Tagged : Bethel

Bolder 75 met Andries Knevel Henny Huisman Boris van der Ham

TV director

Today I was probably closest to ever being a TV director in my life. I got the opportunity to direct Bolder75 with Andries Knevel (host) and four interesting guests (including Boris van der Ham and Henny Huisman). Bolder75 takes place in a talkshow-like setting and has a live audience of about 1500 people. And I have to admit; I was a bit nervous, since directing a talkshow-like program is new for me. Especially when someone like Andries Knevel, a true professional, is host. Nonetheless, I have a good feeling about tonight and can’t wait to see the recordings to see how it really went…

48 seconds

During the past days, I directed the Global Leadership Summit in Drachten. It’s an annual training event for church, ministry and other leaders to sharpen their leadership skills. In Drachten, many of the talks are delivered via videocast and some are live. In addition, this local Summit includes lots of music and singing, which happens live on our stage.

As director, I absolutely love this conference, because the Global Leadership Summit is one of the few events I direct, where I’m able to listen to some of the talks (and even make notes) as well.

During the course of two days, I listened to incredible speakers like Bill Hybels, Patrick Lencioni, John Ortberg, Craig Groesschel and Jim Collins. Most stories were incredible interesting and very instructive. We learned about Amundsen’s and Scott’s ‘race to the South Pole’, why visions are most vulnerable ‘in the middle’, what core values (should) mean for organizations, why it is very important to have a blend of creativity + discipline + a certain amount of paranoia, why Southwest is such a successful airline and what the greatest danger to an organization is.

If I have to mention one particular talk, it would be the one of Patrick Lencioni (who spoke via videocast). I was so taken away by his talk, that I completely lost track of time. For any regular conference goer, this isn’t a problem… But for me it most surely is! As director, I’m supposed to keep an eye on the clock and know what’ll happen next. This allows me to instruct the crew and make sure the transition between videocast and the live-stage part goes smooth. Most often, this is exactly what I do… but not this time. Being almost too late, I realized we had to switch from telecast to the live-stage part in 48 seconds from now… Luckily, no-one in the audience will ever know that this director almost forgot to do his duty… 48 seconds… pfeeeuw…


I was director, but without the superb quality, focus and dedication of my assistant and four camera operators, the broadcast wouldn’t be as great as the videoclip (above) shows. This is what I call teamwork-as-it-should-be.

Christmas Eve Special Vrije Baptisten Gemeente Bethel Kerstnachtdienst 1

Christmas Eve

I didn’t plan on doing any more blogging in 2011, but… People who follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter know I directed the Christmas Eve special at Bethel Church Drachten (almost 6000 visitors spread over three services). I couldn’t resist but to upload a few video stills of the broadcast (these images are from the very first minute of the program). The stage design is just phenomenal!

It’s not the smoke you make, it’s the smoke people see…

It’s not the smoke you make, it’s the smoke people see… Huh? What smoke?

One of my favorite sayings is: It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear. This saying simply means we have to consider our message from the listener’s perspective and not our own. It’s not enough to be correct, reasonable or even brilliant. Nope. It’s about what they, the people hear.

Has nothing to do with smoke? Well, it does. Just read on.

Last week I, as director, spoke with a lighting technician. We were discussing the design and layout of the stage at VBG Bethel for Christmas. The stage has to look a bit mysterious. Also this lighting technician wanted to use awesome light beams. Since a beam of light is only visible if part of the light is scattered by tiny particles, like smoke, he needs a smoke machine. Such machine essentially turns water in smoke. So far so good. But this guy told me the moment he starts to use a smoke machine, some people in the audience start to cough.

If ‘it’s not what you say, it’s what people hear’ is true, you could also say ‘it’s not what you do, it’s what people see’. Which is essentially the case with the smoke machine.

People generally associate (any) smoke with irritation of the lungs. Even though the smoke is water based (thus being harmless to your lungs), people have to cough. They see smoke so they have to cough. This results in the audience complaining about something that isn’t there.

The solution: This time he rents a haze machine. It generates the same light beam effect, but the smoke is invisible. There’s only one downside. This invisible smoke is oil based which sounds less healthy to me compared to water based smoke. But people won’t see smoke, so they don’t have to cough… It’s not the smoke you make, it’s the smoke people see