Design alternative to truss

Posted on May 25th, 2017

I was asked for my consult on what other options I could recommend besides truss to hang a banner for an event. This was my reply:

I’m always a fan of pipe-and-base. It certainly takes up less space in a vehicle and is quicker to set up. It’s not a design on its own (you can’t put an LED inside to make it pretty colors) but it certainly is a bang-for-the-buck way to have some banners or whatever have something to tie to…

Create something beautiful today

Posted on March 20th, 2017

Create something beautiful today. Whether a photograph, a spreadsheet, performance art, or leadership moment. Make sure to care...

Live Production - Ethos Vision & Mission

Posted on March 12th, 2017

I wrote this page about what my team would look like last spring when I was considering the request to lead the Troy Production Department. I'm reviewing it again this month now that I've hired the final member of my staff. I'm grateful for each of them; and for all of our incredible volunteers. Here's to a great season of thriving in ethos, mission, and vision as we push through our busiest part of the year these next couple months...

Ethos:
  • Commitment
    • time, task, tidy
    • excellence and thoroughness
  • Optimism
    • joy, hope
  • Service
    • we will never let someone else do a task without helping
    • grab the seat of least honor; walk the extra mile
  • Adaptability
    • flexible at any moment
  • Passion
    • zero cynicism, but rather zeal for the privilege of serving together
  • Apprenticeship
    • as leaders we always have someone with us that we’re training in the way
  • Beauty
    • we will be artisans
    • with excellence and authenticity we will present ourselves and our craft to target the subconscious
    • we will strive beyond the how and execute our craft for the why

Vision:
Realize great beauty
as the local body of Christ
through the context of Live Production


Mission:
Support and enhance art and communication
to help people engage with God



Troy Live Production Volunteer Positions

Posted on February 21st, 2017

We love providing the opportunity for volunteers to use their skills and passions to support and enhance art and communication. *no experience necessary! We have four entry area options to join our team:

  • Stage Crew
    • Assistant Stage Manager
  • Audio & Lighting Crew
    • Setup of Staging & Equipment
    • Programming & Operation
  • Live Video Crew
    • Camera
    • Control Room
    • Multimedia and Graphics
  • KKids Crew
    • Audio
    • Lighting
    • Multimedia and Graphics

Please do connect with us and join our great team!



An Indication of Success

Posted on February 19th, 2017

A friend recently messaged me on my thoughts of how we evaluate our product after each event. I voice texted the following:

An indication of success is the observation of team celebrating that they had the privilege of experiencing the events together. That members of the team would offer self critique of the things that they individually remember missing and proposing their plan for how to improve it because they want to improve the overall win. That they would encourage the others in their successes in a posture of gratefulness to serve alongside such talent and attitude.

The greatest single indicator is joy. Do people like being part of the team? Do they celebrate that? Do they celebrate one another, even if they weren't part of the element? Is it a privilege to be part of the same team? Are they thinking about people that they want to invite along to the experience?

Another is adaptability. Are they willing to follow the leadership on a last-minute course correction without gripe or grumble or stressful freakout; but rather peace and even excitement.

Finally, and this is certainly more of a long-term evaluation: Are people working themselves out of a job? If the true culture is discipleship, then it will play out in the entire context of the persons life. Even to the point of training others to replace you in task and responsibility. The body of Christ is always evolving. Are we openhanded to however the spirit will move people and grow people?



Wisdom for this day

Posted on February 5th, 2017

"Lord God Omniscient, give me wisdom this day to worship and work aright and be well-pleasing to You. Lord, interpret Yourself to me more and more in Your fullness and beauty."
-Oswald Chambers

Scenes > Moments

Posted on January 31st, 2017

I’ve been contemplating the thoughts that were presented in this video that a friend recently shared with me:
https://youtu.be/38Cy_Qlh7VM

I think it’s a good thought about “moments" vs. “scenes" - it’s a thought I realize I’ve been contemplating for years. It’s the reason why I don’t want to give up being part of Braintrust and some of the other Central responsibilities that I have in my portfolio. I care deeply about making sure that the “beauty" that I help coach and reveal has purpose in supporting/enhancing the greater story…


Four basic elements of lighting that enhance story

Posted on January 8th, 2017

When lighting a scene, you need to consider the emotional message that you wish to convey.

1. Color - Choose a white balance. This is key to both mood and helps clue the viewer to the time of day. The opportunity to experiment with saturated light can provide seemingly countless options to get creative with steering mood.

Do you want to have a realistic scene in an office or do you want to break reality with musical theatre? What about concert lighting?

Remember that some scenes benefit from deep saturation, while others require the realism of only minimal color correction. Either way, color is extremely important.

I typed it first, here because yes it can be key to setting the scene, but more so is the foundation of subject light:

2. Intensity - Light’s intensity denotes how subdued or blown out the light is. Intensity can denote such differences as mid-morning sunshine in a field or the mood under a street lamp in the middle of night time.

The later example not only would likely use significantly lower intensity to create the scene, but would likely use two colors, the cool blueish moonlight, and the warm sodium colored lamp light.

3. Angle - This refers to the direction of light and how it strikes your subject. There are many terms, both from theatre and cinematography (ex. three-point lighting, special pool, key light, fill light, back light, side light, shin-busters, footlight, hair light, rim light, etc.)

Many of us are familiar to such terms as Rembrandt lighting or a butterfly lighting setup - those simply are two common setups that photographers use when shooting portraits.

The unique mood of each scene is steered in dramatically different ways by the angle of the light source or sources on the subject.

4. Quality - The softness or hardness of the light plays another role in the mood. Do you want defined shadows or smooth even light that seems to wrap around your subject. A large source of light is soft. A small source of light is hard. A source of light far away from your subject will produce strong shadows—an example of hard light. The closer the source of light that to your subject, the less pronounced the shadows that are produced.

Imagine difference between a 5º spot light from the corner of a theatre’s catwalk vs. the look of a model posing next to french doors with sheer drapes.

In addition to hard or soft lighting, consider the mood enhancement that can happen when a breakup pattern is between the light source and the subject.

With breakups we return to the hard or soft lighting. Is there a defined shadow of a bare tree branch or is there soft texture from an abstract theatrical breakup? So much can be done with texture. Perhaps another post should be written about texture alone!




Unique Version of Fruit

Posted on December 14th, 2016

So I was taking a creative break while trying to work the diagram for Easter’s production design concept (I have a deadline to present this morning - I know, it’s not like I have a Troy Midweek to lead, or a Christmas Premier to have to get to late this evening, or Troy’s Christmas load in this Sunday to prepare for, or a big funeral to help provide coverage for, or our CT building project with a key meeting to prep for, or this weekend to think about making sure is covered while I have to be away on Saturday, or that fact that I’m still a position short and have the stress of ensuring coverage and praying through making a wise hire. No, not anything like that LOL - Anyway, sometimes the 1:1::input:output satisfaction of organizing helps me think creatively with the other side of my brain on the back burner…) and I came across this old half-written blog post I wrote over 5 years ago:

Boxes vs. Puzzle Pieces or Low Hanging Fruit vs. Potential Bounty of a Well Pruned Vine
Knowing the right boxes is good. It's prudent and orderly. However it's not necessarily creative.
It's the right place to start but it's not John 10:10
Life on the edge is a magical place where much fruit is produced.
Boxes are orderly, but not beautiful. Puzzle prices don't have a clean place to fit; but when the big complex picture is assembled.
Marking a checkbox can be quite satisfying, however, it's nothing compared to the euphoria of fitting puzzle pieces together.
The Creator's vision has been revealed. Pride of the Steward is a treasure.
The best manager sees all the pieces and realizes how they might fit to reflect the true heaven.
Pray for the workers.
See from the master Gardner's perspective; don't look from the field hand's position.
Don't just pull low hanging fruit; look for what produces fruit. Look for fruit producers. Fruit producers, partnering with other fruit producers will produce far greater crop through their beautiful partnerships.
Graft the ones who at a fractal level display their unique jagged version of fruit. Those fractal parts if put together will begin to reveal what the vine looks like...



Leadership no no

Posted on July 18th, 2016

My goal as a leader is to never say "no." Rather even if I know with certainty that "no" is the correct choice, I prefer lead through the situation by considering the possibility of a yes. I try to lay out the best few options that we can see and what the benefits and consequences are from each.

Most choices to try an enhance a plan requires a choice to abandon another part of it. If someone does pose a truly good idea, we'll all probably agree that it's an improvement. If the culture is created that all ideas are considered, then there will be a better chance of good ideas being offered.

If change is always squashed, then ideas for improvement will never be revealed and we will die in status quo…

If an idea is suggested that I know (either because of intuition or previous experience) is a poor choice, I am a better leader if I steer them (be they a subordinate, a peer, or a superior) toward realizing the choice on their own.

Summarized, I'm the best leader when I am optimistic and disciplined enough to choose not to say "no."

Eric Wolfe

Visual Artist. Production Designer and Consultant. Developer of Ideas. Maximizer of Resources. Strategic Thinker. Creative Innovator. Husband. Father. Philosopher. Photographer. Backpacker. Athlete. Cook. Artisan. Catch Eric’s sporadic musings at egwolfe.com or follow him on social media platforms as @egwolfe