Friday, September 30, 2011

New Discovery Land Tech Paperwork

This Sunday begins the new Discovery Land creative team year, which means new bands, new lead worshippers, and new tree house gang members.

In preparation for the new year, I met with the creative team coordinator to get the new personnel lists, and we've built new tech paperwork for this coming year.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Layout - The layout for the paperwork has been de-cluttered. The new paperwork looks almost identical to the auditorium paperwork, so that you can easily switch between the two rooms.
  • Standardization - We have standardized the paperwork, primarily so that we can have semi-permanent labels on the mixers for inputs and outputs. The biggest change from this will be that drums and bass will be required to use headphones each week. It won't be an option for them any more.
  • Binder - Five copies of each week's paperwork, as well as one master set of each, is in a binder in the monitor board drawer. Producers should not have to print the paperwork each week, as long as your team is faithful to return the paperwork to the binder at the end of each weekend.
  • Switching Weeks - The binder will also allow people who switch weeks to have access to other teams' paperwork.
  • Online Access - The paperwork is also available on Planning Center under the Adventure ministry attachments. To find them, log in to your plan, then click the Up Folder icon next to "Adventure" at the top. You should now see "4 - Discovery Land" at the top. Click the triangle next to "Adventure" if the list of plans is not open. Look at the bottom of the list of plans for all the paperwork attachments.
  • Changes - If you find that your paperwork needs to be changed for the long-haul, please let me know. I'll make the changes and update the binder.
  • Forward-Looking - I've tried to be forward-looking with this paperwork, so you'll see some mic and monitor assignments that you don't have available yet. I hope to purchase or re-assign these things very soon. If you don't have everything on the current lists available in October, just do your best with what you have in inventory.
Post questions and suggestions in the comments section below.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Green Room "After" Every Event

Covenant Life's new Music Academy Director, Mr. Goodling, has recently cleaned up the green room, and mighty well, too. See the "after" pictures below, and note that these are "always after" pictures. Every time you serve at an event, the green room should look like this when you're done. And in case you forget what these pictures look like, they will be available in a binder by the double doors.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rechargeable Batteries in the Edwards Room

We now have a rechargeable battery station in the Edwards Room. It is nearly identical to the ones in the auditorium and events center. If you need a refresher on proper rechargeable battery procedure, please review this post.

There are a few minor adjustments for the Edwards Room:
  • The batteries are in the amp rack in the closet above the wireless mics.
  • The Edwards Room will use a maximum of 8 AA batteries at a time, and there are 16 batteries in the charger. Please return batteries to the charger when you are done. Do not leave them in the microphones.
  • There is a charger opening tool in the drawer with the wireless microphones.
Please do not lose, recycle or trash these batteries! We've lost about 16 already in the auditorium. Please make every effort to remove all batteries at the end of every time and do a count to make sure you have them all before you go.

You can see the location of the charger here, below the autorecorder and above the drawer with the wireless mics:

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

9.4 Reverb

Thanks, everyone, for another great weekend at Covenant Life.

  • We sang together, with Ken Boer leading - Praise to the Lord The Almighty, Happy DayJesus Paid It All, and Come Holy Spirit
  • Seven people testified that Jesus was their Savior and were baptized.
  • We prayed for South Sudan together.
  • We heard about the new class of Introducing God that begins tonight.
  • Jon Smith preached on evangelism - We Promote What We Prize.

Baptism Video Shots

After a relatively long hiatus from baptisms, week 1 came back strong with great baptism video shots. What worked so well?
  • They skipped the shot of the worship leader asking people to be seated. This shot is often a distraction for both camera operators and directors. Just go straight for the pastor in the pool.
  • They stuck to the simple, predictable order of shots: Camera 1 for the testimony, Camera 5 for the dunk, Camera 2 for modesty coming out of the water, and then black after the hug.
  • The camera operators didn't try to follow people in and out of the pool. They just dissolved to black and didn't worry about covering the entrances and exits to the pool.
Great job friends!

Lock In Camera Brightness Before Going Live

We focused on shading a while back as a team and the brightness levels improved for a time, but I think we could use attention on this area again.

Some ideas to assistant directors to consider:
  • Once the shot goes live, it's too late. While those of us back at the sound booth will correct you if the shot's problematic, but that's not how we want to get it right. Let's get it right up in the control room.
  • I know there is a level of distrust of the monitors up in the control room because they don't look exactly the same as the main screen itself. However, if you trust them for what they can do, they will serve you well.
    • They show overexposure perfectly well. If the person's face is significantly shiny on the control room monitor, they are too bright. If you don't see any shine on them, turn the brightness up until you do, and then turn it back, so that they are as bright as possible without gleaming.
    • The embedded waveform monitors give you very accurate readings. Set brightness so that the face is at 80% for light-skinned folks, 70% for dark-skinned folks, and in-between for in-between.
  • Camera directors can help in this by anticipating when shading changes will be required. For example, the cameras will always need to be adjusted between Mark Mitchell and Joshua Harris. You can help by going to black between the two instead of trying to have the assistant director shade on the fly.
  • Finally, follow the cue sheet. The light cues are listed on your service rundown, so that you can anticipate the coming lighting changes. If you are setting up a shot that won't happen until the next lighting cue change, you'll have to anticipate what the lights are going to do. In particular, don't adjust the iris for a subject in the dark who is about to be lit. They will look angelic and other-worldly when the lights do come up. Instead, make an educated guess as to how high the lights will come up and set the iris accordingly.

Sermon Backlighting

We've made some changes to the sermon backlighting recently, and I expect that is why there is confusion with the sermon backlighting levels. At some point, the sermon subgroup got programmed so that the backlights were at 50%, making them completely ineffective. Just to be clear, the backlights should be at full.

The new lighting locations do make them somewhat more noticeable to the congregation in the front rows, but turning the lights down creates more problems than it solves. I'll soon be ordering some top hats to help reduce the flare in the eyes of the people in the front rows.

Headset Chatter and Other Non-Event-Related Discussions

Finally, I'll pass on a quick reminder to stay on task with your conversations, especially on headset. We had at least two instances this weekend when operators were distracted by conversations happening around them, one on headset and one off headset. The result was that they missed cues.

So, two important "golden" rules:
  • Please be mindful of who else is on the channel with you and don't talk about non-immediate topics when cues are coming.
  • If you have important personal discussions that you need to have with people on the team, there is plenty of time before and between services to have those conversations.

Your Turn

What did you notice that went well or could use some tweaking from this last weekend?