Tech Director Spotlight: John Fones

Tech Director Spotlight: John Fones

John Fones is one of our oldest friends and knows a thing or two about the world of AVL so when he has something to say we tend to listen. We like to say that we are an extension of your team and though that’s always true, sometimes the tables turn in the best way and people like John become an extension of ours. John took some time out of his busy schedule of professional meme and GIF creation to answer a few questions in what we’re creatively calling: “Tech Director Spotlight.” Enjoy
Where are you currently?
League City, Texas (Houston area), Bay Area First Baptist Church

Where have you been?
Technical Director – Lake Hills Church, Austin TX
Live Video Director – Seacoast Church, Mount Pleasant, SC

How long have you been a TD?
9 years

Why did you decide to become a TD?
My background and training was in creative video production, so lots of shooting and editing. In the church, a lot of times gaps in staffing arise and you just fill them. I was given an opportunity about 9 years ago to oversee tech at the church I was at and I’ve never looked back.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a TD?
It’s definitely serving along side an awesome staff and volunteer team. Systems and processes come and go, but the relationship side of what we do is what lasts.

What’s the most challenging circumstance you’ve faced as a TD?
I think that each and every project I’ve done has had similar challenges. There’s never enough time…rarely enough resources to do what you think is right. One of the most fun parts about being a TD is solving those issues and coming up with a plan that works.

Most mind-blowing technical change you’ve seen since you started?
It’s not so much a change in technology but more of a change in my thinking. Since my background is in video I’ve always prioritized video systems and lighting over audio. As I’ve gotten older it seems that audio is the hardest discipline of the three to get right…and it always seems like it’s the hardest one to do-over. My advice is get your audio right, then figure out the rest.

A word to aspiring Tech Directors?
As technical artists I think one of our biggest responsibilities is to help guard the bar of excellence in the areas we are responsible for. I understand all churches are different, and all budgets are different. Each time I’ve chosen to do less, at a higher quality over more with marginal equipment, things always seem to go better. I like to think that our gear, and processes works for us… not the other way around.

Best memory working with Skylark?
Where would I even start? I’ve had so many great experiences with Skylark over the last 8 years, a bunch of projects that always turned out great. Always on time and within budget. I’m grateful to have a partner in this that genuinely cares about what we’re trying to do at Bay Area. I view Skylark as family, I know that that may sound weird when talking about your AVL provider, but once you experience it nothing else will do.