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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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 has served on staff at Journey Church in Norman, Okla., for more than three years. He has been involved in lighting design for 10 years. As the church's Technical Director, he oversees all aspects of production but is most involved with lighting and scenic design. Steven also recently started a church scenic company, www.modscenes.com. Steven is a graduate of Full Sail University. He lives in Norman, Okla. 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, 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.

Article Topics

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

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