Welcoming over 15,000 people to 3 separate campuses every weekend, megachurch Victory World Church in Norcross, Georgia have really got their work cut out for them. Founded 28 years ago by the current pastors Dennis and Colleen Rouse, the church has grown from its apartment Bible study roots to the major preacher of the Gospel it is today, continuing to grow in attendance every month.
As with all ever-growing houses of worship though, the increasing number of attendees that fill the auditorium every week and watch the stream online prompted Victory World Church to search for some new ways to improve their video production. What they wanted was to capture the service from new angles and positions and go beyond their normal stationary production setup.
“We have a bunch of studio cameras already, but we wanted to add some mobile cameras into the mix too,” explained Mike Paschal, Live Video Director of Victory World Church at the broadcast campus in Norcross. “This video gets sent to 60 different TVs around the broadcast campus along with all of the TVs in our 2 other campuses. If we were going to do it, we wanted to do it right.”
But this presented a challenge. Since the camera feeds needed to be transported to a production switcher behind the audience, extending cables through their large auditorium would be a disaster. Not only would they be a safety hazard, but they would restrict the camera operators from being truly mobile in the church. As a result, Paschal and his team decided to go with a smarter alternative: wireless video.
With a large number of parishioners in attendance every week, Victory World Church has a substantial video production setup to match. Before having added the mobile cameras, the production team already had 4 Hitachi SK-HD1200 studio cameras set up around the auditorium, which took HD videos and sent them to the production team’s Ross Acuity 6ME Plus professional switcher behind the audience.
Paschal and his production team decided to add 3 Canon C100s into the workflow, using them as handheld mobile cameras to capture different shots from the stationary Hitachis. To transport the video to the switcher, Paschal added a Teradek Bolt 500 transmitter to each camera, which sent video feeds from the cameras to Bolt receivers connected to the switcher. With Bolt’s zero-delay transmission, the switcher received the feeds instantly from the C100s.
Once in the Acuity switcher, the feeds were sent out to TVs all across the church campus, including 2 Barco 12K projectors, which produced the video displayed on the auditorium’s giant projector screens. The satellite campuses in Hamilton Mill and Midtown also received this feed instantly by going through the church’s Fiber connection, a proprietary connection exclusive to the church. The feed is also live streamed to the church’s website, Facebook Page and YouTube channel from the switcher.
Integrating mobile cameras and wireless video into their production has been a huge advantage for the church. Using the Bolts, the mobile camera operators are able to move around with complete freedom and capture specific moments of the service up close including the band performance, sermon and prayer, which give the audiences in attendance and at home a unique and new perspective on the service. They help add a dramatic element to the production, putting viewers in the moment with the people on stage and allowing them to share the emotions and feelings of the service.
“The mobile cameras were added to help enhance the worship experience in not only the room but in our overflow spaces and online audience,” Paschal explained. “By adding the mobile cameras we were able to capture the emotion of our band members, preachers and audience along with showing what everyone is hearing in the room.”
In addition, because a good portion of the weekend production team runs on volunteers, the church needed tech that was easy to use and operates seamlessly with their existing workflow. “We love the ease of connection and setup on the Bolt 500s. It’s just something we turn on and it does its job, giving us more time to focus on other aspects of the production instead.”
All of these efforts culminate into delivering the best Sunday service Victory Church has to offer and spread the Word of God to the world. Having a strong video production department with the latest in video technology is simply a testament to their devotion towards their faith, and an excellent visual way to attract new parishioners to the church.