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’…

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…

Deconstructing State of the City

One of the difficult things we do is train someone to be a competent technician. Training someone to be a video director is really difficult. Training someone to be a competent tasteful video director via a blog post is near impossible!  But then, I love a challenge. Why is training someone to be a competent tasteful video director near impossible? It’s that word “tasteful.” How do you teach someone to have “taste?” A number of people have encouraged me to…

Jon Swearingen (Multi-viewer)

Ever wished you could be a fly on the wall, listen in and watch a large scale religious broadcast being shot? Jon Swearingen, the Director of Broadcast Media at Lakewood Church / Joel Osteen Ministries was kind enough to allow a GoPro camera to be put in the control room as well as a recordings of a multi-viewer with PL sound track. [Note: Multi-viewer audio is split track. Director is louder on right channel. Use right-channel ear buds if having…

Shot Composition

An often discussed topic among church video tech people is the matter of shot composition.  How much headroom is appropriate? Do the Rule of Thirds apply for all shots in all situations? Is shot composition solely a matter of individually and aesthetically pleasing shots strung together sequentially … or should the production team be cognizant and therefore make composition decisions contingent on shots directly preceding or setting up those shots which will follow? How much nose room is appropriate? How…

Director Spotlight: Sandy Grossman

The Big Game … At a recent National Association of Broadcaster’s convention a man walked up to the booth I was working in, introduced himself and said that he wanted to talk to me about a TV production package for the upcoming Baltimore Raven’s season. I’ll admit it, I am not a sports guy, at all. In an attempt to be polite I chatted with him and did my best to talk “sports-talk.” At one point I asked, “What stadium do…

Nothing new under the sun

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV Sometimes we get caught in the trap of thinking (for example) moving cameras or distressed sets are concessions to 2019 culture. They aren’t. I would venture to say it’s all been done before in one way or another, even as far back as fifty or more years ago. This is why the desire to do something totally…

Mastering Composition + Cinematography with Will Smith

Alan Lockwood, live Video Director & production junkie at Kensington Community Church shared the following video recently on Facebook, “Mastering Composition + Cinematography with Will Smith.” I thought it was interesting and helpful. So here you go! Or, for more in depth information on church multi-camera shot composition check out this controlbooth.tv post. Tom D'AngeloTom D’Angelo has worked in television production and AVL corporate theater for nearly four decades. He is Emmy Award nominated (Best Director category, Mid-Atlantic) and has…

Camera Calling Alternative

One of the best skills you can develop as a live video director is the ability to clearly and concisely communicate your wishes to the rest of the crew. The pressure of a live performance or a church service – in the moment – or “calling the show,” makes things that much more stressful for directors as well as potentially unclear for the show technical staff listening for instruction. If you come out of a legitimate theater or AV background…