Filming for Catalyst

This week I was a camera person for a large Christian leadership conference called Catalyst. They gather best selling authors, creatives, business people, artist, musicians and well known pastors from large churches to talk about what makes a leader.

I am always blown away at the creativity at Catalyst. Everything to the stage, lighting, videos, and speakers all tie in together to carry one message, this year it was, “Be Present.” Which I really loved learning about. I’ve always challenge myself to, “Be all there.”

I really enjoyed hearing Tony Hawk talk about how he transition to a team when he started his own company. He talked about taking risk, over coming fear, doing what you love and the importance of who is apart of your team.

One of the last sessions had very successful TV producer, Charlie Parsons. He talk about his new series about stories from the Bible. He told us many people in his field told him not to do it, to stay out of religion. He decided to stand his ground and believed in this project. He gathered some of the best film makers in Hollywood and traveled to Morocco for filming.

The conference had so many things going on, every moment was filed with something creative, entertaining, inspiring, funny, and impacting. It was my job to run around with a 5D and capture it all. The production team had rented these beautiful lens. When I looked at the glass I could see how beautiful it was and the focus rings was so easy to roll. I shot with another shooter who actually has his own steady cam. We collaborated together and decided he would get the wides, and I would get the close-ups.

When the steady cam operator and I talked to each other,  I told him, “I feel like I’m not getting anything awesome.” He said he felt the same thing but added, “You know what it is, it’s because we are both editors, and we shoot to edit. We get the shot and move on. We aren’t have to continually film because we have become better shooters. Everything we are shooting is useable. Now it’s up to the editor to tie it all in.”

He was right. I use to have to shoot all day and then look for something to use but over the years I figured out what works and what doesn’t. Now I don’t bother filming for the sake of filming but instead I stop, look around, see something or someone, then shoot. I am no longer a random shooter but a strategic one. That feeling that I was looking for, of capturing something awesome, comes from shooting all day and then finally getting the one shot. Now that everything was useable I no longer got that one high of feeling proud but instead can leave with a job well done.

Next month I’ll be traveling with the team to Dallas. Glad I was asked back! 🙂

Catalyst Conference

I was invited to do camera at West Cost Catalyst Conference in the OC. Its a conference for church leaders.

When I checked in with the production team leader, he asked if I had ever worked with a DSLR. Little did he know, my best friend is my 7D. (I know I’m a nerd). He then handed me the 5D with the choice of three different L series lens. He also showed me the dolly tripod that I could use, the steady rig, and the shoulder mount. I was in heaven. I had unlimited SD cards and about twenty batteries.

I went to work right away. I discovered that I really like the 70-200mm lens. This may be the lens I decide to buy. I was able to stand far enough from people and still having depth to field. My production team leader said I had an all access pass to go anywhere I like. With that permission I was about to capture the shots having no limits.

The theme this year for the conference is Courage. While I was getting shots I was able to listen to the messages, it seemed as they were talking to me. One of my favorite parts was when I visited the chapel to get some footage of people praying. I was taken when I saw this wall with confessions to God on it. I stood there reading all of them. I got teary when I read some of the prayers..they were prayers that I’ve prayed before. There was one that read, “I don’t trust where you are taking me”, another “I’m to scared to take a risk cause I don’t know if You can fix if I fail.”

One nice surprise was the performance of John Mark Mcmillan. A friend gave me his music a while back and I totally became a fan. I love his lyrics and even his voice. While taking video I was able to take a few snap shots.

The Catalyst Conference was a pleasant surprise. I think it might just change my life. 🙂