May 26, 2021
4 min read
Growing an Online Church with Cinematic Imagery
Located across the Indianapolis metropolitan area, Traders Point Christian Church serves over 10,000 congregants at its six physical campuses, in addition to online. During the pandemic, the Church halted physical worship gatherings for six months, prompting it to consider various ways to strengthen services offered through its online portal that allows congregants to tune in to services remotely. The Church wanted a premium solution that could uniquely capture spiritual content, while also creating the same level of energy and emotion for remote viewers that is experienced in a physical church environment. To achieve this, Traders Point Christian Church sought updates to its equipment to achieve cinema-style shooting to improve the quality of its Sunday service live streams.
“We want to stand out from what you’d expect to see from a church service online. From the moment we start streaming until it ends, we are very intentional about creating the best online experience for our weekend gathering,” said Kris Dunlop, broadcast director at Traders Point Christian Church.
Teaming up with Panasonic for Cinematic Solutions
(All photos courtesy of Traders Point Christian Church)
Working with Force Tech, Traders Point Christian Church explored various equipment options, but ultimately, Panasonic provided the most flexibility for adapting a cinema-style camera into a live workflow. One of the church’s major priorities was to also adopt a new system that was intuitive and user-friendly, so that its camera crew of 20 volunteers could easily learn how to handle the equipment. Additionally, Panasonic’s VariCam LT camera was affordable and well-received by other churches that Traders Point Christian Church had conversations with during the research phase, which influenced the Church’s decision to work with Panasonic.
“In my career, I’ve had a solid experience with Panasonic and I’ve heard great things from other churches like Elevation Church that have been using the VariCam cameras. It was going to take quite a bit to sway me away from going with Panasonic based on their positive reputation as a brand, but I ultimately chose Panasonic for their reliability, ease-of-use for our volunteers, and incredible look,” said Dunlop.
Getting the Cameras Rolling
To create a camera system that delivers vivid color production and exceptional low-light capture capabilities, Traders Point Christian Church purchased eight Panasonic VariCam LT cameras. To remotely control shading on the cameras, the Church deployed eight AK-HRP1000 remote operation panels. Deployment began in November and was completed in time for the Christmas service, an opportunity for the Church to unite its dispersed congregation with an engaging service through high quality live streaming. At the Northwest campus, seven VariCam LT cameras were stationed throughout the venue, with one camera dedicated to the online host. This campus became the primary location for filming services that were broadcasted to the other campuses.
“One of the biggest things for the Church is the clarity and creation of depth of field by the VariCam’s cinema sensor and cinema type lenses. The depth of field is amazing and it gives the operator great control in establishing focus to capture the service’s energy,” said Nick Olson, sales engineer at Force Tech.
Delivering Cinematic Worship Experiences to Homes
With its new Panasonic camera systems in place, Traders Point Christian Church streamed the Christmas service online and to each of its campuses, attracting nearly 12,000 viewers. Furthermore, since the deployment, the Church’s overall online viewership has tripled. Utilizing the Panasonic VariCam LT cameras, the Church broadcasts three livestreams a week, two on Sunday and one special event during the week. To continue up-leveling its online content, the Church plans to use the VariCam LTs to create more pre-produced broadcasts. Furthermore, the Church is upgrading its control rooms and aims to make full use of the Panasonic HRP1000 remote operational panel to ensure color and lighting consistency across cameras and change camera settings simultaneously to capture different looks. Future-proofing its production capabilities, Traders Point Christian Church is selecting native 12G 4K equipment to build a fully operational 4K system by November 2021.
“Fully mixing audio and video separately, Traders Point Christian Church is offering an entire experience that’s tailored to an online community. People are impressed with the sharpness and image quality delivered by the Panasonic VariCams, which helps make Trader Point’s worship and message so engaging. What the Church is doing is second to none,” said Olson.
For more information about Panasonic professional video products, visit http://business.panasonic.com/products-professionalvideo or contact Panasonic at 877-803-8492.