Robert Orlando Interview

I am pleased to welcome Robert Orlando to controlbooth.tv. Mr. Orlando is a filmmaker, producer and director. His projects range in scope from major biopic documentaries – with distribution under Sony Pictures – to shorts, commercials and other select projects for businesses and organizations including Princeton University, Harley Davidson and L’Oreal. He also is the President and Executive Director of Nexus Media LLC a film/video/web production company with headquarters and studio facilities in Princeton, New Jersey. [TD] Rob, thank you for…

Semi-Permanent Camera Platform

In this blog post, I (a person admittedly without carpentry skills) will offer step-by-step DIY instructions on how you can build a rock solid (semi-permanent) camera platform out of wood, even if you (like me) have only rudimentary skills and tools available to you.  In a future post I’ll cover how to build a temporary/portable camera platform. Before we get started, there are a few things to keep in mind when building camera & operator platforms. They are … A)…

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…

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…

“Take 1” – Dealing with Poor Performance

I really hate confrontation. In fact, I don’t even like tension in a conversation. But sometimes in leadership we need to have some hard conversations with our people about their performance. These are not fun. In fact… If these conversations are fun, you should probably not be a leader. So how do you encourage a poor performer? How do you graciously let someone go? Let’s put one minute on the clock and start the (difficult) conversation. Apart from prayer, before…

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,…

Things I Like: KZ ZST & ZS10 In-ear headphones

This “Things I Like” are an inexpensive set of in-ear buds I learned about from Scott Devine’s “Scott’s Bass Lessons” YouTube channel. The in-ear buds are manufactured in China by a company called KZ. The model I (initially, see below) bought is the “ZST” and they are currently available on Amazon for the meager sum of $19.29 USD. The Pros: Very comfortable (including various sized tips) and lightweight. The cable retains its shape aiding in holding the bud secure in…

Event Multi-camera Production Challenges & Solutions with NDI

Providing multi-camera video production services supporting weekly church services from a recurring location with an integrated AVL system can be challenging. If the AVL system is not permanently installed – as in portable-church applications – the challenges to maintain high production value content and execution increase exponentially. If then the event is a “one-off,” occurring in a venue nearly 125 years old with little to no permanently integrated AVL infrastructures, the challenge to produce a contemporary concert/teaching event with a…

Jon Swearingen Interview (PT-2)

Jon Swearingen is the Director of Broadcast Media at Lakewood Church / Joel Osteen Ministries. His program is the most watched religious telecast on television with over ten million viewers per episode. This telephone interview was recorded in 2012. What follows is part #2 of a two part interview. We continue in this interview finding out if Jon has formal rehearsals, camera meetings, post-mortems, what the role of his Associate Director is, what his creative influences are, how he get’s…

Jon Swearingen Interview (PT-1)

Jon Swearingen is the Director of Broadcast Media at Lakewood Church / Joel Osteen Ministries. His program is the most watched religious telecast on television with over ten million viewers per episode. This telephone interview was recorded in 2012. What follows is part #1 of a two part interview. In this episode we find out how Jon got his start, how he came to Lakewood Church, the importance of “signature shots,” budgets and budget approvals, success, how many cameras they…