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Animated Visuals at Victory Church

Jun 7, 2007 8:00 AM


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In August of 1994, Victory Church held its first church service in an old Oklahoma City, Okla., high school. By 1997, the church had grown from 53 people to approximately 700, and moved into a former retail building in Oklahoma City. The church founded the Victory School of the Arts offering classes in dance, music, and drama for all ages in 1999, and in 2000, partnered with a small college ministry in Norman, Okla., that was about to close its doors. Today, Victory Church has approximately 65 full- and part-time staff members and a weekly attendance of over 6,000, with campuses in Oklahoma City, Norman, and Corpus Christi, Texas, plus a Spanish-language service (Victory Iglesia) in downtown Oklahoma City. All of the campuses have their own pastors, but Norman and Corpus Christi have Pastor Mark Crow simulcast live to them from the Oklahoma City campus.

Victory Church, a growing church based in Oklahoma City, believes in the power of music and dance to resonate in the hearts of worshippers. Sixty-five full- and part-time staff members reach out to attendees through its Victory School of the Arts with classes in dance, music, and drama, and through its annual Resonation worship project and again with a DVD capturing the event.

In December 2006, Victory Church released its annual Resonation worship project on DVD and CD. The project was recorded from a two-night live music worship event held at the Oklahoma City church and enhanced with visual clips from stock footage company Artbeats.

As Matthew Munger, creative director for the church, says of his choice of the Artbeats clips, “I love the fact that I am almost always guaranteed to find the footage that I need and be able to get it within a day or two. Taking the time and money to film underwater effects would have been huge. Also the quality of the Artbeats was better than what we could have captured in the field.”

For this year’s two-night music worship event, Munger and the crew used a wide range of clips to a variety of animations and visualizations to enhance and help tell the story of each of the 15 original worship songs, from stock footage collections including Water Effects 1, Cloud Fly-Throughs 1, Incarcerated, Digital Edge, and Code Rush. According to Munger, they were able to achieve a particularly unique effect using a water effect clip from the Artbeats Water Effects 1 catalog, and overlaying it with an animated color background. He says, “This gave the water and air bubbles a dynamic color shifting effect as if there was some colorful chemical reaction taking place.”

The images they created were then placed on a 3x3 videowall comprised of 50in. Panasonic plasma displays that were the centerpiece of the stage design. The visual effects were displayed on the plasma screens during the songs for a more immersive worship experience. Munger says, “Some of the effects were just animations that coordinated with the lighting scheme for the song, but some of the effects were created to cause people to think—like a giant eye with the world or the universe inside the pupil—and some effects were created to draw emotion of the song out, like crosses in everyday things or water effects.”

The project was filmed with 16 cameras—five Ikegami cameras that were iso captures on DVCam decks, three Sony HDV cameras that captured HDV 1080 60i and a Sony DVCam camera, and several Canon and Sony MiniDV cameras. “This year we plan on renting all the same cameras to help in postproduction in the color grading and resolutions,” Munger says.

The footage was all imported onto the church’s Apple XRaid system, edited with Final Cut Pro, and encoded using DVD Studio Pro. Digital CDR in Norman, Okla., handled the master glass DVD and replication. Victory Church distributes the DVDs through its website, www.vc.tv, and through Christian bookstores, and will soon be expanding onto iTunes.



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