Versatile Set Design: Focus on the Big Picture
When looking how to proceed on a new design, look to a concept that someone else has used and adapt it in some way to match your venue and congregation.
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Duke was a speaker at WFX this year in Dallas. For 2018, the conference is slated for Orlando in November. We hope to see you there.
The top focus for me when designing a new set is to create something that has a good deal of versatility to it. There are some churches who have the staffing, budget and or creativity to change stage designs monthly or even weekly. I love these churches, because they are not only being a creative force in their community but they continually create sets that provide me with inspiration for things that I in turn can adapt for my space.
I can’t copy what they are doing because my space, congregation, and limitations are going to be very different than theirs. I can however take a concept that someone else has used and adapt it in some way, shape or form to match my venue and congregation. Over the course of my time doing this, I have been fortunate to have the ability and budget to introduce new stage designs every two to five months, depending on the church and financial climate.
When I create a set, I want to have something that will have flexibility over time so it does not become stale or boring and can be adapted somehow, if it’s going to be up for a while. I have had a number of sets where after a month or two of being up, I can make some small adjustments to the set or the lighting of the set to refresh the look of the stage. Creating designs with some small lighting or set tweaks in mind can help you effectively keep he stage looking somewhat fresh, even when you know you will not have the budget or time to introduce something brand new for a while.
Versatile Set Designs
A great way to keep your set design versatile is to almost always use white materials and then introduce the color with lighting using color washing fixtures such as LED or intelligent fixtures. I have found that using white material gives me the ability to change the look at least somewhat from song to song, service to service, or month to month, depending on how frequent you want to change.
For the ultimate control and flexibility in color, I find white or even neutral colored material gives me the ability to adjust the color on the fly and get exactly what I’m looking for. A word of caution, some fabric colors will produce great results, while others will look terrible. You might also be limited in what colors you can produce with the fixtures and gels you have available to you. With white or neutral colored material this is not an issue.
Latest ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, January-February 2018
The January-February 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about the many steps a church had to take in the aftermath of a fire, and another involving a church making the jump to 4K.