The initial plan was to paint the set with lighting. As the creative process with ELCA evolved, the ideas became bigger and more activity was planned. Ultimately, two dramatic moving animations – including a magnificent sequence of a space shuttle blasting off to open the gathering – and a dozen static looks that were produced by our Creative Services team and used throughout the sessions, ranging from blue sky and puffy white clouds to an urban scene with graffiti accents.
Another feature of the set was a Baptismal fountain, complete with running water. It was about 4-inches deep and looked deeper from a distance. While no Baptisms were performed, the water was used by speakers to form the sign of the cross and one speaker presented while standing in the fountain.
Further, the set had to be designed and fabricated in a way that efficiently and effectively accommodated a near-constant rotation of bands, choirs, DJs and other performers, which also required management of backline equipment and other technical needs. Our designers and fabricators forged the perfect solution. The praise band was positioned stage left for the duration. Stage right was more active. A sliding wall, designed and lit to mimic the stage left performance area, was used to hide set up and then reveal performers on cue. The transitions were efficient, seamless and dramatic.
An audience of this age needs to be engaged, active and involved. With bands, DJs, performers and non-stop dancing in the audience, the 90-minute walk-ins felt more like EDC than ECLA. Attendees had the opportunity to participate in the event via ELCA’s “Mass Cast” program. With a new cast every day, hundreds of attendees were taught simple routines with simple props such as flags or glow sticks to be performed each day. Speakers were equally engaging and a mirror image of those in the audience. All presentations were 8 – 12 minutes and delivered from memory. No teleprompters were used. An audience of peers – especially this age group — appreciates presentations delivered to them and for them, not at them. In addition to the Houston audience, all of the sessions were streamed around the globe via our webcasting and content delivery network.