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…

Video Competence

Advice received from tech conferences, magazines, websites, discussion boards and even from fellow technical-artist friends can be wonderful; but have you ever wished you could get your hands on scientific research regarding competencies using video communication technology? I have. Recently a DeGroote School of Business research study regarding the effectiveness of conducting job interviews via video-conferencing was published. While admittedly not identical to producing a multi-camera broadcast or I-mag presentation at your church, I am impressed by how similar the advice the…

Camera Locations

“Location, location, location!” the old real estate adage goes. The three most essential factors in determining the desirability of a property is indeed its location. This tricolon does not solely apply to real estate though.  It equally applies to camera positions in a live church-service production environment. One of the most basic questions a video director must answer is, “where do I put my cameras?” Are there best practices regarding camera placement? Would the answer change if shooting for Imag,…

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…

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…