Showing all posts tagged #liveproduction:


Ward Planning Process

Posted on August 18th, 2019


As the Creative Director, I’m responsible for leading us in the tactical now, the strategic near, and the vision of what we’re steering toward.

Now - Every weekend we have another event! I’m responsible for everything that is presented in each of our 3 venues.
  • I directly lead the Worship Directors to lead the art and presentation in each of their venues.
  • I lead the Production Department to support and enhance the art and communication with excellence - not only for the live experience, but also the broadcast audience web streaming and listening to radio.
  • I am coaching the hosts and teachers in navigating transitions and delivering their content with authenticity, tone, and clarity.
  • We’re always iterating and we’ll make any audible to the plan necessary to better tell the story and inspire life.
Near - We have Production Meetings every Monday. We break the meeting into three parts:
  • 3-Weeks-Out - PCO (our online production order and scheduling tool) 60% - The production order is mapped out with at least placeholder elements ("Song 3" or "Focus") in place to estimate timing of the day. Casting roles band/vocal positions are slotted.
  • 2-Weeks-Out - 85% - Order is filled in with specific song names and intended feel of moment in Producer column. Casting of band/vocalists is scheduled.
  • Week-Of - 95% - Order is detailed with who is leading each moment and talking points are outlined. Arrangements for every song is uploaded with accurate detail of what will be rehearsed. (If a change is realized during rehearsal; that’s totally fine, but we communicate any alterations by noon on Thursday) Musician backline support requests are fully detailed with what they want from Ward and what they’re brining.
Far - In the winter and spring, we begin mapping out the following year.
  • We try to maintain a road-map that is over a year in advance. I have created a master document for every event (weekends and special event) that happens in our main venues.
  • By 12-weeks-out, I work with the lead teacher for each event to write a paragraph of vision for the narrative of the experience, the angle of the teaching, and the hope for response. I’m also working with our Executive Staff and key Directors to make sure that we know any necessary elements, promotions, or calendar notes that must be factored in to the planning.
  • I have lead us to be 12-weeks-out in that "treatment" that we can plan from. I lead our team in a meeting where we look at each sermon series and we brainstorm ideas we might plan. We fill up the whiteboard with ideas, sketches, stickie notes, and optimism.
  • I followup with our Worship Directors and Lead Teacher and we hone in on what we want to develop. Storyboarding, writing, "braintrusting", re-writing, producing, designing, ordering, shooting, editing, prototyping, etc.


serving artistic leadership and the thrill of live production

Posted on March 29th, 2018

I snapped this passage from a magazine to share with my team. Beyond just being for a video director, these are good thoughts to contemplate regardless of our position - serving the artistic vision and the thrill of live production when supporting and enhancing art and communication

  • Be flexible
  • Give up your ego
  • Collaboration and comfort

  • The thrill of being live and having the eyes on your work can be quite rewarding
  • Don’t go over the top, but rather enjoy being fully in the moment
  • We get to have joy in what we produce!




Leadership Gathering January 2018

Posted on January 26th, 2018


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?



FILO 2016 Production Design

Posted on May 23rd, 2016

One week ago, we were finishing load in and initial programming for 2016’s edition of the FILO Conference. It was an honor and privilege to be the Production Designer (responsible for Scenic and Lighting Design) for the conference. It was a scurry of a few days so I never really had time to post anything. Here are a few of my favorite moments from the event:



Some of you took my Scenic Design Concepts breakout class. For the rest of you, here’s the story behind how I landed on the final version of the design. These are the notes from the slide where I talked about "Branding (and the iterative process of design) …and Metaphor"

The O in FILO seemed to be the best part of the brand to play off of…
PlexiDiscs (something that I have in storage that’s not being used)
They set up easily enough (tie-line and zip-ties)
They can give depth to a shallow stage
They easily fit in my hatchback!
We concept designed about building a pretty cool set piece that we chose to say no to. (the builder, time, money, space on stage, etc.)
The iterative process - never settle for the first idea, if you stay disciplined to the process, the best idea will eventually be revealed. (certainly the idea at the greatest intersection of creativity and stewardship)
Metaphor
The 40 O’s represents each of us who are FILOs. Some of us are lone guys, some of us are part of teams. Coming together we can encourage each other with our beauty as we come together. Together we can find a chorus of a "new song" (Psalm 40) to carry with us as we go back to support and enhance the sharing of the good news that Jesus loves us.

The lights, I selected for a few reasons.
First, the B-EYEs are a light that every church tech nerd has seen the videos of and dreamt about having in their venue. I thought that giving a chance to see could be beneficial.
The opportunity to have access to the use some great hybrid fixtures in the Mythos was an amazing bonus.
Finally, the Aura XBs had a primary use of lighting the scenic. However the bonus of such a great light is that we created a number of presets to give us several bonus looks!

For the whole design I played with clusters that followed the Fibonacci sequence. I wanted to have the thought of each part of the design to have a beauty on its own and contribute to the beauty of the whole in a way that felt like it fit...

Thank you to Ryan and ILC for providing the amazing lighting gear. Thanks Jeff and Brian CCC for being perhaps the most hospitable hosts an any venue I’ve ever had the chance to work with. Thanks Nate and Chelsea for the logistics, leadership, and vision. Thanks to Michael and Nic for helping us set it all up, troubleshoot issues, and Nic especially for that great catch with the B-EYEs' profile issue. Thanks Alex (whom I met as we were both on the LD panel discussion breakout) for guest designing Session 3 as I was putting finishing touches on the Keynote presentation for my breakout.

Special thanks to Patrick for being my partner in the project. Having a guy on the console who knows how to interpret the ideas of my mind almost even before I say them is the dream for an LD. A good friend with me for the journey to and from Chicago is a bonus.

Thanks most of all to Todd for inviting me to play a small role in your vision. It was a privilege and an honor.


Leadership Gathering - Produciton Design and Consulting

Posted on September 7th, 2015



The inception for this two day conference hosting 1000 VIPs event was put in motion less than three months before the event! Therefore ideation of concept; iteration of prototype, approval of concept; partnership in developing story and production management prepping cast and crew; ordering of materials; leadership of assembly: continuity of brand in every part of stage, room, handout, and communication: coordination of rehearsal; programming of lighting, video, and special effects cues; execution of audio including a last minute live voiceover intro by yours truly. What an exciting project to be part of!

The budget for the scenic and lighting was <$5K so that alone presented constraint that drove creativity. The fact that our timeline was tight was fuel to move fast and actually helped leverage pushing past doubt and leading to excitement about our concepts during ideation. Key elements of this design were built on the request of a large screen that could carry the brand of the organization. The budget required us to create an unique workaround to simulate a properly blended projection mapping rig and "fake it" with some clever finesse and the reminder that guests won’t know the difference if we are strategic in how we craft our graphics and video assets.

The idea of a B-Stage presented multiple challenges that yielded the iteration of multiple special additions to the experience: LEDtape that outlined the stage (and provided uplight - or maybe it was the other way around). Communication banners (that added to the branding and communication - or provided depth in every video shot). Finally, which was better: the excitement of transitions with the additional entrances and focus shifting for the narration, the eye contact and authenticity of new ideas in a town hall segment of the communication, or the up close excitement of key performances that literally break the fourth wall!

The buzz and excitement about the project was useful in leveraging contribution from numerous collaborators. Delegation to key personalities was key in leadership of execution. It was beautiful to see many people leverage their talents and a number of young team members realize new passions as they learned new skills on the fly!

Here are some of my favorite moments.


Intermission between sessions the first night. I love tables and chairs for a conference.


This silhouette moment from the opening medley - I hope Michael Jackson would have been proud. Top image also from the opening medley - covering Hey Ya by Outkast.


From the opening medley - I believe this was Shake It Off.


A shot from house right showing a bit of the room. We really have transformed the old warehouse. I remember doing our walk-through when we first purchased this space. It used to have columns in the middle of the room. Oh, and dirt floor with vile things growing in the puddles...


I like this shot during worship that also shows some of the table decorations that I helped braintrust the design of. Please forgive the odd looking text on the screen due; to the fact that I snapped the photo exactly on the CG transition.


The Kensington founders and their wives on stage together. It’s a beautiful encouragement to see them still be close friends 25 years later.


I love how my friend Michael Duggan programs lights. It’s fun to see my plot come to life!


It was an honor to get to run audio for day two of the event. Here’s the view I had of the keynote speaker teaching from the B-stage in the middle of the room.


A panoramic shot of the room. I wish I had taken a reverse angle of the room in use. The best I can do is the following photo.


My view of the room from above the stage while working on projection. Collaboration and intentional choice was made even to each centerpiece on the tables.


This is day two of our set-up and we're somehow calm in spite of being way behind planned schedule. 24 hours prior all we had was the arch in place and the wrong size fabric. RoseBrand had sent us the wrong width due to a mis-labeling error in their sewing department. They overnighted us the correct size and we were able to work past midnight to get everything ready for doors to open the next morning for another event that was using the room. The team was great as we flexed through the setback and found other useful things to do with our time on day 1 and the first half of day 2. Thankfully we had kept a second day of setup on the schedule; if not, we would not have had a chance for the vision to have turned out as you see in these images.


Early sketch of what it would take to pull off the custom built screen that required no support beams so that the silhouette moment could happen. Leadership, creativity, design - it’s all problem solving!



Leadership Gathering

Posted on September 7th, 2015

Produciton Design and Consulting

The inception for this two-day conference hosting 1000 VIPs event was put in motion less than three months before the event! Even with the crazy timeline (and perhaps because of it) it was an honor and a privilege to be asked to design and lead production for this event.
  • ideation of concept
  • refining concept to fit inside the constraint of $5K
  • iteration of prototype
  • approval of concept
  • partnership in developing story and production management
  • prepping cast and crew
  • Collaboration and intentional choice for continuity of brand in every part of stage, room, handout, and communication
  • Producing uniquely formatted videos and graphic assets
  • ordering of materials
  • leadership of construction/assembly
  • rush-order of mislabeled box of material and adaptability to rework setup plan
  • coordination of rehearsal
  • programming of lighting, video, and special effects cues
  • execution of audio including a last minute live voiceover intro by yours truly

Constraints drive creativity. Moving fast actually helps leverage pushing past doubt and leads to excitement about our concepts during ideation. Leadership, creativity, design - it’s all problem solving! The buzz and excitement about the project was useful in leveraging contribution from numerous collaborators. Delegation to key personalities was key in leadership of execution. It was beautiful to see many people leverage their talents and a number of young team members realize new passions as they learned new skills on the fly!

Feel free to read the full detailed version of this blog post if you’re curious for more of the story.


Eric Wolfe

Visual Artist and Leader. Production Designer and Consultant. Developer of Ideas. Maximizer of Resources. Strategic Thinker. Creative Innovator. Husband. Father. Philosopher. Photographer. Backpacker. Athlete. Cook. Artisan. He shares thoughts here about all of the above. He would love to connect to partner in coaching and revealing beauty to enhance story and experience. Please do reach out!