Transforming Tip #4: Creating Intimacy

We’ve had a wealth of resources, philosophy, stage designs, ideas, content sales and creative setup suggestions blow through this community in the last few weeks as we lead up to Christmas. Our deepest hope is that it has been of some benefit to you as you prepare, plan or create a Christmas experience that is unlike any other. (If you want free credits, send us pictures of you using TWM content… more here).

Every Friday in December, we’ve taken some time out to help provide a very tangible idea you can use this year to help Transform Christmas for your community. We’ve talked about projecting outside, making it snow indoors and using projection as a digital background for visual performances. Today we want to share our last and final transforming tip: Creating Intimacy.

Many believe that projection is usually for “large-scale” or “high energy” applications to bring flashing lights or color effects to a room or event. Though that is true in many ways, I believe projection in an event can be one of the best tools to create or foster intimacy. It’s mere absence can even help create stillness, meditation and wonder.

Here’s what I mean by creating intimacy:

We did a post a while back that talked about how projection is here to stay because visuals & art can communicate in a ways words simply can’t. If we were to consider art and visuals as a method to communicate, we can use it in very powerful settings to tell a very powerful story.

If you and I were to go to an art gallery and look at a few different pieces of art we would have varying interpretations on what that piece means. This is simply because art speaks to everyone different… which causes it to be an intimate form of communication. When something has that sort of intimacy, it has an equal opportunity to be powerful.

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There are a few things to keep in mind as we try to utilize projection as a means to create intimacy:

1. Keep it Simple. Complexity is not the way to intimacy. We don’t need flying particles or lots of color movement. By removing complexity we have the opportunity to create a moment. The goal is to try and find media has rich textures or design, while avoiding too many colors (unless you’re trying to create a realistic moment like clouds during a sunrise or landscape). If you’re going to use motion backgrounds, make sure it’s slow, simple or subtle.

2. The Power of a Still Image. You don’t need motions to create intimacy. Often the best still image (sometimes a cathedral) is the best use. Candles don’t necessarily need to “flicker.” If you can find the right still image of a candle, the same emotion and message will be communicated (warmth, stillness, peaceful, etc).

3. Don’t overdo it. There’s no intimacy if you always have intimacy. One of the things I want to caution every one of you is that we sometimes “overdo” our production elements and it comes across not as powerful, but as produced. This happens because we understand the power of a moment. However that same power can be pushed too much and it turns into a distraction or inauthentic worship.

We believe creating intimacy is a key piece of allowing people to be transformed this Christmas. We can use projection, media, art and visuals to communicate truth and tell an amazing story. With that in mind, we can also use it to distract. What is the story you are trying to tell? Is every aspect of the moment telling the same story?

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Have you ever been at a table sitting with friends or family and two or more people are trying to tell a story? Which one do you hear? Most likely neither one because you can’t clearly identify which one is more important. The same is true in our environments. If the media team is trying to tell one story at the same time the music team is telling a different story, there are two stories being told. In fact, I believe this is worse than no story being told. Are you telling one story or multiple stories?

Finally, here are some suggestions for media that may help assist you in creating intimacy or creating a moment this Christmas. If you find any others, please feel free to add them below in our comments!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to be the first to hear about deals, sales, new posts, ideas, etc. We’re hopeful that Christmas has been an opportunity for you to “Transform” someone’s life or at least create a transforming environment.

Luke McElroy

Author Luke McElroy

Luke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to TripleWide Media, SALT Conferences and Orange Thread LIVE. He is the author of The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement. Hailed as one of the “top innovators for worship” by Worship Leader Magazine in 2013, Luke’s leadership has helped create powerful worship environments for thousands of Church communities throughout the entire world. He currently lives in Nashville, TN and regularly writes about creativity, leadership and faith at 

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