Easter 2016 … The Final Week (Part 4)

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The week before Easter for any Creative/Production Team is undoubtedly an action packed week. Needless to say, no one working for Easter’s services will be bored.  If they are bored, they’re not doing it right. 🙂 The same goes for all of us at The Crossing during the final week of Easter preparation.

Here’s a breakdown of our final week into seven exciting parts:

STAGE:

On Monday, we attacked the stage to finish the install of our new look.  We removed the previous stage design which was from Mod Scenes (which we loved) and moved it to “The Venue” – our other auditorium that is used by our student ministry and other ministries at The Crossing.  Once the old set was gone, we cleared the stage of all risers and instrumentation.  Once cleared, we began to install the set we had been building for a couple of weeks in anticipation of Easter.

LED tape had to be installed within, fabric had to be wrapped, and set pieces hung in place. All in all, the new stage install took two days to complete. To read about the exact details of how we built this stage, please click on this link.

VIDEO:

There were several video elements that had to be created for Easter services.  We created a 5 min countdown that showed the course of three days at the tomb of Jesus that played on the center screen that was built into our set.  This was played before the opening of our service.  Watch the beginning of the service to catch a brief (yet epic) glimpse of this video:

We also had a video communion moment that had to be created.  We created a communion table look with bread, grapes, and a wine glass with juice that served as props for the shoot.  We used various people from our staff and high level volunteers to share their “comeback story” and how what we celebrate with Communion helped make such a comeback possible.

This video was “sandwiched” within the song “How Can It Be” by Lauren Daigle.

To see how this was done, watch the video below:

We also included a lyric video to Hillsong Young and Free’s song “Alive” that played with Ableton and was displayed on the center screen of our new set.

To see how this video, watch below:

Finally, finishing touches had to be made to our epic (all in one take) “Road” video: stabilization, audio edit/mixing, music bed secured, and color correction.  To see exactly how we shot this video, click this link to read all the details.

To see the video, watch below:

LIGHTING:

Lighting is always a challenge when you have a new stage design.  Almost everything is reset.  This is especially true for our latest set.  This was our first step into the bright and colorful world of LED tape.  Getting our lighting console to work with the new addition along with what we had before was somewhat challenging.  But our lighting team worked the problem and built new lighting cues/themes/etc. until the work was done… even bringing kids “camping” as they worked into the early morning hours.  Production team families: the struggle is real at Christmas and Easter.

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PROGRAMMING REHEARSAL:

Our programming rehearsal took place on Thursday night so that we would not be getting in the way of our musicians at their Friday rehearsal.  We wanted to make sure that all of our production cues were on point, that every video played properly, and that the audio of all the videos was mixed well for our room.  After an incredible meal at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria together (very important), we ran through our cues.  From this rehearsal, we knew we where  we needed to make a few tweaks.  Thankfully, we had given ourselves the time to make them since this rehearsal was on Thursday. It is always a good idea to meet deadlines well in advance in case of technical issues, because they generally tend to appear at the worst times.

MUSIC REHEARSAL:

On Good Friday, our worship team took to the stage to go over all of their songs.  Though we were only doing four songs, rehearsal took a bit longer than usual because we included a new element for tracking and click: Ableton. Though an incredible and powerful program, we had never used it before. It took some time and adjusting to get it on point, but eventually things fell in line.

COMBINED REHEARSAL:

On Saturday afternoon before our first two services, the time had finally arrived to not only bring every element together, but every volunteer – from camera people, to musicians, to lighting, and everyone else in production.  We all gathered (as we always do before services) to go over our Planning Center service order and discuss the details of the service. Once we went through the service order line by line and clarified any details, we gathered to pray.  Then we all took our places and rehearsed the service.

GAME ON:

Finally… it was now time for all of the planning… all of the preparation…. and all of the hard work to come together to create a moment in which God would speak and change the lives of many.  That’s why we do what we do.

To see Easter at The Crossing in it’s entirety, please feel free to watch the video below:

 

Learnings:

  • In order to pull off a complicated service, take it one day at a time. But do so with a plan, making sure you have time for adjustments.
  • Take time to celebrate with your team.  Nothing quite beats good fellowship over a meal to uplift spirits and encourage your team.
  • Separate your production rehearsal from your music rehearsal so that everyone can focus on their portion of the service details with enough space to make any necessary adjustments.
  • Hard work, preparation, and planning have the potential to pay off big time and lead to life change in others.  Keep up the good work!
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