discovering creative intent

To be a technical artist in the local church, you need to become really good at asking questions.

Not only are there details we need, so that the right gear is set up, but a key reason for asking questions is to get a better understanding of what we are actually trying to do.

Photo by Matt Walsh on Unsplash

I have been a part of so many misunderstandings derived from assuming you know, or they know, or that everyone is thinking the same thing. As it turns out, nobody is thinking the same way about any one idea. We are all coming at it from very different angles.

At the baseline, production exists to support an idea, someone’s creativity. In our case, we are trying to create an environment where people can meet with God. Without fully understanding the intent of an idea, and how production can support this idea; things can get pretty out of hand quickly.

There was an era of my production life, where I wasn’t asking enough questions about intent. As a result, our production team just did what we thought was best, which turned out more often than not, to be 180 degrees from the intent of the idea. Production can get pretty distracting when there is a misunderstanding about creative intent.

If creating a distraction-free environment is a key-value (and it should be), without understanding the point of an idea, we will more often than not distract from what the idea is trying to achieve.

This kind of question-asking is less about going after the answers you need and more about making sure the answers in your head are correct. The kind of answers you are looking for are less black and white: “How many snare drums will the drummer bring this week?” and more grey: “Are you wanting us to blast the audience with light, or do we want them in the dark at that moment in the song?”

Getting answers to how production can support an idea can’t happen without you asking the right questions.

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