12Stone® Church is one of the largest-participating multi-generational Christian churches in the US with a total of eight campuses in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area. Established in 1987, it welcomes over 17,000 weekly attendees across all campuses, along with video services available on-demand online.
Michael Henson, 12Stone’s Ministry Director Production Engineer, oversees implementation of lighting and video systems for all 12Stone campuses. “Our main campus facility is a 270-degree room. From the lighting stand point we have to light not only the front stage, but also all the way around the sides, because our worship leaders serve the audiences in all these different sections. Also, it has to look good both live and on camera. There is a lot of complexity.”
A few years back, Michael and his team needed to come up with a new lighting system to address existing issues and to keep up with the fast-paced growth of the church. Matt Moreland, of Mattslights, an old friend of 12Stone and veteran of lighting design, joined the team's efforts in search of the right fixtures. "12Stone® Church broadcasts its Central Campus service to seven other campuses every Sunday,” he explains. “Broadcast lighting is key in the ability to send quality video to those satellite campuses.”
12Stone’s new lighting system required a quality, even field of light and adjustable color temperature that would look good both on camera and live. Plus, everyone agreed on their preference of LED engine. “The ARRI L10-C met all of our needs, as well as offering color mixing. We have found that in the church market, there is often a need for colored front lighting in modern worship and dramas,” Moreland says.
“In a teaching scenario, it’s important to create a lighting environment, where your communicator walks wherever he wants and is evenly lit at all times. This way when a camera follows him it’s not a combination of hot and dark spots,” Henson explains. “We tried to make it work at all times. This is where the fresnels hit the home run. LED is great because we were able to plug the constant power at all times, but still dim. We knew that’s what we wanted to do.”
While choosing the right fixture, reducing flicker was one of the main priorities. According to Henson, most of the products had a tremendous fall-off two to three feet away in terms of intensity. "We were looking closely if it is going to have an aggressive fall-off the further you step back. It didn’t with ARRI products, especially with ARRI Fresnel fixtures,” he says. “It has the horsepower for the distance we need. It has the coverage we need, it looks amazing on camera... ARRI has had a good reputation for a very long time. They build their LED fixtures from the ground up. You can tell with cheaper LED fixtures: the quality of lamp life, color mixing and saturation are not that great. ARRI LED didn’t even look like LED, there is this perfect white light coming out of it. The beauty of it - it has full color mixing. All the colors look incredible: lavender, blue, red, orange, tungsten orange, daytime white. Anything you want."
Photos: 12Stone® Church (3), https://12stone.com