10 Steps to Prepare Your Visuals for Easter
With just under 2 months until Easter, we want to share our 10 steps to prepare your visuals for Easter. It’s hard to know exactly where to begin when preparing for a big day like Easter or Christmas. What do you focus on? How do you prioritize tasks? What new ideas can you actually achieve in two months? Let’s dive into to these and more as we figure out what needs to be done to get ready for Easter Sunday.
1. Meet with your Team
The first step is going to be to meet with your team. From your pastor to your creative director; from your worship leader to your communications department, now is the time to ensure you have a concrete strategy and direction as you work together to create a visual environment for Easter. Meeting with your team goes right into steps 2 and 3: defining your story and identifying your visual look and feel. Take the time with your team to brainstorm, strategize, and organize.
2. Define Your Story
Before you can dive into crafting your visual environment, you need to know what themes and stories you will be representing. For Easter, this is typically pretty straight forward. But, what aspect of the Easter story will you focus on for 2019? Listen to your pastor and leadership team as they share the focus and scripture that they will be sharing Easter morning. Spend the time asking questions, gaining insight, and clarification on the points they will share in order to understand how the visual environment you create can enhance that message.
3. Identify Your Visual Look and Feel
Now that you have identified your story, you can begin to develop the look and feel of your visuals. This goes beyond simply choosing your media, but the color palette, design, projection, and any visual medium that will go into your service.
At this step in the process you don’t need to choose motion backgrounds, set lighting looks, or build a set. What you need to do is map out your plan. Whether you use paper and pencil or a design software, sketch the visuals environment that ow want to create. Be sure to include more than just your screens and scenic elements. Notate where you band will go, the location (or area) your pastor will speak from, as well as any other spots you will have people on stage. From here, you can see the space you have for visual elements.
Finally, you want to end this step knowing your overall setup. This will help guide you into the next several steps of creating new elements, coordinating and setting your lighting look, and curating your media.
4. Maintain Your Equipment
This is a step that many look past, especially when preparing for a large event or service. The worst moment for a piece of gear to quit working is when you have a full house with guests, members, and more. Replace lamps and filters in your projectors, check your lighting equipment for any issues, and swap out gear as needed. Don’t let an amazing moment fail because of a faulty piece of equipment. Taking care of your gear and keeping your equipment in great condition will help you create amazing moments.
5. Create One New Element
This is where the fun really begins…and quite possibly the frustrations. Easter is a great time to do more than you normally do. Whether that’s creating a multiscreen environment, renting additional equipment for environmental projection or an LED screen, or adding lighting elements (movers, hazers, and more,) make it a priority to implement one new element for Easter. This doesn’t have to be something over the top. It can be as simple as adding texture or a scenic element that amplifies the story.
6. Coordinate Lighting and Video
As you begin preparing your space for Easter Sunday, take the time to coordinate lighting and video. Lighting and video should work together in sync, not competing for attention. Going beyond choosing a color palette, walk through your service to determine when to pull back on either element in order to allow for dynamics and an ebb and flow to the service. People become overwhelmed with constant motion and movement. Give your congregation moments to reflect and take in different elements. Design your service to take your audience on a journey that enhances the message.
7. Prepare Your Space
Now is the time to take action. This is where your planning and preparation will pay off. If you have done your prep work properly, then this will be a simple step. If the plan doesn’t come to fruition easily, then you may want to revisit the planning stage. Here is where everything comes together. Align your projectors, mask your EP setup, set your lighting looks, and prepare for rehearsal!
8. Curate Your Visuals
The final step before rehearsal is curating your visuals. You may have an LED wall, environmental projection, or a single screen setup, but for any of these you will need the right motions and stills to create a memorable environment. This is the point where you want to return to your story. Find media to make your message more memorable. Avoid simply looking at the “cool” factor. That’s not to say that you can’t or won’t use “cool” visuals, but be sure it’s not the only factor you consider.
9. Rehearse (Especially Transitions)
Transitions in a church service can be one of the most awkward moments for those on stage and in the congregation. If you don’t know and haven’t planned and rehearsed your transitions, you’ll most likely create a memorable moment…but not the good kind of memorable. Awkward transitions and other moments that aren’t rehearsed well lead to one big thing: distraction. Alleviate the opportunities for those distractions by ensuring each person, cue, and transition is coordinated and practiced.
10. Pray as a Team
Last, but certainly not least is to spend time as a team to pray. Easter is a unique opportunity for the church to have a moment to speak to the masses about the gospel message. Don’t miss the moment.