Saturday, September 27, 2008

9.21 Reverb

"God does eternal good to our souls." That was one of Joshua Harris' themes in last Sunday's Message, God's Blessings in Salvation. If you were serving in Discovery Land or just weren't able to attend, please listen to Josh's exhortation to our church to be grateful for the unseen but very real benefits of God's saving grace.

What else happened this Sunday?
  • Singing - John David's band led
  • Announcements by Mark Mitchell (who was very sick, but you couldn't tell)
  • We welcomed Jamie Leach to the pastoral team.
  • Josh's sermon
  • Communion, led by Mark Mitchell
  • Singing - John David's crew came back for two more songs
I have very few notes from this Sunday. In fact, I have so few notes that I'm not even going to give a blow-by-blow account. All the volunteers did a wonderful job. Thanks, folks.

Instead, I just want to mention one big idea for each team that will serve as a reminder of some areas where we can still grow. Then, I need some of you to jump in and answer questions related to those topics. Comment away.

Sound - Creepiness
We have a creepiness problem. It's a sound team problem and a music team problem. Everyone creeps upstage and offstage. However, we need our musicians downstage and centerstage. The sound crews can help this by being very careful to make sure that we set up music stands and equipment so that the musician or singer - not the music stand - is standing in the place indicated on the stage diagram. We are still struggling with this regularly and across all the teams. Your turn: why do you think this a problem?

Lighting - Intelligent Design
Our lighting folks can grow in intelligent design. What does this look like? When deciding what light to use on a particular subject, the lighting tech stands on stage and chooses a light that is both unused and at the appropriate angle. He or she then aims that light at the subject. What does a less-thinking version of lighting design look like? When deciding what light to use on a particular subject, the lighting tech runs his finger along the bump buttons on the board until the floor lights up in the general area of the subject. Your turn: why is this design difference important?

Video - Self-Focus
Sometimes our camera operators can simply be too focused on others. Okay, I don't mean that in a spiritual sense. They need to pull their focus toward themselves more. This is especially true when someone comes up on stage during or immediately after singing. Regularly, a pastor comes up to speak and the background is in sharp focus but the pastor is slightly soft. Remember, camera ops, to be intentional about drawing that focus toward you. The foreground should be in focus and the background out of focus. Your turn: how does incorrect focus affect you when you are in the congregation?

Lyrics - Are You Leading?
We give the title of worship leader to a guy with a microphone on stage. But he's not the only leader in the process. Equally directive in the music leadership process is the guy or gal behind the lyrics computer. What do you think the congregation is going to sing when the slide is different than what the "worship leader" sings? Most likely, they will sing what they see not what they hear. With that in mind, it is especially important for lyrics operators to practice new songs with the band and make the extra effort to anticipate the worship leader's next move and get those words up early. Your turn: what's it like learning a new song at Covenant Life Church?

Thanks for participating, friends!


Unknown said...

speaking as a member of the sound team - I want to be sure that the DPA is placed on the main speaker right. I am having a problem with this...

Any suggestions?


Anonymous said...

Sitting in the audience, I rarely notice a soft focus & I think that is attributable to distance, image size, my aging eye sight and context; there's a lot more going on that I can see while sitting in the auditorium. I don't always focus on the IMAG screen.

But as House Director, I do regularly notice an out-of-focus image and will tell my Camera Director to fix it. I think the camera's "monitor screen" is quite small and strain camera operators' eyes due to the short focus distance and how long they have to keep their eyes' focal length fixed on that screen. So they often "can't" see that they are slightly out of focus and if they look up at the IMAG screen, it will take their eyes a while to adjust in order to focus that far. So I would say the burden is on the Camera Director to alert his operators that there is a focus problem.

For the Camera Operators, I have 3 suggestions: 1)get spectacles or new ones if you don't have 20/20 vision 2)exaggerate when you turn the focus knob when you know it's safe; the dramatic contrast is helpful to getting a sharper focus quicker 3)look around frequently & purposely to relax your eye muscles, don't keep your eyes fixed on the monitor screen (but make sure your attention is focused on the stage).

Unknown said...

A few thoughts from what people have told me over the years :-)

Sound: I know that when I get a rider for a gig I'm doing, I assume that the wedge/mic/music stand placement is where that object is supposed to go and the singer will stand behind it. I think that if people continue to follow that same logic, it may be good to move the object downstage on the stage plot. This way the crew can continue to do what they've been doing, but this time it'll be right. Not sure how it's "supposed" to be done, but that seems like it would be easier than trying to teach all the stage crew to change what comes naturally to them.

Lighting: I think when strategic design is used you don't have the pastor moving into shadow regions that may be close to the pulpit. For example, Josh seems to like to speak from the stairs which is often a dark spot; it doesn't seem like you'd put a light there for most events, but anticipating it for Sunday would really help. You could also have hard as opposed to soft edges which may cause some ugly shadowing.

Video: I've noticed that when the foreground is out of focus, you feel like your eyes are getting tired, but your not sure why. I think it makes your eyes tired by trying to focus on a slightly blurry image. I'm not sure how the camera guys usually do it, but it seems like they may have to change focus a number of times during the service, especially if they're jumping between worship (upstage) and preaching (downstage).

Lyrics: I agree that it's helpful to anticipate what the worship leader is doing, especially for new songs. I was always told that I should switch slides just before the last word on the slide is sung. The crowd has usually memorized the word by that point and they'll have the next line on the screen before they have to sing it, which I always appreciate. It's definitely not an easy job, especially with a worship leader who doesn't give too much of a heads up.

Hope some of these comments help!

brittany said...

yes. lyrics. amen! :)
Learning a new song, I think, is at least going through it twice with the band during rehearsal.

a random tip that I've just started realizing: in sunday morning rehearsals, the leader will often abbreviate the order within a song (i.e. doing v1, c, last verse, c, end), and it can be tempting to memorize that order, instead of their real order.

Lesson learned: you really can't trust the song order or verse order rehearsed during the second half of sunday morning rehearsal because leaders can tend to switch it up A LOT.

- come to sat. night rehearsal, or arrive before band on sunday in order to practice sufficiently with them.
- or, I find it helpful to talk with the leader before hand to get clarity on things.