After one thousand miles of driving, two nights away, and three live-streamed services, I get a chance to tidy away the AV equipment. It’s been a busy Holy Week.
It started with an ordination two-hundred miles away, in a church with no internet connection, but fortunately a strong cell phone signal. I tethered my cell phone to my laptop to live stream the service. Did I mention that the church PA wasn’t reliable? I ended up taping a couple of wireless lavalier mics to the rail for sound.
Unlike a lot of the churches, when it comes to live streaming services I don’t get to do this every week, so I get to learn a lot every time I do this. And in a church that’s not set up to do live streaming, working conditions can be interesting!
Next was a service involving four bishops at the cathedral. For that I had the cathedral’s regular live-streaming crew to work with. They normally use a single static camera, but for this service, I was asked to provide two cameras. We went for one static camera aimed at the sanctuary, and then I manned another which I attempted to point in the appropriate direction when needed.
Then finally there was the Great Vigil of Easter, again at the cathedral, and for that, we got really adventurous and took one camera (a big shoulder-carried news-service camera) outside for the lighting of the Paschal Candle. Once that was over it was stuck on its tripod and my job was to keep checking everything and point the other camera at the celebrants. Such are the duties of a Communications Director.
The Easter Vigil is my favorite service, and it was fantastic to be able to watch it live – there were six of us in the nave; my colleagues doing all the work on the sound and video mixers, a lector, the assistant organist, and the sacristan. I even appeared in the video taking communion for the first time in over a year.
The live video elements are just a small part of the work involved. There is the promotional artwork to be produced, social media, captions, video editing, — we had five recorded readings at the Easter Vigil — planning, meetings, calls, and last-minute changes. There are always last-minute changes! But it’s all great fun, and I couldn’t have done it without all the help I had. By the end of the week, I was tired, and I was only doing three services. Many churches were running one or two a day through Holy Week. Oh boy.
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