1,273 Days In The Life of Environmental Projection

It takes deliberate effort and well planned and executed content to redirect that production – to become an environment for worship.

1,273 Days In The Life of Environmental Projection
An example of environmental projection being used in the worship space at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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1,273 Days In The Life of Environmental Projection

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What You HAVE To Do and What You CAN’T Do

You have to commit … commit to doing your work. EP comes in all shapes and sizes and what is going to be the right choice for your building will take some effort to find.

You can hire someone like Cameron Ware at Visual Worshipper to get you started with implementing the technology, but you still need to understand how the gear will work on a weekly basis.

The system we use at Asbury Methodist has become (almost) ‘plug-n-play,’ meaning we put artwork into templates that are preshaped by the computer. This allows us to change the artwork very quickly without a huge amount of work for each new look. The daily time and effort needed to drive creative looks for your space is important to think through.

What you can’t do, though, is worship the technology. We enter the sanctuary to connect with the living God, not a great production.

There is an element of “show” in church, and it would be foolish to ignore that.

When you have thousands of dollars invested in lights and a PA system and you are standing on what looks very much like a stage, with people sitting in chairs looking at the stage, it is likely people will believe they are watching a show.

It takes deliberate effort and well planned and executed content to redirect that production – to become an environment for worship. One of the things we liked about the idea of EP before we even began using it, was that it transforms the whole space, not just the stage. The focus shifts from a singer on a stage to a room gathered together, in community, to worship together.

What You WANT To Do and What You CAN Do

Knowing what you want to do is critical to making and great idea work.

A great idea starts without the ability to know how to make it happen. When we started with EP at Asbury Methodist in 2014, we didn’t know what a great idea looked like. We created graphics based on what we knew about EP – that you should put a single image across all projectors. It took us about a year to figure out that this was not the best way for us to work with a 300 foot wide canvas!

It made more sense in our space to break the image into five parts and use each projector and space on the wall in unique ways that made sense for the surface that we were projecting onto.

More About Tim Ottley
Tim Ottley was born in Melbourne, Australia, and after growing up watching friends play rock music and share Jesus in the bars and clubs of Sydney, he moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 1995 to be a rock star. That dream did not come to fruition, but he then started working for record labels and local touring bands, beginning with P.O.D. in 1999 as their first touring manager. Tim would eventually find himself in Tulsa, Okla., and by 2010, he moved into a position at Asbury United Methodist Church, working with audio, video and lightning. Over the last two years, Asbury has made significant changes to services and sanctuary space, including the installation of the largest Environmental Projection system in a church in the United States.
Get in Touch: tottley@asburytulsa.org    More by Tim Ottley

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.

Article Topics

Technology · Projection · Visual Arts · Environmental Projection · Congregation · Environment · Environmental Projection · Production · Projectors · Sanctuary · All Topics

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