Tag Archives: media

Easter Media You Can Use All Year

I love any opportunity to boast about my friends :) Honestly, their talents are quite humbling. My friends at Playback Media are just some of them. They’ve just released their new Sacred Pack just in time for Easter. A collection of reverent visuals perfect for this season but which also can be used year round. Fun to see this product available for purchase after critiquing it many a Saturday sitting at the local Starbucks with Luke.

You can check out all of the details here on their site. The best part: for a limited time you can get 10% off this bundle if you use the code “cautiouscreative” when you purchase this new collection of visuals!!

A Guidebook for Visual Worship

When I started building PowerPoints for worship services back in 2003 I don’t think I’d ever even heard of the term “Visual Worship.” My how things have changed since then. Not just in relation to the tools – software upgrades, faster hardware, and better designed media – but in my heart as well.

I remember going to the Echo Conference in 2009 and hearing Camron Ware, Stephen Proctor, & Nate Griffin talk about Visual Worship. I walked away that day thinking “wow, I’m not crazy.” I had discovered there were other people out there who were asking some of the same questions, having the same conversations, and who valued some of the same things that I did when it came to the use of visual media in worship settings.

Fast forward to 2011 and I’ve been pretty blessed to be a part of my friend Stephen Proctor’s latest project – A Guidebook for Visual Worship. Walking through the editing process for this book has been challenging at times but honestly a ton of fun. Sadly I too often take for granted the fact that I get to work with some of my greatest friends. And on projects that we’re passionate about. It’s been quite an honor to see hours and hours of conversation over several cups of coffee and baskets of chips & salsa come to life in this book.

I think Proctor has put together a valuable guidebook based on what God has taught him along his journey in the visual worship realm over the last several years. In his words, it’s “ a training resource designed to cast vision & to equip.” You can read more of his heart behind the project here. And you can even download a sample version here if you are interested in taking a closer look. I just love seeing my friends living out their dreams and God given callings. So much joy in that.

Throwback Sundays…When Technology Fails

Just a note: I’m really loving this Throwback Sundays series because it’s like a virtual conversation over a good cup of coffee reminiscing about what was but in doing so always dreaming of what will be. And that is one of my favorite things in life.

On with this week’s post. This Sunday is still one of the most memorable Sundays in recent memory for me. Technology failed miserably that night, but worship went on without it. And for me as a visual worship leader being forcibly pushed over the cliff of visual silence and realizing it wasn’t nearly as scary as one would think made me more willing to walk over that cliff on my own.

And I always appreciate when God gently reminds me that He’s bigger than any light, any camera, any projector, or any microphone. He is God. And He has blessed us with those tools but He doesn’t need them and neither do we.

Have you ever experienced a major tech fail during worship? What was the result?

The Secret’s Out

Have you been following the buzz around #secretsoutOCT5? Perhaps you read something about it on the Orange Thread Media blog, saw a tweet about it, or read this post from Stephen Proctor about it. The team behind the Playback Drive isn’t just continuing to dream big, they’re doing something with their dreams. I’ve got nothing but love and respect for these guys and am so excited to share their newest project with you! If you missed it, Luke McElroy from Orange Thread and Stephen Proctor broke the news today via livestream… triplewidemedia.com is live.

Triplewidemedia.com is the first website dedicated to resourcing the multi-screen community. Their heart truly is for community and relationships in everything they do and this is another step. If you use multi-screen set ups for events, worship, or anything in between, I think triplewidemedia.com will quickly become your number one source for content. I got a sneak peek at the site a couple of weeks ago and the content is top notch! Not only will you find great stuff from Orange Thread and WorshipVJ but also from two of my other favorite producers, Awake Images and Thr-ve, among others.

I know you’re curious…so, what are you waiting for? Take a minute and check out the site: www.triplewidemedia.com. Sign up for a free account AND get 12 free credits to use on the site! Want a few more details? Check out this post on worshipVJ.com.

And I’m curious…how many of you use multi-screen set ups on a regular basis?

Live it. Sing it. See it. Worship.

A couple of weeks ago, Stephen Proctor wrote this post about 3D Worship. The idea is that worship has 3 dimensions – up, across, and out. If you haven’t read it, you should. I think we are pretty good at expressing the up dimension most of the time and even doing well with the across dimension. The whole out dimension, however, I think the Church struggles with. We sing a lot of songs about “out” but how often do our visuals reflect that? I don’t think they do a lot of times. How often does worship flow from being focused on the out? Sadly, I don’t think very often. I would contend that part of that is because we aren’t living the out. When we live the out, the out dimension of worship flows naturally – both as we worship corporately and how we as visual worship leaders lead.

Last week I had the opportunity to lead some visual worship for just under a 100 teens at Hope Experience in Memphis. First, let me say, if you don’t know Paul Briney, you need to! Truly an example of a worship leader. Not someone who stands up to perform but someone who stands in front of a group of people broken and humbly pouring out his heart to lead others to worship freely from their hearts. That makes an incredible difference. If that isn’t happening, I’m not sure that what I put up on a screen is going to matter a whole lot. Leading and serving with Paul and all of the others involved was truly an honor. There were some incredibly powerful moments in worship but I wanted to share my top three. Moments that I look at and say “Thank you, Jesus! This is how it should all work together.” Moments where the music and the images on the screen become the backdrop and people are truly worshiping freely and with their whole hearts.

Moment #1:
Song: You are Here (Same Power) by Hillsong
Media: Christ in Me Longplay from worshipVJ
Context: The constant prayer for the week was “Christ, may you live in us. May we reflect your love. May you be glorified.” As we were serving the community, that was our focus – to share the hope that we have because Christ lives in us. We prayed it, we lived it, then we sang it and saw it on a screen. We worshiped.
Why it moved me: First, I simply LOVE this longplay. LOVE it! On this particular night we were worshiping and I looked at the three slides that were coming up and where the video was at. This was one of those God orchestrated moments where the words & the video timing matched up and I paused the video on this screen. Sure, the image wasn’t crystal clear & polished as a result but it fit. It worked with the mood and couldn’t be more perfect for the words. And we all worshiped – fully, freely, from our hearts.

Moment #2:
: God of this City by Bluetree
Media: Walking Street Sample (I think I got this for guessing the fact that Proctor didn’t like the use of Papyrus in Avatar:)) You can find a similar loop on the new Playback Drive though. As well as self created photo video.
Context: Serving the city of Memphis every day – taking Christ’s light to the darkness, His hope to the hopeless, & His peace to the restless. We lived it then we sang it and saw it on a screen.
Why it moved me: I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve sang that song. And on different occasions in different contexts and at different points in my personal journey it has had unique significance. But, last week I think tops them all. When you are spending your days serving a city like Memphis and you see the darkness and have the chance to bring Christ’s light & hope this song takes on a whole new meaning! We sang this on the last night of worship. Paul encouraged everyone to worship freely – some gathered together to pray, some wrote prayers on posters outside that had been filling up throughout the week, some reflected silently, and some sang their hearts out. During the last Chorus we cut the lyrics and put up some images from the week of the hope that had been given. Wow! Talk about out. Talk about brining it home. What a powerful moment to be singing “You, God, are the God of this city…you are the hope to the hopeless,” while looking at images of how He had used us to give hope to the city of Memphis that week.

Moment #3: Acoustic Worship
One night we turned it all off. Lights off. Candles. Very few background images – lots of white text on a black screen. Everyone seated in a semi circle surrounding the candles – not facing the worship leader. A guy and his guitar. It was beautiful. We sang many of the same songs we had sung throughout the rest of the week but it’s amazing what a different feel they take on when you curate a completely different worship environment. My favorite part about it was the set up. Paul came to me about two hours before worship and told me what the plan was. He pointed to a box of candles and said he wanted them put on a platform around the projector and then the chairs arranged in a semi circle. I asked what the platform was going to be. The answer: whatever you can find. What I could find were three bread crates/trays, two empty coolers, and a case of bottled water. Arrange these items and you get a platform with some height variety. Cover it all in a couple of black sheets and place the candles on top. Done.

Did I mention our screen for the week was a full size white sheet pinned and duck taped to the wall? And that we had to cover the to windows behind it with black garbage bags to kill the light? It was great!! Seriously, it all reminded me once again that the tools are only part of the equation. Having a full stage sized, professional, triple-wide screen can be great and a powerful tool in leading worship. But so can a simple projector on a simple white sheet pinned to the wall in a gathering room with terrible acoustics at a camp outside of Memphis. At the end of the day, it’s about the heart and the focus. Through the words that were spoken, the Scripture that was read, the songs that were sung, and the media that was used people’s attention was directed not only up and across but out. And really the three dimensions intersected because one amplified another. As Proctor likes to say, the screen became a window to the world, not simply a mirror. But I think in order for that to happen we first have to live it. Then, we can sing about it and see it on and through a screen while worshiping fully and freely from the heart in a whole new way.

#Pbhd Review

This box arrived on Friday with the beautiful Orange Thread Media logo and I was EXCITED to say the least. I’ll admit I was skeptical of the whole Playback Drive idea in the beginning – you can ask any of the guys involved, I shared my thoughts. But, I honestly believe it’s a valuable tool for churches and have now bought one myself. So, I thought I’d take a minute to share some of my thoughts on the content of the drive.

Note: If you’re looking for a more technical review of the Playback Drive check out this post from Chris Rouse or the Playback Drive website for specs. Yes, the tools are important, but my main concern with this post is the art. So, here we go.

I’ll say right away, if you are looking for a drive full of very literal content (waterfalls that are too good to be true, wooden crosses photoshopped onto a sunset background, a crowd full of fake looking worshipers with their hands raised in the air, etc) then the Playback Drive probably isn’t for you.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more artistic expressions of those very same concepts and ideas then the Playback Drive is most definitely for you!

There was a long period of time where I avoided using still images because they all looked the same. In my opinion, they looked computer generated and lacked an element of interest. The people at Awake Images and Thr-ve (also the minds behind Simple Backs) have redeemed the use of still imagery for me. And a ton of their content is included is included FREE as a BONUS on the drive! Visual Worshiper (Camron Ware) also has some great stills.

I can honestly say that I can see myself using most of the loops during a worship service. There are some I would probably never use not because they’re not good quality, but simply because they don’t fit the environment of my current church. But, there is a good variety of textures and colors included in the content which are great for setting different tones in a worship environment.

I had people ask me before I purchased the drive if I thought it would be a good resource. I can honestly say now that yes, I think it’s a great resource. However, I will say that you have to be ready to make the content work for your environment and that may mean stepping a bit outside of the comfort zone you’ve been in with regards to media. I know I’ve been guilty of underestimating people’s ability to understand what’s communicated visually and therefore thought I had to be as literal as possible with everything. I have come to learn the value of using visual media to set a tone or create a mood and trust that it will speak to people in different ways depending on their experiences and that’s okay.

Bottom line, the content on the Playback Drive is quality. And I believe it’s content that will push churches to a new level in regards to worship media. If your church isn’t there but you want to get there, buy the drive. If you are there but need new content to keep things fresh, get the drive.

Oh, and did I mention that you’ll get a new clip each month if you purchase the drive?

One more thing, if you want a closer look at some of the content for yourself and have 45 minutes to spare, check out this PBHD Guided Tour video from Stephen Proctor.