This week I had the chance to help with lighting and song words with a big event in Manchester. The event was the Northern Women’s Convention and it had around a thousand delegates. We were to provide the lighting, the cameras and the song words while another company did the sound. OmniVision has a big bus that has been converted with lots of television equipment inside. We took this bus down to Manchester and set it up outside the hall. I have set up similar equipment in my time on the ship so I was able to jump right in and set up all the lighting equipment on the set up day. This took a lot of the pressure off the person in charge of set-up. We worked until late in the night finishing everything off. I also helped set up some TVs on the stage so the worship team could read the lyrics.
The event went for the whole day on Saturday. My job was to choose appropriate background video loops to put behind the song words and to put up slides. Someone else did the actual song words. I was really happy to be a part of the programme and to see what they do in the bus. During one of the breaks I was allowed to have a play with one of the cameras so the video director could see if I was any good. I think I did OK at it. Live Audio/Visual has always been a passion of mine, and it was a huge blessing first to be able to be a part of AV on the ship for two years, and before that in church for a long time and now to experience it on a larger scale here in England. I would really like to return here to do this some more.
God sometimes does special things just to encourage you. this week I was able once more before I leave the ship to participate (doing av for) my favourite school program The Greatest Treasure. The cast was made entirely of people who joined at the same time that I didover two years ago and they put their all into their final performance before they hand over the baton to newer actors. I thoroughly enjoyed to push the buttons that make the sound effects and lighting sequences that make it such a mind blowing experience for the kids.
From the first moment that I considered serving on board the Logos Hope I have had Audio Visual (also known as Production) in mind. It is a passion of mine to see a message communicated and a time of worship facilitated without distraction and with the utmost clarity and cultural relevance using the technology available to me. To me this means to have microphones on at the right times, no feedback ever, song words always up on screen before you start singing them and clear recording. I have really enjoyed managing production for Grace Community Baptist for a number of years and I pray that it would continue to advance in quality in my absence, but in my heart I desired something bigger, something where my skills would be challenged and where I would learn new things. I have certainly found that here.
We have two main venues on Logos Hope, the Logos Lounge and the Hope theater. The Logos Lounge is our meeting place for internal events for the crew such as the Sunday worship service, worship night, prayer night, port praise and more. This venue has a slightly raised stage and a ceiling around 2.5 meters high. We have two large rear-projection screens either side of the stage and 8 LCD televisions coming from the roof to make sure people can see what is on the screen. We have also 2 main speakers and 8 delay speakers accompanying the televisions so everyone can hear properly. In the Logos Lounge, sound is absorbed heavily by the surrounding surfaces such as carpet, curtains and soft ceiling. We also have 2 huge sub woofers. To help people to see what is happening on stage, we have 3 dome cameras mounted in the ceiling which are remotely controlled from a room at the back. For audio mixing we have a Yamaha ls9 digital mixer which contains all the effects units and signal processors you could ever need. My aim is to learn everything about the technology that I am using and I have been making good headway so far.
The hope theater is an absolutely amazing space for events for the public. It is two decks high so there is plenty of space for a decent stage and some very nice lighting equipment. So in addition to the same lighting desk and some slightly bigger speakers we also have 5 Mac 250 wash and 5 Mac 250 kryptons (which are moving head lights), a number of profiles and fresnels and two massive UV spotlights for UV dramas. The venue may need up to 10 AV people for large events.
This week I had the privilege of doing lighting for a youth event for local youth. It was an amazing experience and it was fantastic to work with such talented people and amazing equipment. I really enjoyed operating the lighting desk and building the atmosphere for the event. I look forward to doing more big events like this in the future.