From Wil Anderson to Dave Hughes to Julia Morris, the recent online series Calm Down had a staggering amount of star power.
The show explored faith and experiences of living during lockdown. It was a joint effort across Synods, with Pulse’s Steve “Molk” Molkentin joined by VicTas’ Bradon French.
According to Molk, the secret behind the series’ success with guests was straightforward: they “just asked.”
“There were lots of knock backs, and lots of requests with no response – we understand why would anyone want to be on our internet TV show – though there were a few nice enough to engage and be a part of Calm Down. A bit of that came out of relationship work I’ve been doing in my hobby as a TV critic over the last 10 years for MolksTVTalk.com that has become TVBlackbox.com.au.”
Streaming the show online presented a few challenges for the hosts.
“I know I learned heaps. The biggest thing was, and I say this as someone who has 25 years’ experience in IT: you can never trust technology completely.”
“From the opening titles of the first ep having to be run on my iPad held up to the camera to our interview with Hughesy dropping out three times while we were live you just gotta roll with the punches. I was lucky that Bradon French has excellent padding skills, allowing me to ferret around in the background trying to sort things out.”
“We also had some really interesting conversations with people about life and surviving isolation due to the Coronavirus. We also touched on issues of living faith really deeply with some guests, including the revelation that comedian Wil Anderson wanted to be a priest in his earlier years!”
While both hosts enjoyed making the series, a return looks unlikely.
“Short of scoring a(n) (increased) budget and a bigger production team it’s unlikely we’ll see CALM DOWN in an online sense again,” he said.
“Unless we’re all locked down again and then all bets are off.”
“It is highly likely it will pop up at large youth events or camps which will make for even more chaotic fun.”
“I really appreciate the support we received with people watching each week and getting involved in Calm Down. It was hard work and so, so much fun. I’m glad we were able to engage, entertain, and connect people into examples of living faith.”
You can watch Calm Down here.