MANDEVILLE, LA – Much has been written about how the trend toward online and virtual options that was already taking place before the pandemic accelerated mightily in 2020. Church of the King, a dynamic house of worship outside New Orleans, provides vivid proof of this phenomena in action.
Prior to the coronavirus, well over 7,000 people were attending services every weekend at Church of the King, as they had been for years. But recently, a growing number of additional worshippers were also connecting to the multi-campus house of worship via livestreams.
As a growing number of its congregants turned to the internet during the lockdown, the church decided to make its services more camera-friendly without detracting from the in-person experience. This March, Church of the King achieved this goal when it completed a lighting upgrade that featured CHAUVET Professional LED fixtures.
“Our goal when upgrading the lighting rig was to create a really good, colorful and engaging fill in background for our online broadcasts,’ said Phillip Braddock lighting and central support director at Church of the King. “For some time now, we’ve seen a growing interest in our broadcasts, so we wanted to improve the look and experience for online worshippers.”
In addition to seeking to provide realistic and vividly colored backgrounds, the church wanted any lighting upgrade it did to add to its design flexibility, according to Braddock. “This was critically important,” he said. “We really wanted be able to fill camera shots with a wide variety of interesting dynamics that enhanced the online experience while also complementing the in-room looks as well.”
Church of the King got what it was looking for by adding 16 COLORado 1-Tri Tour and 6 COLORado Batten 72 fixtures. Spaced evenly along a 12-foot upstage pipe, the par fixtures are used to fill out the black space on the set, in addition to serving as “heavy backlights” that allow the musicians on stage to stand out more vividly on camera and to the live audience.
The batten units are arranged on the deck to the left and right of the main set to fill out the outer edges. “We don’t want black space on camera unless it’s by design,” said Braddock. “The color that the COLORados add to the edges is like a cherry on top of the sundae — it finishes things off very nicely.”
Color is an essential part of Braddock’s design philosophy, being used to set moods on stage and convey changes in looks. “Typically, when we begin the process of designing, we will usually start in the cool spectrum-usually blues and purples,” he said. “Lately though, we have been going more towards bright and warm colors to convey the message.”
For Braddock, one of the best things about the upgraded lighting rig at Church of the King is the flexibility it gives him to execute these types of changes. “I really enjoy it now, being able to create the diverse range of looks,” he said. “By doing so, we can enhance our online and in-person experience to a great degree.”
As for in-person worship, people continue to flock to Church of the King to partake of it, especially now that lockdown restrictions have eased. But those who choose to connect to the church on line are finding the experience more enriching than ever thanks in part to a carefully planned and executed lighting upgrade.