4K Church

When I talk to tech-artist friends about 4K video for church productions I sometimes get one of the following responses: [Me] “So what do you think about 4K?”[Church Tech Friend #1] {No verbal response. Eyes roll upwards and backwards into the head} [Me] “Do you see yourself ever upgrading your system to 4K in the future?”[Church Tech Friend #2] “No, I am waiting for 3D to come back instead!” [Me] “Would a 4K work-flow help make your job easier and…

Viewing Habits – Mobile

It may not surprise you to find out that online media giants like Netflix study the viewing habits of their subscribers.  In a recent Wired Magazine article it was reported that 67 percent of all Netflix viewing now occurs on mobile platforms while viewers are out and about.  Ever been stuck behind someone who is staring at their cell phone while going up or down a flight of stairs?  Yes, that’s right; people are actually watching THE WALKING DEAD while…

Aja DataCalc

Ever need to figure out how many gigabytes of storage your video recording will take at a certain resolution, frame rate or codec?  Ever need to compute how many hours of footage you can fit on a certain drive size? This week’s “Things I Like” is Aja’s DataCalc, an iOS app, and it can do all those calculations whether you use a Aja recorder or not! Pros • Computes space requirements for many codecs including 8bit YUV, 8bit RGBA, 10bit…

Lens cleaning

A few years ago a TV show invited me to come by their set and take a look at their video projection system.  The producers complained that the projector looked dingy and they feared they would need to spend $10,000 to $100,000 to solve the problem, replacing the whole projector, or at a minimum the (expensive) lamp! Confident their call to me was “well, he can’t make it any worse,” I inspected the projector.   One could see years of dust…

pCAM Film+Digital

Things I Like: Nearly every day I use pCAM, a iOS app developed by Hollywood 1st AC David Eubanks.  I started using pCAM way back in 1998 on the Palm Pilot platform.  Eventually I traded in my flip-phone for an Android but would carry around a iPod Touch around just so I could use pCAM.  I finally upgraded to an iPhone and retired the iPod Touch (and Palm Pilot) since I can now use the telephone, play music and use pCAM from the…

Buying your (third) camera first

Or… “Things you need to know before buying your first camera.” I’ve heard it said that some churches purchase three PA systems before they get the right one for their needs and space. The way the story goes… the first PA system is purchased when a congregation builds a new church building or launches a new venue.  An architect tells the church he’ll take care of the of the sound system design.  What really happens is the architect passes the…

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…

Blackmagic Design’s Advanced Panel

Many churches doing Imag on a budget turn to the Blackmagic Design’s ATEM as their switcher of choice. It’s an affordable option with a great deal of features. The Journey We purchased ours almost 4 years ago for use in an all-volunteer, 5-camera Imag setting.  We launched Imag after being in our building for a few years.  At that time we had 3 cameras feeding the ATEM and we controlled it with an iPad app (Strata Pro). After some reliability…

Understanding back-focus

It’s 8:55 AM and your church service is about to start. Before your livestream begins your AVL team’s camera operator zooms in and frames a the tightest shot he can framing your worship leader’s microphone grill and adjusts the focus barrel on his lens. The camera operator then zooms out very wide setting up his first shot of your broadcast … an establishing wide shot of your room and touches up the focus. The worship team takes the stage and…

“Take 1” – What are you communicating

Can you imagine having to listen to the same person for 5 hours? Even if it was a great speaker – that’s a long time. Now let’s make things worse by starting that listening session early on a Sunday morning. Ugh! But, that’s exactly what some of our tech people (for example, camera operators) go through each week. They sit quietly in the isolated world of their dual-muff headsets and listen…and listen… and listen. With rehearsals and pre-service work, this…