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.
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.”
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.
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