How to NOT Overuse Environmental Projection
is a great option for any church looking to expand their canvas, delve into a new visual manner of storytelling, or craft a unique environment with the click of a mouse. This technology can be extremely useful and can enhance any environment.
However, like any technology, technique, or visual aid, it can be overused or improperly implemented. So, how do you create an amazing atmosphere with environmental projection without distracting your congregation or turning away visitors?
First, start slow or let up on the gas if you feel you are doing too much. Remember that any motion when blown up to such a massive scale will make all movement seem faster. I would highly recommend starting out simply using still images
. That’s not to say that motions don’t have their place in environmental projection, but you will need to exercise caution. A field of gently swing grass can seem like a hurricane when shown with environmental projection and a subtle particle turns into a meteor crashing towards your stage. Start slow and keep things simple.
Textures can create varying environments without creating a major distraction. EP should feel like paint on the walls. It’s purpose is to envelope your congregation and stage in one continuous environment. Take the time to curate textures that evoke the emotions you are trying to achieve. A great texture can create a great moment, transforming your space.
Avoid Contrasting Mediums
Another mistake with environmental projection is treating your stage design and EP as two separate environments. If you’re doing that, you’ve missed the point of this medium. EP should be a continuous canvas across your room. It may have simple breaks such as intersecting columns or other architectural features but overall, it should feel like one massive image. Avoid elements that will distract, confuse, or detract from the story EP is telling.
Please turn it off when necessary. We love in a world of constant media bombardment. From the phones constantly attached to our hands, TVs in every waiting room, screens flashing the latest fast food combinations, and even screens in some restrooms; honestly, it can be overwhelming. The average person may now see hundreds of advertisements daily. It can be extremely numbing when you walk into church and see one more giant screen. However, it can also create a memorable experience for those in attendance. You may not want to use it for every song or moment. Try introducing it at a big moment or turning it off along with your lights to create a more intimate environment.
Always remember that all your visuals, whether side screens, EP, or a grouping of TVs should be use to tell a story and enhance the message. Pay attention to how your congregation is reacting each Sunday and week after week. Are they tuning it out? Are they engaged? Are you getting complaints? Spend time as a team to create great moments that tell your story.