The Formation of the CVC Video Ministry Part 1
The Formation of the CVC Video Ministry
by Mike Randall
CrossView Church has an amazing pastor who preaches the Word of God like no one else. In keeping up with the times and to further spread the gospel via his sermons, we needed to begin a video ministry. I’d been interested in starting one for years.
I will mention that the following events took much longer than I would have hoped. That’s my nature. To do it right the first time and waste as little money as possible by avoiding costly mistakes. Since I had no experience in photography or video, I contacted our local camera shop and they recommended I contact B&H Photo in New York. B&H gave me some helpful advice and a quote on the equipment we would need to start a basic video ministry. They then recommended I contact a local church that already has a video ministry.
But, who would I call?
I was attending the Awana Grand Prix, a youth ministry event held by CVC, and spoke to an old friend named Ron who was there with his wife and kids. During the conversation, I mentioned our new ministry and within a few days he hooked me up with his friend, Alex, who is the Pastor and Video Ministry Leader of Ron’s church. Alex and I not only discussed the video equipment, but also editing software, goals, marketing, camera angles, and the time and personnel it would take to get the job done. It was a good meeting and a blessing to our ministry.
Both B&H Photo and Pastor Alex had stressed the fact that the quality of the sound and lighting were at the top of the list for making a good video. The sound quality should not be a problem because the camera being considered for purchase for our video ministry had the ability to connect external microphones through XLR type inputs. I would be able to connect the camera’s audio directly to the soundboard.
The Lighting Problems
Lighting was going to be our problem. The platform lighting in our church is old. Not as old as myself, but still really old.
There are two general types of stage lighting—
Spotlights point the light in a focused beam and must be directed exactly on the subject. They are the opposite of floodlights.
Floodlights flood the general area with light and are more forgiving when trying to light an area.
However, floodlights will also light the projector screen we use to show the words of the songs we sing and so restrict us from using this type of lighting.
We have about twelve spotlights that light the platform. Most of them need adjusting to point in the correct direction. Also, each light has a colored lens which gives the people on stage kind of an orange glow not suitable for video.
I consulted a pro from Professional Audio Designs, Inc. located in Wauwatosa WI. He explained that without proper lighting, the video cameras sensor will not pick up the reflected light from the subject being recorded. Not only that but the longer the distance the camera is from the subject, the more the camera’s zoom feature will be used. The more the zoom feature is needed to frame the subject correctly, the less light there will be for the sensor. It has something to do with the aperture of the lens.
If we could not obtain good lighting then the choice of camera would change from a camcorder costing a few thousand dollars to a higher-grade video camera with a special lens designed for the focal distance and light available. This type of camera costs much more.
Whoa, I thought, let’s try to get the stage lights redirected to better light the platform.
Scaffolding is the Answer
Our next adventure focused on adjusting the lights in preparation for our new video ministry. A few years back, I whined to anyone who would listen that we needed a way to reach the gym and sanctuary lights, ceiling fans, sanctuary speakers or anything that was more than fifteen feet in the air. Our church needed a set of scaffolding. After much prayer and discussion with the Finance Committee, God answered my prayer and we were able to purchase the needed equipment specially designed for churches.
The scaffolding model that was chosen has extendable legs with wheels that can roll inside the church pews. This eliminated the need to remove the pews so the scaffolding could get close to the lights.
With a few hard-working volunteers,
Jack K., Bob P., Mike P. and I set up the scaffolding and set it in place. Not everyone had the time to stay all day but Jack and I were able to finish relocating and adjusting the outer bank of lights by 3 p.m. However, it had taken four men to set the scaffolding up but now there were only two old guys to take it down, hopefully without killing ourselves. This thing was built as heavy duty as a piece of farm equipment so we took it down one piece at a time until we got the job done. Yahoo! Next week, we would move on to the other bank of lights.
It had crossed our minds just to leave the scaffolding up for Sunday service but we figured it would be difficult to keep the kids and especially, Pastor David off!
The following week our focus was on adjusting the inner bank of lights closest to the stage. Before we started, we were concerned with setting off the fire alarm due to the location of the smoke beam projected from the front to the rear of the sanctuary.
With the help of volunteers Jack K., Mark T., and Tom P. we were able to set up the scaffolding and contacted ADP alarm service to disable the sensor located in the sanctuary. This time we set the scaffolding up a little differently. We assembled the base turned ninety degrees. This enabled us to adjust the legs to a distance narrow enough to fit and roll down the center aisle. (We are getting better at assembly but it’s still a learning experience every time we do this. Pretty soon we may be able to assemble the scaffolding without looking like the Keystone Kops.)
We wanted to get this done by 11:00 a.m., so we rolled the scaffolding to the first set of lights, “stage right,” but we were stopped by the stair railing leading to the platform. No problem, I thought. We’ll just extend the legs to the second row and go around the railing.
Now, as it turns out, the front of the platform is not straight. The “stage left” projects out two feet further so we were limited to how close we could get to the lights. We deduced that this could be overcome by changing the leg of the base with a special flat-base screw jack supplied with the scaffolding kit. But the scaffolding was already assembled.
No problem again! We decided we would adjust the lights on this side next time and then we moved the scaffolding to the lights located stage right. Once we decided where we wanted these lights to point, they were easily adjusted.
There were still speaker wires to install and ceiling fans to clean but we needed time to disassemble the scaffolding and enable the fire alarm and time was running out. We decided to stop and complete the job the following week.
I look forward to updating you about my continuing progress with our video ministry in future blogs.
Until next time,
Mike Randall, A/V ministry, CrossView Church, Antioch IL.
Mike Randall has been married for almost four decades to his lovely wife, Liz. They have four grown children and thirteen grandchildren. He accepted Christ in 1987 at Antioch Evangelical Free Church, is a member of CrossView Church, has served on the Elder Board, leads a Bible study for new believers, and serves in the Greeter Ministry and in the Audio Ministry. Mike is presently employed as an Inventory Planner, currently serves on the Antioch Golf Club Community Association Board of Directors, and is the President of Fairway Homes Condo Association.
Please take a look at the CVC Vimeo Page.