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…

Tech-Artists’ Proverbs

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary a “Proverb” is an adage, a saying often in metaphorical form that typically embodies a common observation. In the Bible the English word Proverb has the meaning of an aphorism, a pithy observation that contains a general truth. As a college student I trained to be a musician and arranger. At one school I studied Jazz and at another Classical. Studying the works and the lives of various artists proved beneficial not only as a musician…

Fader Monkeys

Humheads (sound/audio engineers), Sparkies (electrics), Rug Tuggers (convention expo workers), Vidiots (video engineers), Nail Benders (carpenters), Laundry Lepers (wardrobe department), Squints (lighting) … One thing is for sure, people in the technical arts trade have always found endearing terms to describe their colleagues. The terms are meant to poke fun at our associates with, well, a wee bit of truth. One derogatory term especially poignant is Fader Monkey. Although coined for audio people I think the “Fader Monkey mindset” can be exhibited by technical artists in all…

Not OJ

Twenty five years ago America was obsessed with the most publicized criminal trial in United States history.  On trial was the former Heisman Trophy honoree and running back for the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers, #32, O.J. Simpson. “OJ” was accused of the double-murder of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. With warrant in hand the police searched for OJ and his vehicle, a white 1993 Ford Bronco. Businessmen, housewives and school-kids were all on the…

Defining Excellence

I would venture to say one of the most discussed yet misunderstood subjects in church production today is “excellence.” Week after week I see blog posts about excellence. Discussions with church technical artists often touch on the subject. Social media from peers address it.  Could it be that I am just the excellence conversation magnet? I don’t think so. In an article entitled, “The Balance Between Excellence and Excess”  the author warns of productions gone amuck in the church.  But if that…

Attitude of Gratitude, a Tech Leader’s Most Important Resource

What would you say if I told you that there was a totally free, always available way you could multiply your own productivity as well as increase the efficacy of your volunteer’s time and efforts, grow and retain team rosters, better everyone’s mood by improving your work environment, insure your superiors are happy, all while deepening personal relationships? Sounds too good to be true? Nope, this is for real. This works! What could this magical tool be? It’s a simple,…

Becoming A Partner

Most church techs I’ve met (including myself) hate to be on-stage. We’re perfectly happy behind the scenes in our chosen supporting roles. While we withdraw from the spotlight of attention some occasionally feel our work goes unnoticed, dare I say unappreciated. Unless resolved we may go through periods being conflicted. We don’t want attention, but we also don’t want to be unappreciated. Being conflicted unchecked over time can consume us. I used to work at a successful A/V Staging company…

Does the Bible have anything to say about technology?

And if yes, what? No, I am not suggesting there are obscure or hidden Bible verses mentioning digital audio consoles, DMX, or large sensor camera imagers. But I’ve heard (usually from church tech-arts brethren) that the Bible has little to say about technology. Maybe that assumption should be challenged? In 1st Samuel the Bible reveals to us a story which has technology at its core, throughout, from beginning to end. It’s a story about the longing for better technology ……

You want to serve there …

This meme has been making the rounds on social media.  As you can imagine, it has generated many comments. One person responded, “No thanks, rather be at the bottom one.”  Another commented,  “We started years ago, I think we may have had no more than two dozen parishioners at that service, but today I run a Yamaha CL5 console for a mobile campus that has two morning services and approximately 300 people per service.  God is good!” A third, “This…

Musical Mediocrity

A few months ago I visited a church with a musician-friend I know.  I’ve been to this church before.  They are well established in the community near where he lives, have great Bible-oriented preaching and a warm friendly environment.  So, when my musician-friend began looking for a church to call home I recommended that he visit this church with me and check it out. He visited twice and then stopped.  I asked why. I could tell he was uncomfortable communicating…