This is a subject I have wanted to talk about for a while and have avoided for fear of what could come of it and I finally decided to voice my opinion to those that read my Blog. If you don’t agree or have a different perspective feel free to comment or send me an e-mail and we can talk about it if you would like. I would just like to disclaim that this is my opinion and you can decided if you agree with it or not.
So here it is. One of the things I have often struggled with working for a church is that everyone is considered a “Technical Director”. In the church world a Technical Director is the person that is in charge of sound, light, and video. Because all these areas are technical, technical director makes sense… right? Well in my opinion… No! In the video/ Broadcast world a Technical Director is the person who programs and pushes the buttons on the switcher during the show. It doesn’t matter if it is a corporate event or a full on sports broadcast, if you are using a production switcher you are considered a Technical Director. So if you are going with industry terms at a church you have your Technical Director and if you are doing IMAG, you now have another Technical director, isn’t this confusing? You see my dilemma?
At NAB I was walking around the exhibit talking to different people, they ask what my title is I tell them I’m a Technical Director. They understand I’m talking about switchers. Later that day I met up with the CTDRT group and we are talking and every time I introduced myself to someone I told them that I was a Technical Director I had to clarify that I was a full time video technical director for the church I work at. I feel as thought the term has become so diluted. I personally do work outside of the church and sometimes TD and I find it difficult and confusing living in both worlds myself and I guess I’m at the point where I’m more annoyed than anything else.
Now many people would point out that there are many jobs out there that have the label “Technical director” when it comes to jobs around technology. I would agree that the term is universal. What bothers me about it being used in this way is that Church tech is sound, lights and video. Church video is a huge market these days. In fact broadcast manufacturers take the church market very seriously. Since we as churches are using broadcast level gear and have crews both volunteer and staff, I feel we need to separate the terms to the go along more of the industry standards. More and more churches are hiring tech people and more and more churches are purchasing production switchers and if they like it or not have TD’s operating them.
Talking with my friends at Ross video, they have told me that the Church market is HUGE! And ever expanding. A major broadcast manufacturer takes the church market very seriously, and every other person that uses their products are called Technical directors. Why should the church be different from all the rest?
So what would be another term to use for Technical director in the church world? In my organization my boss’s title is Director of Technical Arts, or I have seen these titles: Production Manager, Technical Arts Manager, Technical Arts Director, ect. I just feel their needs to be separation and would like to challenge those of you reading to consider for yourself what a technical director is. If you agree with me I hope you would maybe change your title and help preserve what a TD is when it comes to AVL.