Thank You For Noticing!

A few days ago I received an email from a fellow staff member. And it may be one of the best emails I have ever received. The email only took him a few minutes to write and send, but it made a world of difference for me that day. It has been a long few weeks and long hours the last two. At times you wonder if anyone even notices the 16 hour days casino online adding up. But then I get an email like this and it helps more than you may ever know.

So thank you my dear friend!

Hey Mike,

I tried to find you earlier just to say how amazing the production team is.  So many days and nights in the past couple of weeks I have seen that team working feverishly to get everything up and running for the new campuses.  For me, it was eye opening just to see how important you guys are to help make things happen around here.  You all are often literally behind the scenes and you never stand up to say “look at us”.

I just want you to know how much respect I have for you guys for what you do day in and day out to meet deadlines, produce amazing videos, change sets, help the band, and on and on…..THANK YOU!!!!!!!

How the NFL Tells a Story

“Ultimately, when it comes down to it,” says Callahan, “everything that we’re trying to do is about telling a story, and giving the producers and directors the tools that they need to tell that story.”

Tomorrow I will post what I have written on how much the video below gives me goosebumps and inspiration for what I do each and every week at church. But right now I would love for you to watch a little behind the scenes of what it takes for FOX Sports to put on just ONE NFL game for LIVE television each weekend. Let this be inspiration church techs out there today (Sunday)!

PC3 Producer Materials

A few weeks ago I posted a photo on Twitter of the materials I use as the Producer at Port City Community Church. Many of you on Twitter asked for those documents as well as how they are used. Well over the last couple weeks I have stepped into the Producer roll quite a bit more on Sunday mornings here at PC3. Since stepping into the roll more often I have decided to put together a semi large list of worksheets & resources to aid me in the task. Below I will share with you the documents that I use each weekend I am producing. The first three are sheets I have created and I take care of. The last two are created by Nick Warkentien, one of our Production staff members each week. Nick is responsible for prepping our video team each weekend. I simply take the files he creates and put them in my notebook/clipboard. So lets begin:

Producer Master Checklist

This is my master checklist. Each airplane pilot has a list that he goes through before he takes off each time. I know everything on the checklist in my head by now. I can tell you each item without looking at it, yet I still pick it up each morning and evening and put a check beside each column every single weekend.

I have separated the Numbers document into separate areas that span weekday, pre-rehearsal, rehearsal, post-rehearsal & pre-service duties. I visually separate these so I am able to find my place on the sheet and I know exactly what I have not finished checking off. The key to this checklist is checking in with your team members and ask about each item. DO NOT assume they have been done! It is always good practice to double check by simply asking the team member. Double checking does not mean going behind someones back to see if they have finished. Ask them first then trust them.

I have created two seperate files here as well. One for the AM services and one for the PM services. You should have a separate checklist for each time you begin a new rehearsal. What I mean by that is we have a full rehearsal at 7:00 am for our 9:00 am & 11:00 am service blocks. We then begin another full rehearsal with a new team at 2:30 pm for our 4:00 pm & 6:00 pm service blocks. If you have the same set-up or have a Saturday night service you should have two separate checklist. I treat each block of services as a brand new day due to the fact we have an entire brand new team of volunteers entering the picture.

Producer Weekend Service Notes

Up next we have a simple Pages document that I put together to have a clean place to jot down both mistakes/fixes that need to be addressed between services as well as positives to right down. In the past I would write down on the back of a setlist I had or a random sheet of paper. This works just fine, but I felt I needed some type of formal object to write on so this is why I created the template. I have six subjects with simple bullet points blanks below each one.

The subjects are:

  • Video
  • Lighting
  • Audio
  • Stage Direction
  • Band
  • Welcome/Message

That is it for this document. Just remember… Don’t finish the day with only things to fix written down. Begin to write down positives in the blanks & pick up a Thank You card to send during the week.

Producer Weekly Content Checklist

This is another simple file that has been created. This one seems to not be needed along side Planning Center Online, but it helps me have a simple master sheet of what content is needed from our Media Team for the upcoming weekends service. The format is like that of the above document, but just modified to match the content materials we usually will see on a typical Sunday.

The subjects are:

  • Title Supers
  • Lower-thirds (announcements)
  • Walk In/Out Slide Additions
  • Additional Graphics (full screen)
  • Offering Transition Slide/Video
  • Videos

I use this sheet during the week and just put a simple check to the left of the item when it is completed and exported to the specific control room computer (CG#1 or CG#2).

Message Lower-third Notes

Once the communicator of the weekend sends his main points and scripture (Slides) over to Nick and myself, Nick takes their Keynote file and puts each slide into Pro Presenter 4. Once he finishes all the editing he then takes a 6-Up screen shot. We then turn that into a PDF and make printouts for the Producer, Director, AD & CG operators. We would like to export them straight from Pro Presenter 4, but the print format from PP4 does not export with our desired format. So by taking a screen shot this saves time on creating another Keynote file with the branding to match what we see on the screens. A simple time saver.

I have one single printout of this that I use all day. I take notes on mistakes or questions I may have regarding the order or points. I may move to printing multiple copies of this as well, but for now one copy seems to do just fine.

AD Video Notes

And the last main document that I use on Sunday as the Producer is the AD Video Notes. I personally do not reference this document to much expect to verify the order of the lyrics or misspelling. This document is key to our Director and AD working together. Here Nick has taken our rehearsal tracks from Wednesday night and printed out the lyrics from Pro Presenter 4 with the EXACT lyrics that will be sung on Sunday for each song.

He then opens the PDF in Preview and makes annotations with Preview where key band changes will happen such as a build, drop, E/G solo, instrumental, etc. He does this all in red. Nick then prints three copies of the notes. One for Producer, Director & AD and places them at their positions on Thursday. He then uploads the PDF with annotations to Planning Center Online where our Director downloads the Notes and adds a few additional notes after listening back himself while watching the “Lighting Run Through” video (more on this resource soon).

This is one of the main reasons our video team kills it each week is being prepared and on the same page. Our team of volunteers are incredible at preparing before stepping into action on Sunday!

That is currently the documents I use to help me lead at team of 40+ people (includes both service block & band) each weekend at Port City Community Church. I hope this has helped. Feel free to download the files and tweak them all you want to best fit your situation.