Video at Journey

I’ve been posting a lot of catch-up posts from my old blog lately, but today I want to post on video at Journey Church partly in hopes of showing others what we do, but also hoping some of you out there have suggestions on ways to improve it, streamline it, and make it more volunteer-friendly.

I’ll start with filming. We use a Canon XL-H1 to record our video of the Saturday evening service at Northeast Campus (Tech specs: we use HDV 1080i60 – 60 frames per second interlaced). (Side note: HDV is different from HD because, as far as I can tell, it records 1440×1080 pixels instead of 1920×1080. To make it a wide-screen size, however, it stretches the pixels – instead of square they are anamorphic.) The XL-H1 is equipped with a Focus Enhancements Firestore FS-C DTE Recorder (Tech specs: 60 GB Firewire 400 with an awesome battery!), which records our video straight to hard drive. We record in Sync mode, which allows us to record a backup to DV tape as well. (Tech specs: we set manual focus and white balance every week, our gain is 0, our shutter speed is 1/100, and our iris is whatever brings the light meter to the center). 

Next, post-production. We plug our Firestore drive into our Mac Pro (Tech specs: 2×2.8 Ghz Quad-core Intel Xeon with 8 GB running Leopard) and copy over the captured files. We then add them to Final Cut Studio 2, add in lower thirds, add a flicker filter for our backlit scrim, normalize our audio, add in videos we used that service (intro video, etc.), and export the raw video. We then copy that and the ProPresenter schedule for the weekend over to the iMac from the Northwest Campus and leave that for the Campus Pastor (Paul Crouthamel) to pick up the next morning. As a backup, we also export a DVD (through VisualHub) of the service and leave it with the iMac.

Finally, we post to the web a Quicktime export of the raw file (Tech specs: we export in H.264 1280×720, 3000 kbps multi-pass with 128 kbps audio) and upload to Vimeo. We link to that from our sermons page.

Hope this post makes you feel more knowledgeable. This whole setup has been a major learning curve for me and everyone else involved, but I think we’re starting to get the hang of it. If this sounds like something you’d like to do (and you go to Journey), drop me an email and let me know. Feel free to ask questions or offer suggestions here or through email. I’m always game for talking about this stuff!

New Website

Journey now has a new web site. I flipped the switch on it yesterday afternoon at 5:12pm, and it looks to have trickled through the big internet DNS servers by now. We’re now using Google Apps as our email solution, and eventually I need to introduce the staff to the rest of the benefits of Apps, but as for now, it’s just our email solution.

Edit: We’re using Vimeo for our video solution. Works great, and even support HD!

Lighting

Today at Journey we had two Source IV lights installed. This is in addition to all of our current light, which is all LED. We now have two Source IVs, 8 white & amber LEDs (non-moving), 4 moving head RGB LEDs, and 1 RGB LED (non-moving). We also backlight some scrim, but still aren’t backlighting (or uplighting) the pastor. We’re definitely moving in the right direction with lighting for video – especially thinking through what this means as we launch video-driven campuses all across Raleigh to reach people for Christ!

Edit: I’ve been informed by Alex that “We actually have 6 RGB Moving-Head LED’s and 5 Stationary RGB LED’s in addition to the other lights you mentioned. They are hiding behind of the scrim and on the floor.” Just so you know.