Photos are powerful. Audio can be moving. But video is compelling. It is this collision of audio, visuals and emotion all in one package. Short videos are making all the viral rounds and are being encouraged by tools like Vine and Instragram
Chances are you don’t need to be convinced of this. You’ve probably seen a moving video and thought to yourself, “That was great. But we could never do that.”
That may have been true 20 years ago, but not today.
Today’s technology has leveled the playing field for under-resourced churches. You may not start producing such involved, layered and detailed videos as this Hillsong creation, but you can still create something powerful. Let’s get started with some basics in producing short videos:
1. The Idea
We’re not even talking about the nerdy part of video yet. It’s the idea that makes video compelling. Everyone says, “Content is king,” and they’re right. So what is it you have to say that is important for everyone to hear, see or feel? Now come up an idea to deliver that message.
Example: The leadership at my church wanted the congregation to give financially to support the purchase of a back-up generator (we lose power at least twice a week where we are). Instead of just getting on camera and asking people to give us money, we wanted to tell a story. Watch what I shot and edited in about an hour.
2. The Inspiration
This one’s easy. In fact, we made it even easier by putting together some samples from a couple other churches:
And here are a few very short and sweet videos I have produced for Whitewater Crossing:
There are a lot of other inspiring examples out there. Just ask. If you’ve got some examples, post ’em in the comments. We especially like these quick and dirty (but effective) videos created for local churches by the Creative Missions team.
Disclaimer: While the above videos were simple, they were mostly shot with a DSLR camera and edited in video software. We use Adobe stuff. You could use Windows Movie Maker. Looking for an even simpler option? Keep reading.
3. The Equipment
You are probably holding your video equipment in your pocket right now. If you don’t have a phone that can capture video, there is probably someone on your team who does. And now with a nifty little app called Vine, you have the power of editing together multiple clips right on your smartphone. The best part is that it forces you to be brief (six seconds!). You can be as simple or creative as you like. Here are some examples:
4. The Network
Twenty years ago video wasn’t a real possibility for your congregation because you had no delivery network. You might be able to show a video in person, but that’s the best you could do. The changing times are definitely a benefit to video. Now you can easily reach your audience with a vast network. YouTube is the number two search engine. People respond to video on social media. And it’s an engaging addition to your website.
So now that you have the idea, inspiration, equipment and network, what are you waiting for? You don’t have to be a video nerd, artist, film-maker, techie or even a fan of social networking. I hope and pray God will empower the church to go into the world with the most compelling message of all time in the most compelling medium—short videos.