The National LCMS Youth Gathering is a triennial event that brings together 25,000 high school youth from across the country, and the world, for 5 days of learning and service. This time it was held in New Orleans, LA at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome and the Morial Convention Center. Inspirmedia was involved with many aspects of the gathering, from video production before, during and after the event, to technical production and directing during the 5 Mass Events. We have been in the planning phase for the past 2 years, so it was great to see everything start to unfold and take form when we arrived in New Orleans.
In the year leading up to the actual event, we had video shoots in Louisiana, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Missouri to get all the footage needed for the almost 40 videos created for the event. While at the 5-day Gathering, we shot, edited, and produced many videos each day. Video teams would spread out across the city to capture all of the unique things participants were experiencing, shooting on our Canon C100s and 5D Mark IIs. GoPro cameras were used in multiple locations to capture time lapse footage, including the load in and setup in the Dome from over 200 feet in the air. We also conducted interviews in a studio with various speakers, leaders, bands, and participants. This footage was ingested and then the editors took over. They would work late into the night to cut together daily recap videos to be shown the next morning, as well as onsite videos used at the nightly Mass Events.
While all of that was going on, other members of our team were helping to produce the 5 Mass Events at the Superdome. Working with North Carolina based company Special Event Services (SES), we were able to take the ideas and emotions that leaders wanted to convey and find the right technology to make it all happen. During each event, Inspirmedia provided a technical director who called and switched the 6 live cameras for the 40ft LED walls in the Dome on a Grass Valley HD switcher. Our own Tricaster 8000 was used by another of our technical directors to switch the cameras for the live stream that was viewed by over 10,000 people across the world, and for recording the event in its entirety. We also provided a video playback operator who ran video elements, slides, and graphics for the events, including making changes and adding content on the fly.
A unique element that was added to the 2016 National Youth Gathering was an interactive feature during the Mass Events that got everyone in the Dome involved. Offline (formerly Wham City Lights), collaborated with us to create a full lights show using the 25,000 cell phones of the participants during the opening song each night. It was amazing to see the whole dome light up each night and the excitement of the youth as the opening progressed.