With Set Design, Work to Instill the Church’s Message

See through your congregation's eyes when deciding on what set designs will work best in your church's worship space.

With Set Design, Work to Instill the Church’s Message
The Worship Ballroom is lit at the Kentucky Exposition Center during WFX 2016, which was held from Sept. 20-22 in Louisville.

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With Set Design, Work to Instill the Church’s Message

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Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.

Set design can be a great avenue to serve your church. The atmosphere you can create and support with set design can help to instill the message being preached. There are a few great steps you can take to better your set designs and ease the workload associated with them.

Symmetry is key!

Stage sets using symmetry can be a huge time saver and are very visually appealing. The human brain is drawn to symmetry and order, and by including this in your stage design you can start off from an already comfortable space.

A symmetrical set build cuts down on the time that you need during the build as well. By copying elements that are already existing on one side, you can significantly decrease the time spent on figuring out the “how to” since you can just mirror what has been done on the other side. This also makes life easy, as you can duplicate set elements, making the process more streamlined.

One of the best ways to save time and create a beautiful set design is with duplication.

Furthermore, the symmetry makes lighting much easier. Again, every lighting element can be duplicated from the other side in a mirrored fashion. For larger lighting and set builds, this is a great thing! It enables one person to lead a group on one side of the build, while another person mirrors what has already been done on the other side.

Duplication makes for a quick set build.

One of the best ways to save time and create a beautiful set design is with duplication. If you can create a single (or a few) set elements that repeat multiple times, it saves vastly on the overall build time for that set. To keep the set interesting, you can vary the location, angle, rotation, and depth of those “assembly line” elements. Some of those elements can be purchased off the shelf as well, eliminating the need for a set build. If you are looking for pre-built options, good places to visit are ModScenes.com, Stretchshapes.com, and atomicdesign.tv, each of which offers pre-built repeatable elements.

Attention to detail leads to beauty.

In stage design, attention to detail is the difference between good and great sets. Details like seams that line up, ability to light the scene evenly, and materials that match and compliment are hugely important. It is important to focus on details that matter. One such detail that matters is direction. It is very important that if your set implies direction or movement, that it does not direct the eyes of the congregation to areas that could be a distraction.  Details like finishing off the back of a scenic piece can be a quick time waster. 

More About Steven Hall
Steven Hall serves churches through his company ModScenes.com in Norman, Oklahoma. Mod Scenes creates easy-to-use stage designs that are affordable and flexible. Steven has worked in churches as a lighting director, production manager, and scenic designer for more than 10 years. He currently serves his home church Journeychurch.tv as a volunteer lighting tech. Steven is a graduate of Full Sail University. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma, with his wife, Sara, and son Dorian. You can reach Steven on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stevenhallav.
Get in Touch: stevenhallav@gmail.com    More by Steven Hall

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.

Article Topics

Visual Arts · Stage Design · Atomicdesign.tv · Elements · Lighting · Louisville · ModScenes · Set Design · All Topics

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