Tips & BTS

Watch the Throne Series

Both Lisa and I get to be a part of some pretty incredible projects working at NewSpring. Sometimes we get to work together on projects. That is awesome.

Our student ministry Fuse is in a series called “Watch the Throne”.

It focuses on Biblical kings throughout history and how their kingdoms fell…and how a true king is coming, Jesus, to rule and reign forever.

For this series, Lisa designed the branding and a magazine, while I was a part of the team producing the promo video.

Here’s a little picture of how our team created the content for the series.



We wanted to portray a king: one that had it all and eventually fell, losing everything.

The location needed to be ornate but messy. A throne, a king, statues, leaves scattered, moonlight, and candelabras (which I cannot pronounce). Our dream scene as first envisioned on the whiteboard:

From there, we developed the idea that some of the king’s items dropping to the ground could represent his kingdom falling.

The length for a Promo is generally around 30 seconds, so I built a map off of shots we had thought up to help others visualize the direction in the video pitch.

When imagining the scene, blue moonlight and some firelight—that’s what we wanted, but we needed some inspiration. We found some frames from Hugo that were a good reference to the lighting and color grading we wanted to aim for.

After pitching the concept to Fuse, we got the green light for Allen Baker, a filmmaker on our team who also happens to be a genius at all things woodworking, to begin building our throne. He’s ridiculous.

We had our direction, shotlist, actor…now we needed a location. So we found a castle. A legit castle.


With everything lined up a few days later, we drove back up the sketchy-rocky-roads and got to work.

Thanks to Dave and Laura Coleman for some of the BTS photos below.

Set Dressing

Gear prep area

Testing the haze

Ghetto (but 100% safe) light support

The moon

Post Production

Editing was fun and fairly easy thanks to the starting point that the drawn out map provided.

When it came to music, we wanted two different feels—one for the Promo and one for the Roll-in.

For the Promo, we went with a somber and cinematic track by A. Taylor from The Music Bed.

For the Roll-in, the video that plays before the preacher comes out on stage, we went with a hip-hop beat to pump kids up about the message. It was a track from “”, which is a good place for amateur rappers to buy beats, I assume.

With the guiding help of John Carrington, a filmmaker on our team, we built the look.




Press Check

Gold Pantone on press / Columbia, SC


A few spreads:

Special thanks to all who were involved, it couldn’t have happened without all the hard work put in by the crew.


Moonlight: Joker 800 through 4×4 double scrim
Inside ambience: Joker 400 bounced off ceiling
Firelight: Arri 650 with CTO on a squeezer through 4×4 silk
Hairlight: 4-Bank 4ft Kino
Haze: Ultratec Radiance

Camera: Red Epic
Lenses: Rokinon 24, 35, 50, 85
Support: Dana Dolly


Producer: Ellie Keller
1st AC: Daniel Crowe
Gaffer: Allen Baker
Set Hands: Brad Wagster
Makeup: Jessica Bagwell
Actor: Andrew Higgins
Director of Photography: Evan Oliver

Edit: Evan Oliver
Audio Mix: Christian Sawyer
Color: Collaboration between John CarringtonAllen Baker and Evan Oliver
Voice Over: Jon Noles

Design: Lisa Oliver
Photography: Lisa Oliver
Lettering: The Australian Graphic Supply Co.
Illustration: Joshua Clements
Printing: The Olive Press