One of the things I first noticed when joining the team at Highlands was the constant desire to get better. It’s almost incessant. Every person, in every department, constantly looks for ways to get better, and takes action to improve. The creative department is no exception.
One area that we have spent time evaluating this year is how we tell the story of our services through IMAG. “IMAG” is an abbreviation for Image Magnification, so for the screens in our worship environments, we have to decide how to best capture the band and pastors for an in-house audience as well as for those watching at the other campuses and those watching online.
If you were to ask ten different live video directors their opinions on IMAG you might get…well, many opinions. However, one thing that is universally accepted about IMAG is that you never want anything on the IMAG screens to be smaller than it really is on stage. This defeats the purpose of IMAG, and it makes things even harder to see for that single mom in the back who came in late because she was checking her four-year-old into Highlands Kids. We want her experience to be just as engaging and rich as the folks on the front row, and IMAG helps us do that.
Something we have recently changed is who on stage we focus on with camera shots. Until about a month ago, we would highlight all of the singers on stage. We typically have a worship leader and four to five others singing with him/her. We noticed that switching off of the person leading worship tended to disengage the viewer (whether live or online) from the worship leader, almost causing a distraction in worship. Now, we highlight the worship leader at all times with shots of musicians and backup singers showing up less frequently. Like anything new, it took us a few weeks to get used to it, but it has made for a more dynamic IMAG experience for everyone.
The name of the game around here is figuring out what works and finding ways to do it better.