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You Connection is fully Gospel and fully artistic; we know the culture and traditions of the Arts, from Brechtian technique to Menippean satire, from didactic art to kitchen sink drama and allegory. 

 

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? 

~ it reaches people who really respond to the Arts (a lot of Christian Arts primarily reaches non-artistic churchgoers only)

 

~ it celebrates the history and styles of the Arts, and educates audiences on these classic styles and how they can be effectively used to communicate the Gospel

 

~ if the body of Christ wants to take ground in the world of the Arts, it must be done by Christians who have an appreciation and a passion for the Arts as well as a passion for spreading the Gospel to all the ends of the earth

Similar to auteurism, all You Connection projects are written, composed, and directed by Founder/Director Matt Kramer, giving YC a trademark style of deep theology and wild theatrics. Matt's singular creative style, brought to life by a brilliant performing team, makes You Connection a one-of-a-kind Gospel experience!

Below are details about You Connection films and what you'll find on YC Web!

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Flame (Riley Unterbug), in a corner of the insane asylum in Escape from the Grand Guignol. This side hallway at You Connection's theatre and production facility appears frequently in YC films.

Familiar Worlds

We want all YC stories to exist in the same YC universe, so we have made a conscious decision to create the same general atmosphere in each film despite the differences of genres, time periods, etc. That means you see a lot of the same props, and actually, our theatre and production facility is often used and reused for numerous locations. The result is an internally consistent collection of films that can only truly exist right here on YC Web- an exclusive world just for You Connection followers!

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The YC Cast

You Connection has an ongoing performing troupe of both monthly Resident Performers as well as recurring performers who take part in all YC media and theatre projects. This only adds to the "shared universe" feel of YC films, and unlike ordinary streaming sites, gives viewers the opportunity to connect with the same actors in a variety of different roles and films.

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Escape from the Grand Guignol is an example of an amalgam of styles- pulling from Grand Guignol horror plays to psychological thriller to surrealism to rock musical- as well as a dense theological look at truth, paradoxes, and the struggle between Christianity and secular opposition.

Artistic & Theological Content

All YC projects are meant to be explored- though entertaining, they are meant to make viewers think, ponder, discuss. Therefore, YC films can be regarded as "theological works in theatrical form", with dense perspectives on the Word of God and how Christ relates to us both personally and principally. Downloadable discussion questions can make YC films perfect for using as a teaching or discussion tool.

Artistically, YC films regularly blend styles together into a curious hybrid that is intended to be a unique You Connection style. For example, Rainbow Shoes has all the elements of the classic British pantomime, while Little Crooked House and Bubblegum Dream Machine capture the unreal "pop culture nostalgia" of the 50s and 60s rather than biographical reality. Escape from the Grand Guignol uses elements from Grand Guignol theatre in its plot, and so on.

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Everything in the Prim household is generally red or pink, because (very literally) home is where the heart is in Little Crooked House.

An Unreal Look for an Unreal World

Most YC projects (film and live theatre) are presented as fables, parables, allegories, and symbolic representations of the Gospel, humankind, and society around us. While this is a common practice in live theatre, we rarely have characters with two sets of clothes in YC films, despite having a large wardrobe closet. Like comic book or pop art characters, your eye begins to identify the character with the outfit, or the outfit with the character. Most of the time, character and costume reflect each other perfectly.

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Budget

YC films are independent films in the purest sense. You Connection is a nonprofit company entirely supported by donations, with no money being made off YC Web or theatre presentations. So "shoestrings, duct tape, and popsicle sticks" are our ordinary tools. While YC Web is a stark contrast to the mainstream, big budget streaming worlds of Pure Flix or Netflix, we firmly believe that quality is in the content, not the budget, especially in Christian Arts, and are staunch supporters of independent works that make an impact because of the content- the message, the story, the writing, the acting, and the imagination.

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Ageless Demographic

Other than The YC Web Channel section which is comprised of our video series produced in 2015-2019 and does target a specific younger viewership, most You Connection content (on YC Web as well as our live theatre presentations) targets an "ageless demographic"; the content is multilayered so the adults will get one thing and young people might get another. This is reflected in the YC cast, which is consciously made up of a mixed bag of ages. Classic storytelling like Oliver Twist, The Secret Garden, The Chronicles of Narnia, or even Grimm's fairy tales are beloved by all ages, and You Connection seeks to produce similar works that (like the Bible) can minister to any age on any level.

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Menippean Satire

You Connection films largely operate as Menippean Satire (named from the Greek writer Menippus), which is satire that focuses on exploring philosophical, spiritual, or psychological ideas or ideals through allegory, symbolism, and fantastical storytelling; this form focuses on spirituality and the broad rights and wrongs of life.

Menippean qualities found in YC Web content include:

- katascopia (experimental fantasticality), meaning the story takes a heavenly view, using heaven, hell, and earth to examine the absolutes of life (and in YC's case, the absolutes of Christ and the Gospel)

 

- an extraordinary freedom of plot and invention, with characterizations that are more stylized than naturalistic

 

- stories are multi-toned and multi-layered, and can feature sharp contrasts, abrupt transitions, and multiple genres within one narrative

 

- the fantastic and the realistic are combined

You Connection is categorized as didactic art, using art to instruct, inform, and enlighten audiences.

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A Detailed World

Despite the apparent simplicity of You Connection productions, they are packed with details, recurring images, and other signature themes and styles that are singularly "You Connection", such as:

~ The red Bible appears in nearly every YC Web film

~ We employ a loose, jangly style of camerawork and a non-sequitur style of editing

~Musicals often include a modern version of a classic hymn

~ The quirky and the fantastic are common YC tropes

~ Jesus Christ is always, in some way, the plot resolution

Explore more behind-the-scenes of You Connection on the YCTV Page

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