“Take 1” – What is our style?

Leadership Teams

“Take 1” … minute to improve your team

One of the challenges in volunteer-driven church tech is keeping people on the same page. In many cases we find totally different teams serving from week-to-week. If unmanaged, these teams can drift apart in terms of their styles. As I visit churches, I hear things like “I didn’t even have to look in the booth to know who was running sound/video/lights/etc. today”.

So, let’s take on the topic of establishing your “style” and let’s put 1 minute on the clock…

Getting people on the same page

As a video team at the Ridge, one thing that we do with new people is watch a lot of videos from other places. This plays out in terms of training our new team members as well as developing and maintaining a style with our directors.

On the training side, I personally feel that the training of a camera operator should be much more about training their eye – then the mechanical stuff can follow. For example, when talking about following a speaker I show the first 25 seconds of this Jeff Foxworthy clip:

(be careful, some of the later content may be a bit risqué for some)

This is a great training clip for following a speaker – especially given the constraints of a 4:3 aspect ratio. We generally watch it together, then watch it again focusing on the background (which really highlights the panning). Regarding movement (we love movement) I like to go show this beautifully shot, yet with limited space, Hillsong “Oceans” performance on NBC’s Today Show:

People can get defensive with their own stuff

Watching your own content for review is important. However, watching outside content together can be much more powerful when setting a direction or vision for your team.

TV, concerts, movies, comedy, just about anything for that matter, is fertile ground for us. We rarely watch our own videos when we are discussing broad topics like “what should our style be?”. Watching our own content is way too personal and distracting. People can get defensive with their own stuff. But we can all step back and watch/discuss something amazing like this:

This is one of my favorite videos for discussion. It has 3 parallel stories (the drummer – his dad was the original Led Zeppelin drummer who died in 1980, the original band members in the audience who are being honored, and the actual performers playing the song). There is the use of both cuts and dissolves, a variety of pacing as the song unfolds and there is beautiful movement. This specific video spawned many great conversations on our team. For example, there even is a great moment in the story where the director had to make a super-difficult decision for the broadcast audience. Can you find it?

Here’s your homework… watch some outside video with your team – it will go many miles toward developing your skills and your style.

Mark Malburg

Mark is a volunteer at The Ridge – (www.theRidge.org). He leads a team of around 30 volunteer camera ops and directors making awesome-as-possible 5-camera Imag while trying to do it as affordably-as-possible.