Church Communications resources and tips from Justin Dean

Making it Happen

The Crew for Easter

  • 2 Full-time Audio Staff Members. One at FOH (Front of House) and the other at Monitors.
  • 1 Full-time Lighting Designer.
  • 1 Full-time Video Editor/Director.
  • 5 Volunteer Camera Operators.
  • 1 VisualFX Volunteer, running the video.
  • 1 Graphics Volunteer, running lower thirds lyrics on the screen with ProPresenter 4.
  • 1 Volunteer Prompter Operator.
  • 4 Volunteer Stage Crew, to move all the props on and off the stage.

The Audio

The audio was fairly straight forward. They didn?t have to deal with mic-ing any actors because all of the narration was already on the video. This helped them avoid so many potential technical problems like folks forgetting to turn their mics on or dealing with feedback.

They did, however, mix all of the music live with the normal worship team. And what did provide a bit of a challenge was that the band stood clustered off to either side of the stage ? separated by 70 feet of stage that was devoted to the dramatic elements. Not only did that require better isolation of louder instruments like the drums, it also required the band to approach their communication with each other a bit differently. Using in-ears, they tracked out everything with musical cues so they wouldn?t have to communicate quite as much on the fly like worship teams are usually used to. While that required quite a bit of preparation, it ensured they all knew where they were going.

Then that just left allowing the guitarists or vocalists to walk toward the center of the stage when they were needed ? giving folks a visual presence of the band instead of an invisible accompaniment off-stage. That required a bit more wireless than usual. But they made sure all their ducks were in a row, eliminating much of the RF frequency risks.


Another major element was the stage crew. They needed four volunteers to make sure the whole thing went smoothly. That meant quickly and accurately moving all the props on and off the stage. They also had to make sure each prop was in the right location and that the timing was exact. Since the whole thing was tracked out ahead of time, there wasn?t much room for delays or errors. Each time the stage went black, they went to work.

One of the big challenges was getting the basketball hoop onto the stage. They had to avoid hitting ceilings, screens, and actors. Plus they had to make sure the basketball didn?t fly into the audience during the scene.

The Long Hollow team wanted the same volunteers for all of the services so they could have some consistency. Timing in staging was crucial, but camera shots were even more crucial. Since there were so many actors and scenes to keep track of and they were dealing with volunteers, they wanted to ensure the quality was there. And that?s a big adjustment for volunteers that are used to much less planned out services like normal.

So each volunteer worked all the services and went to all the rehearsals ? and there were a bunch. They really wanted to keep the level of excellence high. Part of what helped them keep their volunteers motivated was the casting of vision early on. The volunteers knew the production would be great. They knew they?d be a part of something epic. And the staff had a very clear vision and game plan for volunteers to be part of.

One of the more interesting results of this event is how the volunteers have responded after they finished the thing. One might think, after such a marathon event, that the volunteers were worn out and feeling used. But they actually experienced the exact opposite. They?ve already been hearing requests from volunteers to be part of the next big event. They want to be a part of the next big Long Hollow success story.

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