Film Is Your Way Forward

Did you know that, currently, one of the most prevalent digital trends across our planet is the effective use of film? High quality text and imaging continue to be important but the rise in popularity of the easily recorded/edited moving image is most definitely the way forward.

One of the reasons why video is becoming more and more popular like this and, therefore, is synonymous with organisational credibility, is that it is becoming more realistic to produce. With the advent of the smartphone and technological leaps forward in their camera specs, films are now popping up everywhere. Instagram and Facebook now have live film streaming at the heart of their platforms because they recognise the rise of film in terms of social media and wider digital trend. Have you noticed on TV news broadcasts how smartphone videos are being used more and more as public confidence has increased in films made at the drop of a hat?

Producing Church Videos – You Can Do It

The thought or aspiration of producing church videos can easily discourage their leaders because of the associations with large budgets to produce something decent. While it is true that producing a professional quality film will cost you more, there is still a lot you’re able to achieve for virtually no budget at all. Within your limited budget, you might consider investing in one higher-end piece of video as your main homepage content and then crack on with getting creative with your phone!

Use Your Smart Phone

Believe it or not, within your jeans pocket or next to your computer as you read this blog, you will most likely have everything that you need to make some good-quality church video content to live on your website. You just need to give it a go and practice the art of producing film like you would a written blog article!

If you use an iPhone like me, you will have a free app on it called Movie Maker. If you use an android phone, you will have something called KineMaster. These apps allow you to edit film files that you record on your phone and form them into a cohesive piece of film content. You’re able to alter the length of sequences, arrange them into a timeline, add filters, transitions, text, music and effects and, with a little creativity, you can produce something powerful and engaging.

Here’s an example of a short piece I filmed and edited entirely on my iPhone and Movie Maker nearly three years ago. It’s a very basic piece but it’s a good example of what can be done quickly by using your phone. It cost me nothing to produce apart from my time filming/editing it. And, guess what, the more you produce film content the quicker you get!

Giving a detailed tutorial on use of Movie Maker and KineMaster is beyond the space I have here in this blog article, but there are four key tips that I’d like to leave with you help you at least make a start:

1)    Don’t Zoom In – because smart phones are still relatively limited in their film camera spec (as opposed to say a DSLR) I would recommend that you try to avoid zooming in, if you can. When you zoom in you are essentially reducing the resolution quality of your images so that when they’re in your timeline and eventual film, they will be more “noisy”. This just means they’ll be lower quality. Instead, to achieve the same effect, physically move towards your object by moving your feet!

2)    Use AEL – Auto Exposure Lock. When you film by moving your camera, you will regularly have jumps in exposure that can look pretty rubbish on screen. For example, in my video link above, in the opening few seconds as the camera pans to the left, you’ll notice the exposure jumping as it tries to adjust to the changing light of clouds and sun and the surrounding landscape. Locking your exposure at the beginning of a film sequence means that this won’t happen and the exposure will remain the same throughout the sequence. On an iPhone within your camera app, you can achieve AEL by pressing on your screen until a yellow box pops up saying “AE/AF Lock”.

3)    Shoot in Landscape – You can either hold your phone horizontally (called landscape) or vertically (called portrait). It is almost always better to use landscape. Normally, when you see smartphone clips used in news broadcasts, the TV channel has to use an effect to fill out the screen because most people naturally film with their phone in their hands vertically…in portrait. When you film in landscape you produce a much more screen-friendly aspect/format when it comes to editing. Also, remember to always use landscape otherwise you’ll have to edit portrait and landscape together which won’t look good.

4)    Buy a Mic/Tripod – For less than $100 you can buy yourself a lapel mic that fits into your smartphone and a tripod to enable you to take steadier shots. Both of these tools will help you in contexts such as interview on camera or where you want to take a time-lapse. I recommend the following kit: 1) Rode Mic and 2) Joby Grip Tight Tripod.

These four tips will help you to begin to experiment with church video and how it can strengthen your church’s presence online. Shooting and editing film can be a lot of fun and I recommend, above all, practice and lots of creativity.

Please drop me a line if I can help any further.

Nick Franks is a blogger/song-writer living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Learning to love as he should, Nick is engrossed in what it might look like to live a contagious life of worship and prayer, finding and leaving signposts for the Kingdom along the way. Nick sweats under his eyes when he eats too much cheese, adores Liverpool FC and has a strong preference for Earl Grey leaf tea. Nick is married to Mairi. 

You can find Nick online:






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Author: CMM Staff