Month: April 2015

ProPresenter 5.0-Training Session

Every weekend at Mount Pleasant Christian Church, several projection volunteers control the presentation screens during the services. They advance slides, open new documents, and make sure the mouse arrow or computer desktop never show up on the screen.

The projectionists are responsible for displaying graphics and images that appear on the screens. These include videos, sermon slides, worship lyrics, and anything else that appears on the screens. The projectionists must be aware of the order of the service and at the same time be ready to make changes at a moment’s notice. Most importantly, the projectionists try to anticipate the needs of the congregation and have the song lyrics displayed just before the worshippers need them.

That is why, from time to time, we invite all projection volunteers to come together for a training session on ProPresenter, the software used to control and display slides and videos. During these training sessions we cover basic principles of presentation, as well advanced setting and features that can enhance any presentation during a weekend service.

ProPresenter 5 training will be offered to all volunteers at Mount Pleasant Christian Church on May 17, 2015, at 6 pm.

During the 2-1/2 hour training session, we will cover:

  • Interface overview
  • Text flow
  • Video effects
  • Transitions
  • Media management
  • Stage display
  • DVD ripping

Even if you don’t yet serve on the Programming team you are welcome to attend this training session. Please RSVP to programming@mpccministry.com

3 years ago No Comments Views

Keep It Simple, Make It Excellent!

10295324_10152381419413430_8664562708765424316_oOne of the greatest challenges for Programming Pastors and Creative Arts Directors when comes to stage design is how to keep the stage look fresh, new, and current. A colleague once told me that at his church, he was required to change the stage look every week. I cannot image what a challenge that was for him to come up with a new design from one week to another.

As much as I understand the advantages of walking into a new and fresh worship environment every week (and there are only a few), making stage design such a high priority in your church could be a sign that you are focusing on the wrong thing when comes to weekend worship service.

See, I don’t think that the goal is for our congregations to leave the worship service every week saying how nice the stage looked. Instead, we hope our services are so engaging that people leave with a sense of a bigger connection with God than when they came in.

Stage design and special elements are definitely part of that experience, but not the main thing. Instead, just like everything else related to a worship service, stage design needs to fit into the substance and content. It should not be a distraction, but it should fit seamlessly into the whole environment of your church’s worship experience.

My experience has taught me that one formula that works really well is to keep it simple and make it excellent. A simple design has a great deal of power and impact on people when it is presented with excellence. So, during our regular weekend services, we focus more on excellence then how complex, different, and fresh the worship is designed.

When the focus is content, people’s lives are impacted by the message of each song, special element,IMG_2606 video, and sermon. When good content is absent, we then look for artificial ways to fill the gap with fresh, new, and current looks and elements. Yet without good content, these things alone are without purpose and won’t impact and lead people to Christ.

Every weekend, we should be very intentional about everything we bring to our stage design. Here are few things that, when done correctly, can impact your worship experience and without modifications from week to week:

1. Projection: When programming the background for worship, select images and motion videos that complement the message of the song. Sometimes, you can go to the extent of creating your own background utilizing Adobe After Effects or Final Cut Motion, customizing 100% your presentation. Displaying the lyrics with meaningful backgrounds can be powerful during a worship service.

2. Transitions: Create transitions between songs and service elements (i.e., videos) that make sense and are seamless.

7DCW91913. Lyrics: When displaying song lyrics on screen, make sure the font and font size are visible and clear for everyone in the building.

4. Lights: Make your stage lights complement the overall look on stage. Provide a good balance between the worship team, and ensure that the worship leader is well lit. (Quick tip: moving lights don’t have to be moving all the time.)

5. Stage Design: Build a stage design that makes sense with the current sermon series or fits a season. The biggest issue I personally see with stage design in churches is doing too much and adding too many elements that only get in the way. When comes to stage design, less is more, and consistency is key for success.

Doing those things can create a big impact in your weekend service and will bring consistency in quality from one week to another. When comes to the worship experience, nothing is more important than content, and that content must be delivered with excellence. By keeping it simple, you will have the a greater chance to achieve the goal to lead people to Christ, and they will  grow closer to God through a service done with intentional simple elements, delivered with excellence.

3 years ago 1 Comment Views

Easter 2015 :: Programming Elements

1378698_10205178967772160_3451833770561573721_nEvery year, we want to provide, in the best way possible, a great worship experience to thousands of people who come celebrate Easter with us on 2 campuses and also on the Online campus. During this year’s Easter celebration at Mount Pleasant Christian Church, we took visual worship to new levels. During the months of January and February, I spent some time with the Worship and Arts pastor working on elements and details for this special service.

Worship Center-Easter2015

Original stage design with projection panels forming an empty cross in the center.

Cross

Our facilities team built the cross used as projection display

By the end of February, I had the stage layout designed and ready to go to production. However, during a meeting with our senior pastor in March, we talked about new ideas. It is important to say that my pastor was ok with the first stage design, and he never asked for it to be changed. But as we discussed new ideas, I made the decision to change the design so we could provide a better worship experience. This change happened four weeks prior to Easter weekend, so I don’t consider this a last-minute change, but at that point we had to move fast and make arrangements to meet the deadline.

Basically, all programming elements together are a complement to the music and message, so it is important that these elements don’t cause  distraction to those participating

Projector

7,000 lumens projector with a long throw lenses (97′)

live and via broadcast. That needs to be the goal when using stage elements, lighting, and projection. Here is how we put these elements together for Easter services:

  • Large cross – we built a 16’x12’x3’ cross covered with seamless front/rear projection fabric from Rose Brand, to be used as a projection surface. Rented a 7,000 lumens projector from our longtime friends at Orange Thread Media (Nashville, TN).  For content delivery, we chose  ProVideoPlayer2 (by Renewed Vision)
  • Side crosses – two side crosses were made out of wood and back lit with LED strips
  • Lights – we already owned a good number of light instruments, but on special weekend services we rent some special lighting we don’t own (yet). We rented:
Screen shot of PVP2

Pro Video Player 2 – by Renewed Vision

  • Content – here is the most important piece of puzzle, because wrong content means all the technology we gather for this event was in vain. It is important to know that all content was specially selected and built for each song.

When it comes to programming, less is more (most of the time). During the song “Broken Vessels” (video below), you will notice that we used one single image throughout the entire song. This was a time when we wanted the focus to be one hundred percent artist and song delivery.

There are times when you will have the opportunity to extend to more than one image per song, but it is important for you to know when to use less to open all the space for the simplest ways you can use to deliver the message during a worship song.During baptisms, we projected videos of the confessions of faith on the large cross. These were the highlight of the weekend. The videos gave a face and a voice to those being baptized. My pastor has already mentioned to me that we will do this again, given the response we received.

If your church offers an online broadcast or a video venue, it is important to customize all content to those watching live so they also feel they are part of the service and get the most out of the worship experience. For instance, all baptism videos projected on the cross were reformatted for those watching on video. Also, the lyrics for every song were in the lower third of the viewing screen. Basically, all of the content showed live was adapted and displayed to meet the needs of worshippers participating online.

Next up… Patriotic weekend!

Few more pictures (by Chris Williams) from Easter weekend:

10307388_10205178968132169_4939505752444027775_n 10394119_10205178968612181_876452068802810256_n 10410769_10205178968292173_4787234791081189738_n 11026193_10205178967812161_892270132998230449_n 11033811_10205178970852237_6137110590416320040_n 11037481_10205178968892188_125065710239008702_n 11091138_10205178969092193_2813983692916147370_n 11091155_10205178968492178_6320976768161908244_n 11102774_10205178969812211_8332413896669467841_n 11108945_10205178970612231_8560442287882712696_n 11138534_10205178969412201_8863828300416687408_n 11143589_10205178969932214_611917057029458086_n

3 years ago 1 Comment Views

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