Tuesday, April 28, 2009

4.26 Reverb

April wrapped up with another wonderful Sunday at Covenant Life Church.


This was quite the weekend. Pilgrim opened on Friday, and the second performance on Saturday night made Sunday setup quite the late-night adventure. Huge congratulations to the show crew for their fantastic efforts, and thanks to the Sunday crew for staying late on Saturday only to arrive early on Sunday. There are three more performances of Pilgrim this weekend, and you can still buy tickets.

Extra thanks go to Andrew, Caleb, and Kokko who were involved in both the musical and the Sunday tech crews. I hope you've gotten some sleep by now.

Finally, I want to give credit to Mark who figured out why our Events Center lights failed occasionally. The dimmers were overheating due to a nasty-dirty filter, which he subsequently cleaned, solving the problem. Thanks, Mark.


Begin with a late-night setup; add to that an ever-changing input and output list; add to that an early morning on little sleep, and one might expect some mistakes. Nevertheless, the sound team handled their responsibilities essentially error-free. No missed mics. The band sounded great. There was one little podium snafu, but it was easily remedied and not repeated.


Lighting was largely uneventful due to Pilgrim. For the sanity of our performance lighting crew, we opted to not change the focus of any lights for Sunday, so Phil only had to program a few cues. Everything was smooth.

One small note to lighting operators: channel 192 is not a house light channel. Channel 192 controls the dimmer for the aisle lights. Please do not program this into the house light cues. Running the aisle lights when not necessary, or at non-full intensities, will shorten the lifespan of the bulbs. Please only control the aisle lights via the wall panel control, and only use them when we are going to blackout in the service.


The video team did a fine job this weekend. I was especially happy with what they did with the baptisms.

Typically, our baptism video looks like this:
  1. Camera shot of worship leader asking people to sit, listen, watch, and rejoice as people are baptized.
  2. Close up shot of pastor in the baptistry explaining the purpose of baptism.
  3. Close up shot of first baptism candidate sharing his testimony (via cam 1).
  4. "Baptism" shot from the end of the pool just before the dunk (via cam 5).
  5. Wide shot of the whole baptistry as the person comes up (via cam 2).
  6. Blank the screen while the person exits and the next enters. Begin again at item 3.
The wide shot in item 5 is largely for modesty purposes, which is appropriate and wise. However, it also pulls away right at the moment of greatest excitement, as the person is rejoicing in his or her own baptism. The hope is, as possible, to hold the cam 5 shot longer while still maintaining the priority of modesty.

The video team accomplished this well in two ways: first, for the guys being baptized, they stayed on cam 5 longer and sometimes didn't even cut away to the wide shot on cam 2. For the girls, they cut away to camera 2 right away for modesty reasons, but then, as appropriate, cut back in closer to the camera 1 shot when the girl was hugging her dad.

Sermon Media

As most of you have heard by now, the pastors have requested that we change the way we edit sermons. In the past, we have cut a lot of items out of the sermons in order to shorten the sermon and save both server storage and bandwidth. However, as web pipelines get bigger and memory gets cheaper, these priorities are not as important. With that in mind, we are going to include more in our messages.

Here are some new guidelines...

Regarding where to start a sermon:
  • If the pastor begins by reading Scripture, please include the scripture reading and everything after that.
  • If the pastor begins with an illustration or something else included in his manuscript, please begin there and include everything after that.
  • If the pastor begins with unrelated information that is not included in his manuscript, please cut that and begin where the manuscript begins or with the Scripture reading.
  • If the pastor begins with prayer, please cut the prayer and begin after that.
Regarding where to end a sermon:
  • If the preaching pastor prays at the end of the sermon, you can include the closing prayer.
  • If another pastor comes up to close in prayer, you can cut the closing the prayer.
If you have any specific questions, please don't hesitate to check with me or Ben.

Leave your thoughts, comments, and questions, too.


David MacKenzie said...

Your new sermon editing guidelines are a lot like what I've been doing for Sovereign Grace for the past several years. The only thing I'd add is that occasionally a pastor reads the scripture or in some way starts the sermon, then takes a detour for a few minutes and does some greetings, announcements, or book recommendations that aren't part of the sermon. In those cases, I generally edit out the unrelated material.

I too was impressed at how smoothly the tech stuff went last weekend!

Πέτρος said...

Hey Dave,

We solved this by starting the message right after the pastor's opening prayer. He could say all his greetings, intro comments, and unrelated material before he prayed and he knew that when he prayed and said, "Amen," we'd roll the recorder. That way he could control exactly what he wanted on the recording. It was pretty rare that he ever said anything that wasn't supposed to be on the recording.

David MacKenzie said...


That's great if you can be sure that the preacher will say things in a certain order. So many people preach at Covenant Life that I'm not sure whether it's practical to try to enforce an order. I've heard many sermons where the opening prayer comes after reading the scripture and/or an opening illustration. Or there might not even be an opening prayer.

It would be interesting to start taking notes for the next few months at every sermon we hear, and note the order of elements when the speaker begins. I wonder what trends we'd see.