Around the world, worship facilities are becoming increasingly integrated with the latest technologies to assist in the production of their worship services. In Columbia, MO, The Crossing recently underwent a sanctuary expansion which would give Tim Worstell, Director of Ministry Solutions and Community Development, the opportunity to complete a full lighting system upgrade. In doing so, The Crossing became integrated with the latest in lighting technology, the VL770 Spot luminaire from Philips Vari-Lite.
“When we did our sanctuary remodel, the VL770 Spot luminaires were part of our full lighting, audio and video upgrade,” began Worstell. “We love the flexibility of the new lights with their gobos and color-mixing, and with only seven fixtures we can completely cover the auditorium and stage in many different ways. We previously didn’t have any moving heads so this was a significant part of the upgrade for us. They work really well and we are very happy with the new fixtures.”
In their old sanctuary, The Crossing could seat approximately 1100 people and the space was filling to capacity. In order to expand their worship facility, the church took out the auditoriums back wall, which had classrooms behind it, and they built stadium seating to add 400 seats. They then relocated the audio and lighting control booth into the stadium seating, and after the remodel was complete they turned their attention to the production technology upgrade.
Worstell continued, “In the space, we have lighting trusses that drop down over the auditorium and one of the factors in selecting automated lighting as part of the upgrade was that we didn’t have a lot of inputs available. By adding moving heads we could now focus on multiple locations throughout the auditorium during the services with a single fixture.”
Knowing what they needed, Worstell turned to Acoustic Dimensions to begin the technology upgrade, and it was Acoustic Dimensions that introduced him to the VL770 Spot luminaire.
“The recommendation to use the VL770 Spot came from Acoustic Dimensions. We told them we wanted the lights to have a nice, warm look to match a normal incandescent color for both our video and the general aesthetics of the room, plus we wanted great color-mixing and an expansive zoom range. They steered us to the VL770 Spot luminaire because it could satisfy all the needs and requirements we had for the services.”
With Acoustic Dimensions recommendation in hand, Authorized Vari-Lite Dealer Harvest Productions was brought on-board to oversee the installation and implementation of the new lights.
“Both Acoustic Dimensions and Harvest Productions were critical in the success of the systems upgrade. We are now using the VL770 Spots at minimum three services per week, plus a rehearsal on Thursday night, in all our children’s events, and for all our holiday services. Their flexibility and reliability allows us to create the perfect atmosphere no matter what type of production or service is on stage.”
“We are the type of church where we don’t want our services to look like rock concerts with moving heads and flashing lights distracting from the message. The nice thing about the way we are using the VL770 Spots is that we program them in the blind meaning that as they move, they are doing so in the dark. We also use a lot of color, especially with our set designs, and we can now move focus and change the feel of any scene by choosing the perfect colors and gobo patterns.”
As services at The Crossing continue, Worstell could not be more pleased with the VL770 Spot luminaires which are complete with all of the optical quality and functionality designers have come to expect from Philips Vari-Lite. Lightweight and fast with a 700-watt MSR Gold™ MiniFastFit lamp, the VL770 Spot has an output of over 15,000 lumens, a zoom range from 15° to 36°, and a mechanical iris for continuous beam control. A drop-in frost glass assembly allows users to soften the overall beam, while built-in mounting points on the front of the luminaire provide for easy attachment of after-market accessories such as top hats.
“We love them,” concluded Worstell. “They give us a wow factor with many great looks and lots of flexibility. For us, going from not having any moving heads to now having seven is a huge deal. We can spotlight and wash the same area with a single light and their adjustable color temperature is perfect for our streaming video. We can now do a lot of things with the VL770 Spots that we simply could not do with our previous fixtures and they are easily doing the brunt of our heavy lifting.”
As a leading designer and manufacturer of premiere automated lighting systems, Philips Vari-Lite provides equipment and services to the entertainment industry, serving such markets as concert touring, theatre, television, film, cruise lines, houses-of-worship, and corporate events. VARI-LITE automated lighting systems are available through a worldwide network of independent professional dealers. www.vari-lite.com.