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Discussion With Larry - I...ant consierdations_V2.mp4

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Thanks again Larry for joining us as we continue our discussion about how the producer and the technical coordinator work together on the GLS. It's important that we keep in mind that the hard part has already been done. Right? The content and the speakers have been carefully selected. It's a time-consuming process vetting these speakers. Their content has been carefully written and crafted and rehearsed and then delivered to the live audience. That's recorded and it's transcribed. It's translated and distributed around the world so that by the time the content actually gets to the GLS site, it's really kind of just a matter of tipping the ball into the goal in a manner of speaking. Right? We just have to kind of get out of the way of this content that's been curated for us. And so when you look at it from that perspective, what we're being asked to do is almost the easiest part of all. Now that's not to minimize the role. And there's certainly a lot that goes into it. And that's a big part of why we have so much that we want to try to cover. But it kind of brings us to the point of when we're talking about our three values, why is our first value great video and sound? Well quite frankly it's the biggest need that we have when the content's already being delivered and there's a two-day event that already exists as far as video files are concerned with translated content. Well, we have to be able to display that in such a way that our audience will be fully engaged and that they'll be attentive and focused on that content for two days. But then the distinctive of the GLS, of course, as opposed to just distributing content on a podcast or making these audio files available to people, the distinctive is that we add meaningful facilitation so that teams can have time to discuss and can work through this content together. And then adding engaging worship then is sort of the third bucket that really pushes this event over the top. It's an interdenominational convergence of people from all over your city or your region, and they've got an opportunity that they might not ordinarily have to come together and experience this content together as a team and with a lot of dissimilar people from a lot of different walks brought together. And so then the charge, of course—we talked about this a lot—is to be able to execute all three of those buckets and make that experience distraction-free. And so that's a big part of how we have to be able to work together. If our goal is to create life change in the audience, then we have some things we have to figure out as far as where do we start and then how do we partner together to make this event happen? Larry with all that in mind, what's the first thing then from a producer's perspective that you're looking at when you start the planning process? First thing I want to do is I want to see the room. I want to know what space is going to be used for this, and are there any issues we need to mitigate? You know, we talked about distraction. I'm just going to move to the other side of the pole for a second of attraction. We want to create an environment so attractive that people are seized by that message and by the worship and by the facilitation so that it's not distractive, so people aren't kind of wondering what's next, what's going on? And those two polar opposite words are very important to have a handle on. So when I walk into a room, I'm looking at the size of it. I'm looking at sight lines. I'm looking at ambient light. I'm looking—if things are already set up—I'm looking at the size of the screen and the position of it. Everything that you will do, I do not because I don't trust you but it's because it's just habit. It's like, I think, the check and balance of us. And many producers kind of leave it for the technical director to do. But having a second set of eyes and a second set of ears in the room, listening for hot spots in the audio, things like that, are extremely important and a value for both of us. Yeah, and I would say one of the things that we might do in a walk through is sit in some of the seats. Depending on how many people we're expecting, are we going to use the balcony? Are we going to use the wings? If we're going to use the balcony, then does that change the height and the size of the screen? If we're going to use the wings, do we need to consider what are the viewing perspectives? Or are there seats that need to be stantioned or roped off, areas that need to be off limits to the audience? And then certainly figuring out, okay, well what's the size of the screen? What's that going to look like as we sit in the audience? Where's the projector going to live, and what kind of lens? And then I start to go through a technical checklist of how this is all going to work. But we've been in rooms where even just keeping the audio centered, right? Is the audio system a center cluster or is it a left and right system that the audio's going to come from the right direction? It's going to be distraction-free without problems with feedback. Sometimes in some facilities you actually see audio systems that are improperly designed. And that tends to lead to fatigue over a couple of days. Certainly also from a technical perspective, what light needs to be controlled? And we talk about this in several of the other videos as well. But controlling that light so that the focus remains on that big bright center screen. So I think it's a great place to start. Then we move on from there to how are we going to use our time as we— there's obviously a pre-planning process as we pull the team together, as we make arrangements to receive and view the content itself, as we start working with the host, the facilitator, the worship band. But then the week of the GLS itself starts to become very important to make sure that we have the room reserved in advance, but not just a few hours in advance. Right? I mean, some people are caught by surprise with the fact that we need that space several days in advance. Time to set up, time to have rehearsals. Even if we back the bus up a little bit more when we're recruiting our teams, we need to make sure that they have scheduled time open or blocked for rehearsals and for dress rehearsals definitely just before the GLS in that space. We're going to perform how we practice, and we want to do that with the equipment, with the people that are involved in it, and do as much of a live representation of what will happen on day one as we can beforehand to prepare us so we're very confident and competent on all levels from a tech side and also from a performance side. What do rehearsals—you and I are both in the same boat where when we travel to different countries, we start talking about rehearsals. And sometimes that a strange concept in some cultures, and I understand that and I understand why. But at the same time when we talk about the values, we talk about honoring our guests who are there to experience life change, that rehearsal becomes insanely important to the process. Yes it does. And it's kind of—it's interesting because we'll come back to that honor or excellence— those two values collide here because if we kind of just show up and do our thing, we may be okay, but we don't know until we've really practiced. How many times have you sat in an audience and had the wrong lyrics go up for a worship song? That's a distraction. That takes me out of the moment. Or the audio cue doesn't come up, and somebody's tapping on the microphone going, "Is this on? Is this on?" That stuff can be fixed with rehearsals so we know where we're walking on, how long it's going to even take. Some stages are huge so we've got to allow extra time. And how are we going to fill that space? Is it going to be dead air? Are we going to have a little piano music going? We want to make sure that people are not disconnecting because of empty space or blackness of either audio or lighting. Those are key issues I look for all the time when I'm traveling with the conference. It's like how have we knit the fabric together so it all fits together as one and it doesn't leave a lot of holes or gaping holes? One of my favorite stories is of a facilitator that is sitting in the back row doing some other work during a talk, and the talk ends. The facilitator is nowhere to be found, and all of a sudden you hear this clop, clop, clop, clop, clop, clop, clop, clop. It's black onstage. There's nobody there. People are milling, looking around, wondering what's going on. And finally the facilitator comes up on the stage. Now, that message was probably forgotten in those 10 seconds, 15, 20 seconds it took him to get all the way up on top of the stage. If we practiced that or he had a producer or a stage hand working with that person so the cuing could happen to happen naturally on the end, that's person's right in and it's tight not to be slick, not to be hyperprofessional, but to not leave space for people to disconnect from what's just happened before. Great Larry, so I'm going to throw out a handful of, I think, important considerations as the producer and the technical coordinator have to work together on a number of different things. Tell me first, what does it mean that this is a Willow Creek Association event, not a host church event? Well, first thing that comes to mind is it's something almost neutral because it's not coming to my church to hear my message. It's a community coming in a collective—multi-denominational people, businessmen feel free to come and be a part of, which is so cool because there's this connectivity that transcends the local host, and we get to be a part of that. So the GLS is kind of a broader umbrella that is a drawing point. And we just need to realize that. That's great. Real-time communication. What does that mean to you? We need to be able to engage our team. You mentioned earlier the ability to cue the facilitator as we're getting close, things like that. What does that mean to a producer? The world, all the world to me. That there's clear communication. Technically you can address how do you do that technically, but the importance of being able to be in touch with the key individuals and that they're in the room and not shopping, taking a break or taking a nap or something. I've had all those happen. But to be in the room and present with what God is doing will be reflected by the person who is going onstage. And whether that's the band or the facilitator or even the person who's doing announcements, hopefully they will pay attention to the air in the room or what's happened before them so they can follow it and they're not coming like a channel change to it. That's good. Speaking of potential distractions, what kind of conversation do you have with the band, anybody who's going to be onstage with regards to their appearance? That's a good one because in some cultures, the band dresses very loud and bright. Some cultures are all dark. I would suggest that you don't want to be such a standout, especially the leader of the band or the worship, that it distracts. It takes our eyes and our hearts off of God. Maybe it's the form of dress or the shortness of the dress. You know, you go that's not a place for this. We really want to keep our attention on worship and who we're worshiping and not the experience in the room. The best team that I know of is almost transparent. And they lead me well to the foot of the cross. So but I also say they're professional. They come on. They're quiet. Speaking of distractions, dropping an instrument or walking around trying to figure out how to plug their microphone back in or the jack for the guitar, those are all things that we want to think through ahead of time so that even the band doesn't throw a distraction out. What's your perspective on open mikes, passing a mike during facilitation, letting someone bring a word? I don't know if this translates but Pandora's Box comes to my mind. You open it up and you have no control. And you've lost control. Anybody could say anything on the mike. One of the suggestions—I mean, I'm not against open mike, but I like to have a stagehand there with the microphone holding it. I never give the mike away. Inviting somebody on stage and giving them a microphone and then maybe the person walks away and just gives them the stage will let everything loose because you don't know how long they're going to talk, what they're going to say. You've just given away the ballgame through my eyes. So I would not recommend doing an unattended open mike at all. If it's well led it works well but it has risks. Good point. What about the need to make the call on making an adjustment with regards to a start time, a situation arises and an announcement needs to be made or there's something that now we have to address that has kind changed the situation. That could be any number of things. It could be an emergency situation. It could be really bad traffic or delayed transit to the point where someone has to make that call. How do we determine who that person is and what does that scene look like? Yeah that in my opinion and in my practice it falls on my shoulders. As an executive producer of an event, I have to make that call. But I don't do it in a vacuum. Internationally I'd work with an organizing committee or the committee member. We've had to pause everything and punt and do something completely different because we had no electricity. We're trying to find a working generator to make the event start again. And so we get our heads together, and that's where you want to have a good team around you that can flex and move. The second piece of that is making that call. You have to tell everybody who's influenced or impacted by that call before you make the official call. So the event manager would know about it, the tech director would know about it, a tech would let their people know. I'd let the worship team know. Just try to figure out this ripple effect of that decision, who is touched by that and make sure that they're involved. Either if they need to have a voice in it let them have a voice in it. If not, let them know of the decision before you roll it out so nobody's surprised and we can continue to figure out the new plan. And that happens regularly. Well, are there any other big considerations, anything that you know this is something that's going to take a little bit of my time, some coaching, some steering, some tweaking? When you get to a GLS site, what are you looking for? I'm looking for the site to be prepared is probably my biggest concern on both levels of technical side and then also on a performance side, anything that happens on the stage communicating out to the audience. So that's the first thing I look for. Is the screen looking good? Is it functioning? How does it look? Is it pixelated? Is it not in focus? The coloring? I look for all that. I listen for the sound. I check in for graphics to make sure things are loaded in and that we're ready to rehearse those and try those out. On a presentation side, I'm hopefully in contact with the worship leader before I even show up so I know they've had rehearsals. I'm a proponent of everything memorized so that your face is not in a stand or in the music but you're connected with your guests and to God physically and visually. So I'm looking for those things. I'm looking to see if a rehearsal schedule is in place. Those three key things are extremely important. Once I know those things are going, even a poor rehearsal I can handle because we're rehearsing. We have time to fix things and put things together and shape it before we actually open the doors for the conference. Excellent. >> Thank you. >> Thanks again Larry. I appreciate your time. Thanks David.

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Posted by: 1lmedia on May 4, 2017

Discussion With Larry - I...ant consierdations_V2.mp4

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