Creating a Space for Worship

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Creating a space for worship

Every year I get to help design the stage, lighting, and projection for a student conference tour that travels to various cities around the country.

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My role is always fun and challenging because it allows me to see every step of the live environment design process, and be able to freely adjust each element as it needs to.

However, even with this freedom; there are some guidelines and criteria that I put upon the set design and lighting/projection rig:

It must fit the style/theme/branding of the conference.

I always start by talking to the powers-that-be and learning about the theme and visual style of the theme and branding for that year’s conference.  Then, I can start looking at how I can match those styles onto real-life set pieces on stage.  (Usually, using projection and different surfaces can do this the easiest.)

The key here is trust: the leaders and director of the conference trust myself and the other visual designers to create something that will match the theme.  Our media content creator, Tim Pike (www.timpikemedia.com), also takes the media and imagery from the physical brochure/branding, and makes it work in the digital world with projection on stage during the conference.

While this autonomy is great, Tim and I also have an open line of communication to the conference director.  We are constantly showing examples of media, set design, and lighting elements to the leaders to make sure we are all still on track.

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Once I receive the music set lists from the band, I spend a few days listening to every detail of each song and learning them by heart. Then I start programming lighting – usually creating palettes and pre-sets that I pull from during the conference to run the show “live”.   Also at this time, I begin to think about special lighting elements that can be used to highlight a very special moment during worship.  (IE; Environmental Projection)

Related Article:  Christmas Stage Design at Northland Church

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We are able to do Environmental Projection in a few of the tour stops; so I like to plan out the moment to reveal a certain image or video around the room on the walls.  Using the Names of God motion loop only once during a bridge of  a song can be much more powerful than trying to use it every conference session.

 

 

No matter the visual element, we want to be fresh with the visual environment, but still remain true to the conference brand/theme.

It must be able to be setup on an empty stage in 3 hours; with minimal help from volunteers, travel in a semi-truck; and be setup again easily.

While this requirement probably doesn’t apply to many churches; it’s still important to understand that whatever you are physically building; make sure you have the time, space, and people to help you make it happen.

Our set design has to be able to be packed up in an hour, ride in a semi-truck to the next city, and be setup again on stage; all without getting destroyed in the process.

Related Article:  International Projection Mapping (#167)

It must allow for on-the-fly conference flow order changes at each city.

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Even though all the music set lists are in Planning Center, that does NOT mean it’s set in stone.  (I’m assuming everyone knows this.)

My lighting programming allows for anything to be able to change, at any time.  Don’t let your media playlist, lighting programming, or even physical set design force you to into a corner.  Let it breathe a little to allow for flow order changes.  Sometimes, a speaker or band member gets sick, and everything changes.  Let your media/lighting/set be able to adjust for that.

 

Using video contentprojection technologymultiscreen processors and a bit of creativity, it’s never been easier to transform your events into spectacular gatherings. Spend some extra time this year looking at how you can Transform Your Christmas and craft an experience!

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Also, if you’d like to learn more about today’s Guest Post author, you can check out more from Camron here.

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Camron Ware

Author Camron Ware

Visual Worshiper and leader in environmental projection and lighting. When I started Visual Worshiper, my goal was to help churches of any size, demographic, budget, and style in doing visual worship better. I am not an AV dealer. I’m a visual worship leader who also geeks out on the latest projector specs and lighting fixtures, and loves seeing churches implement the right people and tools to further the Kingdom and bring glory to God. Check out more from Camron at http://visualworshiper.com

More posts by Camron Ware

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