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CMG Profiles: Brian Norwood

By October 6th, 2020Articles

Where do you serve?

Olive Branch Community Church. We are a church of about 1000 in Corona, CA, which for non-natives is roughly the inland vertex of a triangle with L.A. and San Diego. We have three morning and one evening service every Sunday. You should come check us out.

What is your position there?

I am the Director of Tech Services. I essentially oversee AVL for two venues campus on campus and and an off-site youth facility.

How did you get involved in church media?

I was volunteering at Olive Branch as part of the worship team (I am a halfway decent bassist) when the position was opened up, so, I was familiar with the need. My background as a Visual Arts Major and musician gave me the audacity to apply for the job. Ultimately they had the audacity to hire me. It was a real “God” moment as I was able to transition out of my previous gig easily and bless a person with immediate needs with that position, and almost effortlessly move into this new position. Mind you, it hasn’t been effortless since… but it was good confirmation at the time. My background as an artist got me interested in pushing what we were doing visually pretty quick. It is actually my first time working for a church, however, I know what looks good, I know what sounds good, I’m mostly competent at getting us there, and I enjoy the trust of my leaders. It’s a good place to be in.

How big is your media team?

I have a volunteer team of about 15 extraordinary human beings who help me execute on a week to week basis. That does include audio techs, but we are all one big family.

What does your setup look like?

We have a somewhat ambitious projection set up consisting of five forward screens, a confidence screen, and two additional projectors that display on the walls for Environmental effects. This is run on a collection of relatively recent Macintosh computers running ProPresenter 5; an iMac for our side screens and confidence monitor, a Mac Mini for our 16 x 9 foot center screen, a Macbook Pro with a Matrox DualHead2Go for stage screens and a Mac Book Air with a Matrox DualHead2Go for EP. The iMac is running the command module and the other Macs are slaved to it. Our whole workflow is 15 Pin Analog RGB (also called VGA) cable. This is actually by my preference, as VGA is capable of carrying an HD or greater signal, is a more secure connector than YPbPr or HDMI, and has no HDCP headaches. When Macs and projectors make HD-SDI as easy as VGA, I’m open to revisiting my position.

As for the hodgepodge collection of Macs. I am not cheap but I am thrifty. I got excellent deals on all of them. A similar mindset landed us with our projectors; A Hitachi CP-WX8255, two Christie LW400s, and a handful of HD capable Epsons that I can’t remember the model numbers on. Whatever was at Staples at the time that was roughly 3000 lumens.

What is something new your team has implemented that has helped your production?

Obviously PlanningCenter is a big part of our communication strategy. I’ve recently picked up a piece of software called Clarify, which is phenomenal for documenting procedures. Getting the whole team on Dropbox has simplified things church wide, and we are getting a lot out of a multi-seat license at They don’t have a ProPresenter course, however. Maybe I should make one for them. :)

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with the CMG community?

Cultivate relationships with your peers. There have been many times I did not have an answer for my problem, but a had a friend who did. I have founds church techs to be a generous and loving group of people. Oh, and buy your team food periodically. It pays you back 10, even 100 fold.

How has the CMG Monthly Pack impacted your ministry?

I/we LOVE The CMG Monthly Packs! The multiple sizes makes it so easy to adapt a look to our mix of SD and HD screens. CMG just tends to nail the the kind of feel and color palette that I tend to go for in curating worship motions. We are currently a pretty media hungry church, and the subscription gets us great new media every month that is very budget friendly. In the past we would use a “welcome” motion or a count down until it was stale. Now a new one shows up every month. It allows us to freshen things up far more often without feeling a lot of guilt or pressure about our media spending. It’s worth every cent.

How can people find you online?

Twitter @platypibri