Our Top 5 Posts of February
Sat Mar 08, 2014
Resurgence Roundup, 3/7/14
Fri Mar 07, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 5: Rally Your Troops
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
The 4 Pillars of Pastoral Work
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
10 Ideas For Keeping Lent
Wed Mar 05, 2014
by Winfield Bevins
Making the Peasant Princess: Insights into a Mars Hill Sermon Series Part 2
Illustrations to Animations
We asked Mars Hill member Royden Lepp (roydenlepp.blogspot.com) to provide illustrations of the unnamed woman and the representations of the metaphors Solomon employs in SOS.
These were done in pencil on paper (Check out Royden’s books).
These illustrations were then brilliantly colored by Deacon Patrick Mahoney (www.themahoney.com). Patrick is responsible for most of the major art and design aesthetics for MH and has been on staff for 2 years. Now the characters were ready for animations and we had all of 4 days until deadline. Deacon-in-Training Andy Maier wanted to create a new look for the animations, but because of the impossible deadline he created them with Adobe After Effects in the same static, 2D style he and the team did with the Doctrine Intro (http://www.marshillchurch.org/search/results?q=doctrine).
Deacon Sam Stewart created the musical score for the intro to the sermon. Sam, following the same guidelines of Vegas 2050 meets Disney meets Mars Hill, wrote this piece of music specifically for the series intro. Sam struggled with the 'Disney' aspect and the result was 13 unsuccessful attempts before coming up with the winner. He was striving for something that “people could really bump their heads to”. He asked that I mention his efforts to EQ the bass so that anyone with a decent car stereo system could probably bounce quarters on their trunk!
LED Stage Design
The LED wall employed as the stage back drop was loaned to us by a MH member. It functions like a giant computer monitor and you can send images and video to its brain which then addresses each individual LED (roughly 6,500 in number). The cross, pulpit, and TV frame set pieces were hand-made and wired by Deacon John Clem (John’s wife Candice was bored one Saturday and came into work with him to work on the set. After a quick tutorial she did all the wiring for the cross panels). These set pieces are comprised of many RGB LEDs that are each fed from a DMX controller connected to the lighting board. Each set piece is capable of displaying any of over 200,000 different colors. The LEDs in the set pieces are flex-strip LEDs and are little SMDS (surface mounted devices) on a 5-meter strand that can be cut and still remain operational every 10cm. The cross is the most intricate piece. Each panel is a 1-foot square with 6 RGB LEDs and has a power/dmx input and output allowing for further use/expansion (For future projects on stage or in the studio we could make each panel a different color, cycle colors up and down the cross, or take individual panels and use them as accent lighting).
The way that we do Q&A at the services created a lot of media attention and email traffic from organizations asking about the technical details. The technical how-to is listed below, but the why is what attracts me as a pastor to the medium. This series, we have opened up the Q&A segments to each of the 7 campuses that are synced up at the 9am, 11:15am and 5pm services. Pastor Mark and his wife Grace are fielding the questions together. After deleting the “stump the Pastor” or hypothetical questions and the frequent off topic questions, we are left with very real, candid questions that an open microphone setup would discourage. There is a false anonymity that Text Message Q&A provides. I say “false” because each message includes the sender’s phone number (allowing pastoral follow-up via phone), yet the ability to send a question up to the pulpit without self-indentifying encourages a brazenness that makes answering 160 character questions exciting and most helpful. To provide this service to the church we use a company called Mobile Marketing (www.mobivity.com). They charge us a minimal monthly fee, which includes 1000 incoming text messages and 1 "keyword". We can rent additional keywords for an extra monthly charge. Each keyword is customizable to allow for different responses for each keyword. When someone sends in a message, they get a custom response back thanking them for submitting their question and participating in the sermon. After the question is sent in, it can be forwarded to an email account or cell phone for review. We have it setup so that each question goes to my email box. I review the questions to present to Pastor Mark & Grace, and enter them in a spreadsheet located on our Character Generator, which is a Chyron Lex2. The software that the Chyron uses, called Lyric, is set up so that we recall a slide linked to a cell in the spreadsheet. When one of the slides is called up it pulls the question from the right cell in the spreadsheet, and that goes to the TV on stage with Pastor Mark. For more info on SMS Q&A check out this blog by Pastor Jamie Munson.
During a team meeting, Deacon Jesse Bryan joked about how cool it would be to have a whac-a-mole game created for the series based on Song of Songs 2:15. MH volunteer and animator Tom DesLongchamp chimed in that he could take the images and create the first ever Mars Hill Church video game! My high score is 34 points.