Here’s just a quick look behind the scenes with our Drummer Boy video capture. Since we had 8 Christmas services over the course of the week, we made little adjustments each and every time we did it. The video below is our 6th service, so we even made tweaks after this video for our last two services. We had a little over 126 lighting cues automated to the song so it hit perfect timing. Anyway, thought you may enjoy taking a look behind the curtain.
At Milestone, we had our big Christmas services the week of Christmas: 8 Services at our Main Keller location. Because of so many services, everything we did needed to be repeatable easily and reliably. For a couple months we had planned to do Drummer Boy at the top of service. With the shear number of Drums, people on stage, microphones, in ears, etc, it made the most sense to do this at the top of service so we could set the stage and double check all of the audio inputs and in ears. So that was our plan!
However, if any of you have worked in church long enough, you know things never go as planned. Our first Christmas service was on Wednesday night, and on Monday at 5pm, our team had made the decision to move Drummer boy to the middle of service. Immediately we went into sort of a panic mode of how do we pull this off. We didn’t want to cut any corners. We wanted to mic everything correctly and we didn’t want to fake anything. So we came up with this – The Drum Sled (TM- haha).
Now these pictures were taken after the fact and after we had returned our snares, so the cables and such are a bit nasty. But essentially, we cut a piece of plywood, and pre-placed each drummer station with the drums they needed, the microphones in the correct place, and in ear cables in the right spot. Some of the drums were heavy, so we put the sleds on furniture casters (since we have carpet – we call them “moving men”), and attached a piece of rope through some eyebolts to be able to easily pull the drums on and off stage. This enabled us to load in stage, patch in mics and in-ears in under one minute (under the cover of a video), and clear the stage in under 30 seconds.
The other thing you’ll notice is that marked back stage with bright neon green gaff tape. This is small, but super important. Go get some bright neon gaff tape for backstage organization. With so many things coming on and off stage over so many services, we needed to dedicate back stage space for functionality and for safety.
Last minute changes always come up, no matter what church you serve or work at, and no matter how good your team is at pre-planning. The trick is to be flexible, and always be willing to come up with solutions. Those are the type of team members you want. And our team knocked it out of the park with a simple idea to solve the problem.
One of the easiest things for church teams to do is to finish a weekend or an event and move on quickly to the next weekend or event without reviewing or examining what just happened. I’ll be the first to admit that there are certain busy seasons, *insert Christmas season here*, that the pace of events outpaces our ability to slow down and review how everything looked and felt.
I found myself the other night looking back at some of the videos we had captured from our Christmas services. A month or so later, fully out of the Christmas mode, and out of the moment of the night, gives you a great honest perspective of how things looked and felt. Not only that, but how did we communicate as a team? To be honest, there’s a lot of notes I took. There’s a lot of things we need to still work on. But one of the big things I took away was compliments for some of our team members. How far one of our video directors has come. How awesome our camera guys did that night. How, even with all the last minute changes behind the scenes, our team knocked it out of the park. In your reviews, take note of what you need to work on for sure! That’s how we get better. But take the time to brag on your team and what they did well.