As the way we display video, and the technology we use will continue to evolve, I feel that projection is an excellent option for many applications even beyond a traditional video playback system. Let let me give you a few creative ways that projection can be used.
Environmental Projection (EP) can have a huge impact on your weekend worship experiences by changing the aesthetic of your worship space. Rather than just projecting on a screen for lyric, video playback, or IMAG purposes, you simply use projectors to project video or still images onto the walls of your building. This means your space could be a blank canvas for creating an immersive visual experience.
Simple shapes, materials, and texture can be transformed into inspiring set pieces that will enhance your worship environment.
As EP doesn't always require the high resolution or brightness of traditional image projection, a simple EP system can be relatively inexpensive to implement. Smaller and less expensive projectors can often be used to accomplish beautiful environmental designs. I've even seen environmental projection done with equipment that was repurposed from previous projects.
Though you may not have the space to project large environmental projection images, you can achieve great results by mapping video onto different surfaces on stage or within your space. By using common materials found at most building supply stores, you can build interesting shapes and surfaces that images can be mapped onto. Simple shapes, materials, and texture can be transformed into inspiring set pieces that will enhance your worship environment. Once your set has been designed, it's then easy to alter the entire look by just changing the projected images.
Also, there are great miscellaneous uses for projection. Last year, we decided we should have a screen specifically for lyrics flown upstage-center. A small video wall using LED panels was our first choice for this project, but we had not budgeted for this expense. Tasked with coming up with a cheaper alternative, we were able to repurpose a projector and screen from a previous install to create our lyric screen.
All we had to do was to hang the projector and screen. Then we used black fabric to mask out a portion screen that wasn't going to be used. The result was just what we wanted and didn't require any extra money.
In recent years, there have been some significant advances in projection technology, with added connectivity, increased brightness, and longer lamp life all at a much lower price point among those improvements. Where in the past it was very costly to own and maintain a high output projector, with advancements in LED and laser projection technologies, the cost of acquisition and ownership is now a fraction of what it was even three years ago. So if you're looking at new video display options, projection may be a better option than you think.
As with anything, it's all about finding the right tool for the job regardless of emerging technology. So if you are looking to transform your environment, enhance your stage design, or display simple elements on a screen, projection may be a viable option for your next project.
Tony Staires currently works at Granger Community Church in Granger, Ind., as the Production Audio Coordinator. He's worked in production and AVL integration over the past 16 years, and has worked with several Grammy and Dove Award winning artists. This article is courtesy of WorshipTechDirector.com a sister publication of WorshipFacilities.com