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Author Archive | Cory Mansfield

Does Stage Lighting Really Have to Be Tricky?

Does stage lighting really have to be tricky-Lighting up a stage seems like a straight forward process, but when you get down to it, it can be downright complex! How do you handle lighting up an entire band, a preacher who stands still, a preacher who moves around a lot? Wait! Do you have windows behind the stage? Uh oh! That’s going to mess things up right?

You know, as complex as this may sound to you, with a few key points to keep in mind, you can have a well-lit stage that doesn’t distract and draws attention to the place you want the congregation to look in no time.

  1. Create Zones
    1. This is where you will map out your stage, figure out how the light falls on your stage to ensure everything is lit that is supposed to be lit – from the preacher, to the piano, to the drum set, etc.
  2. Overlap the Zones
    1. Once you have your zones mapped out, you will want to make sure your lighting is set up not only to cover each zone, but that each light overlaps the adjacent zones to ensure there are no dark spots.
  3. Decide on the Number of points you want to shine on your subject
    1. For instance, when the sun is shining straight down on us, that is considered one point lighting. So if you hang a light to shine directly on the preacher, that would be one-point lighting. Hang a light behind the preacher to fully illuminate the speaker, and you have a 2 point lighting set-up. Depending on your equipment, you could go up to a 4 point lighting system if you like.

Those are just a few quick tips for you as you look to properly light your stage. What tips do you have to help others effectively light their stage?

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Top 10 Stage Designs of 2016

Copy of stageStage designs can draw the congregation in for an intimate time of worship and engagement, or it can repel them from the desired outcome like opposite ends of a magnet. For those of you who create stage designs on a regular basis, I can only imagine the range of emotions you experience. From excitement in the concept stage, to relief and a sense of fulfillment in the production stage, and those emotions in between when you are trying to coordinate, build, fit, and wire different aspects of the design. All in all, the fact remains that what you do as a stage designer is a critical part of the worship experience.

Over at Church Stage Design Ideas, I ran across this article highlighting the top stage designs as found on their site for the past year. I’m always excited and encouraged to see how other people are designing their stages and working to glorify Christ. Check out this post and let me know what you think. While I like most of the concepts, Thin Lines stood out to me as a good mix of modern, earthy, and authentic. What do you think?

The Top 10 Stage Designs of 2016

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5 Step Article on How to Train Volunteers

trainI just read a great article from the crew over at TechNotes. They are professionals who have created an online community committed to delivering professional audio and visual training. The article is entitled Train Your New Tech Volunteers in 5 Simple Steps. In this article, we are given 5 suggestions for how to best develop your own process for training and developing your own Production Team.

Their steps include:

  1. Interview
  2. Theoretical Training
  3. Owning the Information
  4. Practical Thinking
  5. Shadow

These are great suggestions, and what I like most about them is that you can do it. Whether you’ve had a process for years and you are looking to improve your system, or whether you’ve never had a team and don’t know where to start, this article and these 5 steps can help you out. Here’s an excerpt that I found particularly useful:

We know there is a big difference between knowing the equipment mechanically and using this equipment musically. Although the audio console, lighting desk or video switcher aren’t musical instruments…technically – you can show your trainee how to use these tools musically, in order to gain a seamless flow and output to their craft. This is where the three-phase shadowing comes in.

I like this because it spells out in no unsure terms how you can take someone with little to no knowledge of audio and visual systems, and train them to be a proficient volunteer. in your church.

Be sure to check out the rest of the article!

Train Your New Tech Volunteers in 5 Simple Steps

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Don’t Miss Incredible Savings This Month on Some Fantastic Media

fastI can’t let this deal slip by without you checking it out. Here are some stunning choices of media to use in your services focused around the theme of fasting. You will find them over at Playback Media, and it is a part of their monthly $10 pack. In this pack, you will find 11 motions, 11 stills, and a countdown. With each background and countdown, you get the SD, HD, and Triple Wide versions! $120 worth of media for $10. It really is a great deal to grab and even hold on to until you need them. You could use these as sermon slides and worship backgrounds during your service. Go ahead and take a look; I know you’re going to enjoy these!

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Ebenezer. What’s That?

ebenezer

It’s a new year full of excitement and possibilities. We wrapped up 2016, and we are hopefully off to a wonderful start in 2017. If you haven’t already done a 2016 year-in-review, let me encourage you to go ahead and take some time to do just that. Review everything that God did in and through your ministry in 2016. Whether it’s the media team, the lighting team, the A/V team, the video team, the sound team, the worship team, the creative team, whatever team you are a part of, a review of 2016 can help your ministry thrive in 2017. Go through each month, each Sunday, each gathering, and reflect the ways in which God moved.

This exercise will reap many benefits. Here are some of those benefits:

  • You will have an inventory of what worked well and what did not
  • You will start recalling best practices as you approach similar events in the future
  • By doing this in a team setting (highly recommended), you will enjoy the benefits of team building through laughter and many aha moments
  • You will know to get a head start on those projects that may have taken a little longer than expected
  • Most importantly, you will be able to praise God for how He worked in 2016 that you may not have considered.
  • By remembering how God moved in the past, you and your team can have faith in God’s future grace and provision

There is a story in 1 Samuel where we get that wonderful word that often needs explaining when singing “Come Thou Fount.” That word is Ebenezer.

The word is found in 1 Samuel 7 verse 12. “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Till now the Lord has helped us.’” So what exactly is an Ebenezer? It’s a monument: a place of remembrance where future generations can look back and remember what the Lord has done.

What a great example for us! So when you are done looking back over 2016, you can ask your team what ways they have seen the Lord move. Hopefully, that will generate excitement and praise for God. Then, you may ask if there is a way that your team can set up your own Ebenezer so that future generations can know that the Lord has moved and therefore, can move forward in 2017 in faith and confidence. I hope you are able to take the time to reflect on how God moved in 2016. If you have any big moments you’d like to share, feel free to comment below.
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