Director Spotlight: Don Hewitt

Don Hewitt  began his career during the dawn of television, starting in 1948 and working at CBS for an incredible sixty-one years. Shortly after World War II while the new medium of television was just in its infancy, Don and his contemporaries literally invented how this new communications technology could be used.  While at the CBS’s News Division, Don directed the very first live televised Presidential debate. He also did the very first live broadcast remote of a political convention. He…

How Do I Get On The Crew?

From time to time I am asked, “how do I get on the crew of so-and-so show?” If we boil these and other similar questions down I think what is really being asked is “how can I advance my career?” And that’s a really good question. I am blessed to work on some cool projects. I’ve seen some people get hired over-and-over again on “A list” shows. I’ve seen others get hired once and then never get hired again.  What…

“Take 1” – What is our style?

“Take 1” … minute to improve your team One of the challenges in volunteer-driven church tech is keeping people on the same page. In many cases we find totally different teams serving from week-to-week. If unmanaged, these teams can drift apart in terms of their styles. As I visit churches, I hear things like “I didn’t even have to look in the booth to know who was running sound/video/lights/etc. today”. So, let’s take on the topic of establishing your “style”…

Active Cameras

Stay static, push, pull, pan, dolly, truck, pedestal, crab, track and dolly-zoom. It seems like the options are endless. Add to this list flying the camera on a jib, crane or wire, canted (dutch) angles, shaky cam, soft focus, rack-focus, whip pans and more, we could go on and on. Some of these camera techniques are now seen in some church worship services. In some cases unusual camera movement is used in just one song or even less, maybe just…

Director Spotlight: Don Mischer

A young boy sat on the floor of his living room playing with a cardboard box. But this was not any ordinary cardboard box. On the back of the box facing the boy at eye level was a scene drawn onto an imaginary viewfinder. His mom’s only broom handle (now cut equally in half) was taped to either side of the box serving as pan-handles. A paper towel-roll insert, affixed to the front of the box served as his cameras’…

Production in War Zones

Years ago I was employed with a company that provided audio, lighting, projection, set design, carpentry and video production services on all sorts of events. During this period I mostly worked as a Video Director although at times I would also go out with video production packages as a systems tech (or the broadcast TV title would be “Engineer in Charge”) especially when a client had their own director. I had been on a much needed vacation when my pager…

FILO 2018 Notes – Live video for worship

At the 2018 FILO (First In, Last Out) church tech-arts conference Rusty Anderson taught a break-out session on “Live video for worship.”  Rusty has served in church video production for 15 years.  He toured with Chris Tomlin, served as the video director for the Passion Conferences and has led the video team at Passion City Church. What follows are my own notes from Rusty’s session.  I hope I did a satisfactory job recording his major points and I hope they help…

Air traffic video directors

Cross an air traffic controller, someone who is responsible for the efficient implementation of schedules in an altogether unforgiving and dynamic environment; with a story-teller / visual artist, and you’ve just described a live multi-camera video director. No, I am not suggesting video directors are responsible for the safety of thousands of people and millions of dollars in property if they screw up while doing their job. Such a statement would be hyperbole. I am suggesting that the skillset and…

Production IP Workflows using NDI

This article will provide insight on advantages and examples of using IP video workflows, based on the NDI protocol. NDI (Network Device Interface) is a protocol which supports very low latency IP video over Ethernet and Wi-Fi network connections. It is also intended to work over gigabit network implementations using ordinary Ethernet switches and routers. The creator of this solution is NewTek, a company that supports a wide variety of video production devices including the TriCaster family of video switchers.…

“Take 1” – What are we about?

“Take 1” … minute to improve your team I’m so excited to be kicking off a new series of Controlbooth.tv mini-blogs related to improving your volunteer team and culture! At my church, The Ridge located in Columbus IN I am honored to lead a video tech team of about 30 people (in a church of 1,400). Our hope is to not only inform what has worked for us, but also to start some conversations. More importantly, our hope is for…