We have been having some great conversations on our team about the role of production at our church and it has reminded me of a conversation I had over 10 years ago…probably more like 15, where we were talking about how the technical artist fits into what our church is doing.
In a meeting all those years ago, I had been suggesting that the role of production was to support the ministry happening on the stage. Someone else in the meeting disagreed in the extreme, saying that it wasn’t a big enough vision. He argued that we were fellow artists with the people on stage and that we were all working together to create something that would minister to people. After a lot of back and forth, I tend to agree with the former.
All that said, the foundation of what we do as technical artists involves technical support. Turning mics on, lights aimed right, graphics correct. All these things are fully supporting what is happening on stage and without good, solid technical support happening, the idea of being fellow artists, blah, blah, blah, is a joke.
However, if that is all I am called to do, that rings a little empty to me. Is my life just about making sure a camera is color balanced correctly? For me, I need to be a part of the creating. I don’t need to be around for the blank page type of creating, but share your idea with me and let’s figure out how technology can help me it the best possible version.
The Willow Production mission statement reads like this:
to create life changing moments through the fusion of the technical and performing arts.
I want my team to take what they know and what they are gifted to do and combine it with the ideas of the people designing the service to create something no one could have imagined. There is so much potential in this idea, and unfortunately is not a common occurrence in church, yours and mine, or even outside of the church.
So how do we get there? Here are a few ideas:
Do the support thing with extreme amounts of excellence. Be trusted to not distract from what is being done on stage. This is a key component to moving past simply supporting a service.
Put yourself out there and make suggestions on how technology could help to enhance an element or service. Hold your ideas loosely and be patient.
Don’t enhance something in a vacuum. Make sure your ideas match the intent of the service. Many times we can enhance something into unrecognizability (not a real word). The technical arts by themselves can be distracting unless they are fused together with the creative element.
How can you move you and your team from simply supporting an event, to making the service far better by bringing the best of your art form to the table?