In the midst of it all, though—especially for those of you who volunteer at your chosen house of worship—remember that a large part of what you're doing this season is giving a gift. You give the gift of your time and effort year-round, but that gift is especially valuable during this hectic season. Yes, part of your job is to keep little Jenny's mother happy by getting the close-up as her daughter makes her two-line acting debut as an angel or a shepherd; but part of it is also to allow those in the audience to connect with the meaning of the season as told through the visuals, speeches, and songs that make up the most memorable of holiday seasons in our American calendar. Your job, done well, contributes directly to the air of wonder that your minister or worship team is attempting to convey, enhancing the emotional impact of the message.
The good news, too, is that you will probably get some rest . . . after the holiday season. But even during that hectic time, during that candlelight singing of "Silent Night," take a few seconds to pass the headset to someone else and connect with why you do what you do. Besides, it's too dark to get a good shot until all the candles are lit, so you've got at least 30 seconds to be introspective.
When you enter the new year, you'll also get a gift—courtesy of the editor of EventDV magazine. Encouraged by reader feedback, EventDV has chosen to make The Amen Corner a monthly column. Thank you for your support and interest in what we're doing. At this time of transition, let's briefly look back as we close out the introductory year of The Amen Corner, and then look forward to what next year will hold. In the first few columns, we discussed the similarities and differences between large houses of worship and small houses of worship. One of the first columns discussed a few basic guidelines, including these three bullets:
- If you're just starting out, go digital and go HD, since the cost of a consumer high-definition HDV camera is quite affordable.
- If money's tight, buy second-hand or second-generation technology, then use the cost savings to buy two of everything to avoid being stuck with obsolete gear and no way to repair it.
- When in doubt, buy more computing power and storage space, since tapes are not the best storage medium for periods of longer than three years.
We've looked at some of the challenges facing large houses of worship, including the need to have sizeable crews with camera operators, sound techs, graphics, and directorial staff. While everyone faces the challenges of "getting the shot," those in large houses of worship are under the microscope of real-time judgment by the congregants as the images are displayed on large monitors or projection screens.
We then explored the issues faced by the mid-sized houses of worship—those who have been using video for several years but don't have the full-scale implementations of larger houses. On the other end of the spectrum, we also looked at challenges facing small churches, and in the next year we'll continue to examine the personnel and time required if a small house of worship can afford the equipment. Taking the leap from audio to video is a step that any small church or synagogue would find daunting, but in more and more cases, it's also a necessary one.
What else will 2007 hold for The Amen Corner? The plan is to address three areas: new products that are of interest to readers from all houses of worship, reader-requested topics of interest that would also be widely applicable, and a new area—case studies. To get these stories going, I'd like to ask for video overviews of your house of worship's video team, describing the ministry you provide and including a short example of the kind of video work you typically do. Give me about three to five minutes on yourself and the team and 10 to 12 minutes of typical video work. Think of it as your house of worship's demo reel or portfolio, and don't forget to include pertinent equipment lists or diagrams on paper if applicable. For mailing info, drop me a line at the email address below, or contact EventDV's editorial staff.
In the meantime, happy holidays!