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Phil Cooke Podcast

Jul 21, 2021

Are you a directing a multi-camera television or video event? Steven Lester directed Elevation Church’s national television program and livestream services for years, and then launched out on his own. In this interview with Phil Cooke, Steven shares his experience as a freelance television and video director and how the important role of a creative director can help churches elevate their media including television broadcasts, in-person services and church online.


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*Helping leaders navigate their calling and career in today’s distracted media-driven culture*

Do you have a message or story the world needs to hear? As a Hollywood producer and media consultant, I offer advice for leaders and creatives each week on creative leadership, digital media, branding and marketing strategies, film and TV production – and the faith to take you from where you are to where you want to be in your career.


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*More About This Episode* Interview: Creative Director Steven Lester Talks About Multi Camera Directing

Steve Lester is a creative director based in Nashville, Tennessee producing multi-cam events for churches including Elevation Worship, Hillsong Worship, Jesus Culture, and for musical artists including Kari Jobe, Chris Tomlin, Tasha Cobbs and more. Here are some quick takeaways from today’s interview:


  • The biggest problem Steve sees with multi cam directors with a church is that they don’t value volunteers enough.
  • He encourages directors to value volunteers and invest in the gift. Steward the people to build a solid team. Create spaces for people to grow and do what they’re really good at.
  • He sees the role of a director similar to “customer service” in the way of determining the pastor and ministry’s vision and then determining “How can I bring my expertise and my art in to serve you well?”
  • Concerning using dollies and steadicams, etc., Steven says, “Don’t let the ‘toys’ influence the way your creativity thinks. If it doesn’t serve the vision, it’s useless… I want the end user to experience God through what I’m showing them.”
  • For pastors who don’t have people to run cameras, Steve encourages them to find a 16-year old, find the volunteers who are eager to learn. They may not be good at first, but it’s better than just capturing a service with a wide shot. They will get better.
  • He encourages his camera operators to be very aware of what God’s doing in the room. Don’t just live in your viewfinder; look to your left, look to your right. Have a situational awareness to capture what’s happening around you.
  • Steven’s prayer as a multi cam director leading a church media team: “Open our eyes to what you’re seeing, God, and help us capture it.”