Using Just One Element – Transform Your Environment
I recently had the chance to talk to Greg at Blue Grass UMC in Evansville, IN about their setup for Palm Sunday last year. I was intrigued about how they were using a single image for environmental projection and their main screens to create an environment for their entire service.
Greg and the rest of the team really wanted to be conscious and deliberate from the beginning. Not wanting to overload the new space and take things slow and simple. The church has been in their current space for about four years. They came from a smaller, older, more traditional building (think a long narrow room). In moving to the new room, they were looking for creative ways to incorporate elements into their space. Enter environmental projection.
One of the big issues they hit early on was that the architects didn’t really understand the concept of triplewide or environmental projection. That being said, some adjustments to their technical setup had to be made. Once in the space they quickly realized the projectors weren’t in the best spot to be useful for EP, etc so they started by relocating them to mezzanine using mounts and pipes, they were able to get the projectors in the perfect spot.
They were able to accomplish bridging the gap between old and new with environmental projection by using simple still images, and continually begging the question, “what’s the desired outcome/emotion a person has when they leave the room?“. The words “message over media” kept coming up again and again as the team worked through creative ideas.
With the primary goal of using environmental projection to enhance and not overtake the environment, they had their starting point. Serving the more important client meant ensuring that they weren’t simply doing something that was cool and creative. Using environmental projection in a very simple, deliberate manner allowed them to support what’s happening on Sunday morning rather than it being what’s happening on Sunday morning.
I love the intentionality here. Don’t forget that a simple still image or subtle motion can speak volumes. Remember that you are serving your community and not yourself. There’s nothing wrong with being creative, going over the top, and crafting huge environments. However, when you miss the mark on what you’re trying to accomplish, it will leave your congregation out in the dark.
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*when hanging any equipment, be sure to use only qualified personnel and equipment.
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