6 Traits of a Good Live Video Director

You may be a Live Video Director at your church. You are the person who directs the Camera Operators to craft compelling IMAG (Image Magnification) presentations on your screens.

This position may be a staff member, but I would encourage you to move this position to a volunteer role as soon as you can.

Let me share six things that a good Live Video Director in a church production setting possesses:


Be Prepared.

  • A good live video director spends time listening to playback (the recording of your band’s rehearsal during the week).

  • They know the music, the flow of the service, and the cues that will be given. This helps to ensure that the live video production runs smoothly on Sunday and is as free of mistakes as you can.

Know the people you are working with.

  • A Live Video Director should have a good understanding of the personalities and strengths of the people they are working with, on Sunday. This will help them to communicate effectively and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Be cool under fire.

  • Being cool under fire is crucial. Something is inevitably going to go wrong during a service, whether it’s a technical issue or a mistake by someone onstage, or a volunteer. A good Live Video Director remains calm and doesn’t panic in these situations.

  • It is good to remember that Sunday is not going to go perfect technically – you are working with volunteers, and humans. But if your Director can be a calm, it will help keep the entire volunteer team at ease.

  • Your Director sets the tone, so its good to not let the team see and feel any frustration as much as you can as the team are looking for not only their technical cues from the Director, but the emotionally cues as well.

Clear communication is essential.

  • A live video director needs to be able to communicate clearly and concisely with the team.

  • They should be willing to over-communicate, providing as much information as possible to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Don’t assume your volunteers know the order of the service. It is a good idea for your Live Director to remind the team of what is coming next or several steps ahead. Your Director is the conductor of the service when it comes to what is on screen in your Auditorium.

You are a Director, so you can be a Selector.

  • You’ll want to teach your Camera Operators to “sell” you shots to take. If you can train them to show you shots in Preview, it will help you select the camera shot to take faster.

    • You can say things like “I see what you’re doing Camera 3, set that back up, I’m coming to you in just a second, start your push 3, and take 3”.

  • The goal here is for you to direct your Camera Operators to give you great shots, so that you can become a Selector of the best shots to take on screen. Direct so you can select.

Be Creative but not distracting.

  • It is okay to try things. Feel free to get creative with your camera shots and direction, but make sure your creativity does not become a distraction.

Let me give you some examples:

  • Just because your switcher might have built in star wipes, doesn’t mean you use them. This is not a Star Wars movie, this is a Worship Experience. Just because you have a tool, doesn’t mean you need to use that tool. A Tip – only use Dissolves and Cuts in a Worship Experience – there are no other acceptable transitions to use in this setting.

  • Another example would be you might feel like you should cut very fast because its fun and it sounds cool (“Ready 1, take 1, take 2, take 3”), but this might not be what your congregation can handle or it might not be a good fit. Read your audience, get feedback to know if your direction is being a distraction or a help to your audience.