Here's who is in charge of putting videos on the screen during chapel
In a series of articles, Kenzie Holton will be showcasing various student jobs on Lee's campus.
There's a lot that goes into producing videos to display on those massive screens in chapel.
Lee's Media Services team produces roughly 150 videos a year — all the while keeping up with the ever-changing tide of modern technology. The group is directly in charge of recording Lee events so the campus can be kept up to date with what's happening at school. Their productions include promotional videos for sporting events, chapels, recitals and concerts.
Led for the past three years by faculty director Jeff Salyer, students on the services team are given ample opportunity to get their feet wet in the world of media tech, with plenty of time working with the equipment and honing their craft. And by the time projects for their video production classes are assigned, each team member knows what exactly they're doing.
Carter Music, Lead Producer of Live Events and digital media major, said his job requires him to be an expert in using the complicated equipment.
"I had to make sure I was proficient with it to the point that I could teach someone else how to run an event," Music said. "At the end of the day it's my job to make sure everyone else knows how to do their job. It took a lot of time to get it all under my belt and to read manuals."
Will Hammond, a digital media studies major with a cinema emphasis as well as a Camera Operator at Media Services, said his main job is to help film events by operating cameras and assisting in directing. He even directed his first film last year.
"I had already been doing a lot of this, so it's really good," said Hammond. "My favorite project was the promotion video for Dorm Wars last year. We got to use fog machines, really cool lights and a ton of slow motion stuff."
For Music, teaching himself about upgrades or updates with the technology is high priority, and it has been since he began with Media Services three years ago. His latest lesson? The updated switcher, a machine that allows operators to select the video and audio signals the audience receives. Lee purchased it this summer.
"When I first started working here, we used a totally different camera system. Since I've been here, we've upgraded cameras, we've got an updated switcher and an updated audio board," said Music, "So, everything — it's all new stuff compared to when I first started working here. It has given me the opportunity to be more creative with what I do."
Harrison Toole, a digital media studies major and Director of Live Events, said the new switcher has given the team a lot more options in terms of the camera shots projected to both the livestream audience and the screens in chapel.
"Now we can send out two different feeds at a time. During chapel, we can send out one feed to the Conn Center to put up on the screens, and we can send a different shot out to the livestream audience," said Toole, noting that his favorite part about his job is directing. "I love having the creative control over what the viewers can see."
Music pointed out the challenges that accompany the job often can be tough to handle, and being quick on his feet is absolutely necessary to make the end result what it is.
"The most difficult event I've ever run was this past summer. It was Teen Talent for the Church of God, and it was their big award ceremony night," said Music. "We had 200-something graphics that had to play, we had four camera people, and it was really loud, so there was a struggle for camera people to hear me."
According to Music, people were running all over the stage and crossing over camera lines, inviting disaster for the team.
"There wasn't time to delay or process what was happening. If something went wrong you had to fix it immediately," Music said. "But it went off without a hitch. Everyone was really glad with how it went off. It really was great."