Live TV Directing

Over the years I've put up examples of video projects I've put together, whether they were things I was proud of or things I found particularly interesting, and occasionally things I hated that I couldn't believe I'd had to make. And making projects like those are the vast majority of what my job entails, so those are the things I put all my effort into.

But that's really only part of my job. On Sunday mornings, it's my responsibility to direct the cameramen and cut together the live feed that goes to the screen - it's called directing to IMAG, which stands for image magnification.

Now, most of this is pretty staid and it's rare that I direct something that I'm proud enough of to hang on to, but this Christmas I had a pretty good opportunity to direct with a little more flair - our annual Christmas show. Every year we drag our crane out of storage and haul some cameras over from our other sanctuary, and now that our other director has been tapped to work full-time in our other service, this year the directing duties landed on me. I'd never gotten the opportunity to direct more than four cameras before, so it was exciting to go to do prep work on the show - going to rehearsals, listening to the CD, prepping the videos to roll during the show, marking up the sheet music with notes. I actually had a music teacher come in to read the sheet music and cue me off my notes while I was directing. It was quite a production. Unbeknownst to me, one of the pastors wandered into the control room while I was working and stood in the back. He found me later that night and said "I just have to say, I gained so much respect for you tonight - there were cameras going everywhere, and you were shouting orders, and I had no idea what you were doing!" And if that sounds a little self-gratifying in print, you should understand that the pastor's tone made it sound a bit like "I had marginal respect for you before, but this convinced me you actually have some sort of value."

Weirdly, this past Christmas show really raised my profile within our church, which I wouldn't have predicted, but it definitely did. It's ironic because I put so much work into the 3-D film we did this fall, and a lot of the backhanded compliments I got afterwards made me realize that the film had lowered a lot of people's opinion of me more than anything. So it was nice to win back some measure of respect.

Anyway, here's a couple clips from the show which are worth checking out - though, it being past Christmas and into that "if I see anything Christmasy in the next six months, I'll just ralph" time of year. So I'll understand if you don't. But either way, here they are. The first is the piece I'm most proud of.

Make sure to play in high quality: as the video starts to play, click "HQ" on the bottom-right corner of the viewer.

The second is the clip you'll probably enjoy most - the combined kids/adults choir (the kids are adorable):

And the last is the clip that'll tell you the most about our church - it features Elvis, a crying cowboy, an opera singer, and chiquita dancers. Featuring, by the way, Claire's mom as one of the chiquita dancers: