based on that trailer, came back with a cut trailer, and it was only a few minutes long. And he, and other members of the Twelve and First Presidency saw that—and he felt like yeah, that is the direction we should go. It took a while to find the families and locate what we thought were a good complement of stories that would represent us as a church and as a people globally. And then, you know, when you get in a room with really creative people, it just kind of builds from there.
What made you feel like that was the direction to go in? Well, on a personal level, you know, growing up in Huntington Beach, California, I was certainly in the minority—a religious minority, I should say. Lot of great people living out there, and there was also with that a lot of misconceptions and misperceptions about who we are and what we believe. And that kind of hit me smack dab in the face as early as the third grade when, reading about Mormons—our teacher would pull out articles about Mormons—it was interesting; she would read about all kinds of different things.
But my ears kind of perked up when one day she read something about Mormons. And it really kind of broke my heart.
Because I remember thinking, you know, if these people just knew us for who we really are, that would go a long way toward dispelling common misconceptions. They would be a little more open-minded. I think many other people feel the same: You know, human tendency is to be fearful of the unknown, so once you get to know something, you tend to set aside those notions that come from pop culture and the like.
So, at the beginning of the film, it starts out with Jenna Kim Jones interviewing people just on the street in New York City, asking them what they know about Mormons. And it brings up all of these stereotypes. Are some of those that you included stereotypes that you have encountered over the years? Absolutely—almost every one of them in a certain way.
Meet the Mormons
They have weird notions about our holidays. Do you guys dance? I mean, if you guys knew us—I mean, Mormons—absolutely we dance. I mean, when you think about some of the top dancers that have been on a lot of these dance shows come out of the LDS culture.
And look at BYU and their dance program. And so—and do you guys vote? Well, of course we vote. But yeah, I think a lot of these things—I think the whole opening, really was just an acknowledgement to kind of say to audiences, hey, here you go. We know this is what you feel about us.
But we want to make you understand that in a not so subtle kind of way that, yeah, these things are out there—and they still are quite prevalent.
Especially if you consider yourself an open-minded person and a person who wants to gain actual knowledge, rather than rely on the medium of pop culture. Yeah, well, I thought it was actually quite good-natured and light-hearted.
And they were funny clips. But, it was interesting to me that one of the reviews I read about Meet the Mormons—they found that intro—they said it was kind of defensive because they said it assumed things about the audience.
But, the funny thing is that any Mormon watching it would nod. I mean, I was looking around me and people were laughing, but there were also—there was also—in kind of a knowing way.