For some it’s seen as a cornerstone laid in zion, but for other its seen as a stumbling block. No matter who will look at the image of the cross, those two intersecting straight lines symbolize so much. As many of us know, Jesus had to carry his cross on the way to calvary. Researchers have come to a consensus that the wooden cross Jesus carried, probably weight about 300 pounds. Now, i’m not sure about you, but I know that journey would have nearly been impossible for me to travel with such an object; but Jesus still did it because there was a greater goal at hand. The cross was a physical burden, but it was the glorious medium Christ chose to tell his story. This is an example of how we should all approach the process of telling the easter story with environmental projection.
In preparation for a great environmental projection setup for Easter, the road to the finish line will not be easy. Your leadership will be tested, technical issues will arise, and choosing the right stage design may be difficult; and that is okay. Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24). So while figuring out how to transform this Easter season, you may have to deny yourself, and what you’re used to doing, in order to find new innovative ways to tell your story, so that you can carry the cross you were called to bear for a beautiful outcome. But don’t worry! This blog will hopefully help you identify possible issues before they surface, the best ways to solve them, and a range of different strategies to help you get your EP project done well.
When preparing for a big event like Easter, there are many moving parts to making your EP production meaningful and technically sound. With a big agenda comes big responsibilities. So being a solid leader and having quality leaders around you is crucial.
Many times experienced leaders have such drive and vision that allow them to complete projects with excellence; and although those traits are strengths, they can also quickly turn into vices without proper observation. Remember that you have a team! Your work ethic is great, but it is also important that you don’t forget that there are a bunch of other people around you who share that same passion to bring your EP vision to fruition. Resist the temptation to do everything on your own.
Don’t underestimate the ability of your team; allow them to help you even if it may seem as if you don’t need it. A good leader is not someone who micro-manages their team and must be present for things to get done. A good leader shows people how to get regardless of their involvement.
When you can incorporate each member of your team into the execution of your Easter setup, this will allow problem solving down the road to go much smoother. It’s not a matter of if there will be problems during your preparation, because the cross was never promised to be easy, but its more of a matter of when and how you will get through them. With everyone confidently knowing their roles, and sharing the same vision, leading your team through these problems won’t be as diffult as it would if you tried to do everything on your own. The more minds and perspectives there are to help solve a problem, the more efficient the solution. A team is effective by ways of uniqueness in each member, not by everyone thinking the same (5 people needed in every creative meeting blog). So when you come across a cable shortage, a content issue, or a venue mishap, lead your team into brainstorming solutions and fuel them with the support/resources they need to creatively overcome any obstacle
I’m sure that whether you are the set manager or tech producer, Technological issues can often feel like the heaviest cross to carry with strength. And although we can all relate to the pain, there’s very little we can do to eradicate these issues. We want to help minimize them by educating you and letting you in on some of the most common technical issues we hear about within our triplewide family, so you can avoid these issues in the future.
For starters, one of the main instruments you will need is something that helps project your images properly around the event space. What a lot of folks don’t realize is that although a distribution amplifier sounds like it could work, it doesn’t. A distribution amplifier will repeat your image multiple times but it won’t project portions of one image across multiple screens. It simply repeats the same signal. What you will need for that is a multiscreen processor. Making this crucial distinction will determine if your content is literally just being projected on a wall, or is transforming and transporting people to a different place.
In addition to making sure you have the right technology to properly execute environmental projection, masking is another vital part of the project. For those who don’t know what masking is, masking can be defined as “the concept of projecting black on top of an image so that your media doesn’t show up in undesirable areas (such as ceilings, speaker clusters, lighting instruments,people, etc)”. Without proper masking your projection looks entirely messy, and doesn’t allow the audience to truly feel capture in the moment. Those areas you forget to mask can cause people to have a disconnect with the message, and in turn makes your EP feel like a distraction rather than an enhancement. These are areas of your project where you can not possible cut corners otherwise it will show. Learn more about the affects of masking, and how to achieve the masked look for your set up here.
The funny thing about stage design is that its usually not too difficult to brainstorm what you want your set to look like. Visuals come to us frequently so we have loads of ideas regarding things of that nature. Yet with stage design, it’s not the coming up with an idea phase that challenges those working to create the set , it’s the budget. Is there enough money to fund the stage design you had envisioned? Unfortunately, the answer for a lot of people is no.
So how do we move pass this let down? There are two things we recommend; planning & DIY hacks. Many folks forget how beneficial it is for precise planning when it comes to stage design in accordance with your budget. A lot of times we dream up a stage design then we’re told what our budget is, and we begin to pick and select which things we want to keep and which things we have to drop; which of course weakens the original vision altogether. With proper planning, you can acknowledge your budget and create a stage design on less money but still with a unified vision. This helps to avoid a buffet style design that has elements that don’t complement the message effectively. Another resource for planning help can be our Stage Design: Starting From Scratch blog.
In addition to strategic planning, a great way to make your stage design vision work on a small budget or even just to cut cost, are DIY projects. DIY stage design projects don’t give your pockets a break, but it also forces you to push the envelope with creativity. This is an amazing way to get the most bang for your buck with your current resources. So be inspired and get to researching different DIY stage design projects!