How to Build a Tomb Set

The project we have been working on for Christmas has included quite a bit of set construction. This past week week we needed to build the open tomb for a scene with the resurrected Christ. I got to learn how to do it.

First, you need a flat with a door opening. We used old set piece from a previous Easter production.

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Then we braced it upright near the side of a hill. We started adding wire mesh to build a framework into the hillside. We made the opening smaller, to make it more historically accurate.

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We started applying the texture, and realized that the mesh should be covered with some paper.

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We used a texture that comes in two propane-sized tanks, under pressure. The contents of the two tanks mix in the nozzle to create a foaming, slightly-expanding substance that is very sticky.

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When it’s done, allow the texture to dry. Then apply spray paint. The result looks surprisingly good on camera.

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Here’s the back. (Note the graffiti) Hard to believe that plywood, mesh, paper and some spray texture could work so well.

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One word of caution, if you are in a high wind situation, make sure to anchor your bracing. The day after the shoot we found this:

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We were done shooting, so this wasn’t an issue, but it could have been very bad if we had pushed a scene to another day. With any outdoor set, weather is a factor. There wasn’t much chance of this lasting outside until Easter, anyway.

We have one more shoot, very early tomorrow. Then we are done with the capture phase of this project. Watch for another post with pics from the last shoots. Next… edit, ADR, and everything post!

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Accomplishment

Coming off of the World Series of church work, also known as the Easter season, I thought I’d lay out exactly what the media team accomplished last week.

First, let me say that there were a lot of other people working very hard to accomplish the work set before us. Also, please don’t take my small joke about Easter being the World Series of church work seriously. You could also call it the Superbowl, but that’s closer to Christmas time, so… In reality there is a reason why churches normally have a big emphasis during these two times of the year.

So, this year the biggest, most intense production schedule I’d ever been a part of was laid before us. Not only did we hold our multi-night Easter drama presentation, we also had our Easter worship in the Amway Center. The challenge was to execute the Easter presentations with excellence, while simultaneously planning for, and loading in a massive “show” in an unfamiliar venue with limited budget.

Because I work with some very talented and hard working people, Passion week was amazing. The Easter Presentations went great. One night we had a major power outage right in the middle of the drama, and my team calmly reset and and restarted the scene when the power was up.

During the presentations we loaded as much gear into the arena as we could. And after the last one, we marshaled an army of volunteers to load out lights, audio, and orchestra. And then load it into the Amway center. It was a long night with very little sleep, but the service was great. It’s something I will always remember.

One of the things about it I will remember is a team that figured out how to do the near impossible.

Busy, Busy, Busy

The time leading up to Easter is always busy for anyone on a church staff. This year we added another wrinkle, in that on top of our massive, multi-night Easter presentation, we are holding one large service at the Amway Center in Orlando. So I have not had a lot of time to write. I’ve also been involved in pre production for the pilot of Peculiar. Busy.

Here are a couple of promo videos we did for the Amway service:

Resurrection Sunday Dance Worldwide

Last year 1300 people gathered in Budapest to dance for their Savior on Easter. The original video of this has gotten almost 1.5 million views. This is the remix:

Their website, UptoFaith.com is organizing an even bigger event this year. Cities across the world will participate:

The goal: To celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ with an international dance event on Easter Sunday (April 24, 2011) After that we will share the message of gospel with a YouTube video made from all the recordings of the dances.

I’m looking forward to seeing the final result.