All posts tagged screenwriting

The Story (Making Sermon Videos Part 2)

film

Beginning, Middle and End (and when to break this rule)

Even if your time crunch doesn’t allow a fully written script, you can come up with the beginning, middle and end. Do not underestimate this step!  When coming up with a new concept ask yourself these questions:

  • Where does my story start (beginning)
  • How will it end (end)
  • How does it get there? (middle)

Many times people try to overcomplicate this process. Please don’t. Decide what point you want to get across or what question you want to ask and then figure out how to set it up and how to conclude it.

One thing to consider which does seems to contradict the “beginning, middle, end” philosophy and that is realizing that in some cases the video doesn’t really need to have an end. Now, you think I’m crazy! If you were shooting a movie or short to be played by itself with no explanation you would need to resolve everything, but often the videos that churches find most useful either show just a scenario or leave it open ended for the teacher to tie together.

An example of this is a video we created called “God’s Phone System.” In this video we were showing what it would be like if God had a phone system. Several people called in and through the next couple minutes became frustrated with pressing the correct options and getting put on “hold.” That video doesn’t stand well on its own, but when someone then begins to teach about prayer and how God isn’t like a phone system, it is a home run!

please install flash

Go for the Opposite

Sometimes the best video illustration is one that actually demonstrates the opposite of what you are trying to communicate. Maybe make a short informercial about a product that will supposedly help you to hear from God better. Or maybe an interview with someone that is talking about how they overcame anger but they get mad at the interviewer during the process.

That’s the great thing about video. You can hit a completely absurd angle which gets everyone laughing, and then the speaker can come up and drive home a point about prayer or about how each of us struggle with anger at times even if we don’t admit it.

Demystifying Church Video (Making Sermon Videos Part 1)

movie

Shooting the Idea

About fifteen years ago my friend Don and I had an idea to create a short video to be used at a youth rally we were participating in. We had never seen anyone use video in church, in fact we though we invented the idea! Anyhow, we proceeded to take our SVHS camera and create a five-minute story about a kid who really wanted to follow Christ, but had a friend (the Devil) that he wasn’t willing to let go of.

please install flash

We really didn’t know what we were doing back then, but everyone liked the video even though the production quality wasn’t the highest. It is funny to think that that same video is still being shown in churches around the country!

That first venture into producing church media was very exciting for me. Many years, and films, later Don and I are still producing videos for our weekend church services. Sure, they may not always be “Hollywood quality” but they get the job done in a very effective way. A way that few other media forms can touch.

So can anyone make a video illustration? Everyone knows that the cost of quality video cameras and editing equipment has dropped to the point that anyone can produce videos with little expense…you can even shoot HD videos with your phone now!! So, the reality is, that everyone does have the potential to make great videos for church!

Start with a Solid Concept

Before you pull out your gear make sure that you have a clear concept in mind. Unlike Hollywood we rarely fully script a short video…maybe that is because we are usually shooting it on Friday to be used that weekend!! We come up with a creative idea that will setup a point that will be made that weekend.

One time we were doing a service on temptation and we came up with the concept of a mom making cookies and giving them to her kid. As is typical the child wanted more but the mom said “no.” After everyone was tucked into bed shots would be shown of someone sneaking into the kitchen and helping themselves to cookies. Then the light would come on and it would be the father.

We quickly decided on the location and actors and filmed “Cookie Temptation.”

please install flash

It is always a good idea to use humor in the concept because people tend to relate to humor very well. If something is funny they will generally overlook other flaws.

The idea of having a solid concept is crucial. Abstract concepts are generally great for film festivals and the like, but oftentimes they are not suited as well to use in the local church.

Incoming search terms:

  • best video cameras for church sermon
  • video cameras for sermons