How to Avoid Distractions with Environmental Projection

I got convicted this past week… as I realized that most of the blogs and examples I write here are pretty elaborate and detailed projection setups. They’re “bigger and better” if you will. That’s not the purpose of EP at all… it’s the subtlety of projection and content that can be just as effective.

I am grateful for what  Camron wrote last week. About how projection can draw people into worship and how with subtle textures and colors, we can actually create powerful visuals to compliment our worship settings. In the end we will be able to help our congregations engage with our Heavenly Father. The purpose of EP isn’t to “wow” people or create a spectacle that people cause people to come to church. If that’s what were trying to accomplish, then we have put our faith in the wrong thing. Remember what Camron said, “EP isn’t a screen to be watched, but instead it’s more like ‘digital wallpaper’…”

Environmental projection or multi-screen doesn’t have to be elaborate to be effective. Those two words are independent of each other. EP can be really simple and really effective. EP is art. So is graphic design.

Let’s take these two print advertisements as an example. Both were very effective. They conveyed a brand well (in their own respective ways). They contained information and are both beautifully designed to say the least. However the ad on the left is very complex. The designer used a lot of intricate detail, varying design textures and patterns while orchestrating elaborate use of 3D design to create an illustration comprised of many smaller images/icons. There’s no doubt that this took a considerable amount of time.

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Now look at the ad on the right. It’s simple. It’s subtle in it’s design elements… There’s almost no use of textures, depth or imagery. It’s simply a statement and a logo. However, it is incredibly effective. It says all that needs to be said with nothing more. They’re both excellent.

Environmental Projection is the same way, it doesn’t have to include countless uses of texture and imagery to be effective. It can be incredibly simple. Often the most subtle images and designs cause some of the most powerful moments in my own experience. To be effective with triple wide or environmental projection, we don’t have to have huge libraries of content of intricate design and detail. All we really need is an idea of what we want to accomplish. Start simple.

Here’s an example of something we did in in the greater Boston area for a Seminars4Worship event last year. We didn’t want to take away from the power of the song… we wanted to add to it. But we didn’t feel like we needed to add much. So in the very last chorus of the song, after the bridge (where the energy was) we very slowly dissolved in the simple phrase “we still believe” in as the last chorus was beautifully proclaimed in the room. It wasn’t a power chant at all… it was a desperate cry of the heart and we wanted the projection reflected that.

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I was surfing through YouTube the other day and found this… thought it was worth sharing because it’s exactly what I’m talking about. Projection that doesn’t cover the entire wall… Projection that is simple, small and very subtle. Check out what this church did with a projector a couple of masks and some great stained glass window content.

How can you use projection to provide a subtle and simple amplification of the music and worship? It doesn’t have to be an elaborate use of projected visuals to draw people to worship.

Luke McElroy

Author Luke McElroy

Luke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to TripleWide Media, SALT Conferences and Orange Thread LIVE. He is the author of The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement. Hailed as one of the “top innovators for worship” by Worship Leader Magazine in 2013, Luke’s leadership has helped create powerful worship environments for thousands of Church communities throughout the entire world. He currently lives in Nashville, TN and regularly writes about creativity, leadership and faith at LukeMcElroy.com 

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