EP for Christmas at Midland Valley Community Church

We have five very large and beautiful stain glass windows in our sanctuary and have covered them up with velcro cutouts for special events for years so they weren’t a ‘sacred cow’ to cover for services. However, they were an issue for lighting and EP. Preparing for EP was a multi-step process for us. Our old-fashioned sanctuary lighting had to be dealt with first. We switched to all LED including house and theatrical lighting and then purchased electric, room-darkening blinds that can be controlled by wireless remote from our projection booth. When that was all ready, then we were set to consider EP. It took me over 3 years from start-to-finish to implement the plan—lighting, windows, EP. Money, preparing influencers and educating leadership were all needed to make it happen. And, our old lighting had became a fire hazard so that sped the process and freed up money on the front end of the project.

When it was time to get started with getting the environmental projection setup, I hired Camron Ware as a consultant to come in and set up a demo for us.  Using a consultant added some costs, ensured the measurements were accurate, helped me cast vision with leadership as far the impact and investment was concerned, put together the entire gear list, helped with ordering and more. Once the gear arrived on site, we installed everything, then Camron came back and dialed in our projectors and taught me how to create and implement masks.

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Our projector location is on the center back wall of our octagonal shaped sanctuary.  The projection distance is roughly 75’ so the Hitachi projectors were great with no special lenses needed. We had to run power and signal via remote wires. This all had to be done with the understanding that we still have an aesthetically older looking sanctuary and everything had to look right and fit visually with the classic architecture of the space.

I look for media content based on several factors detailed in the following list:
  • The theme of the music, sermon or other element of the service. EP is meant to reinforce the story of the element of the service taking place at that time.
  • Backgrounds or motions that aren’t distracting and become the focus rather than an enhancement
  • It has to ‘look right on the wall.’ I test every visual ahead of time. For example, there’s a nice candle motion I really like but when I put it on the wall, the top of the flame—from the wick up—is masked out for the ceiling. It didn’t work. There are some great cross elements I can’t use because the cross lands in the one of our masks. So I had be careful in choosing media based on our specific room.
  • I frequently have to slow motions down in ProPresenter media properties because our room isn’t huge and sitting that close to the whole front wall moving could make you sick.
  • Ultimately, every service element whether musical, drama, or visual has to have purpose. We try not to use EP just to be using it.
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Tim Southwick

Author Tim Southwick

Tim is the Brand Manager for TripleWide Media. He has 10 years experience in the event management world and has a strong desire to see visuals and media used to increase the user experience.

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