Sometimes, the biggest hurdle to a professional video mix isn’t equipment, volunteers or skill level. It couldn’t matter less what lens you have or who’s running what camera. More often then not, the biggest obstacle you may come against is your own perception of how the service should go.
What do I mean by your perceptions being the greatest hinderance to your video mix? Well…. let’s answer a couple questions truthfully.
- Do you have hundreds of volunteers or paid operators at your disposable, or do you have to recruit and train whomever is willing and able?
- Have you ever watched a music video from Hillsong, Bethel Church or Jesus Culture?
If you’re like most people reading this blog, your church doesn’t have an unlimited pool of money to hire camera operators… instead you have to rely on training and recruiting volunteers. And if you’re like most everyone in the whole entire world, you have at some point seen SOMETHING from Hillsong, Bethel or Jesus Culture. The point being? We all have watched videos from these huge ministries. In watching them, we have formed a perception of how exactly our own video mixes should be. We aspire to produce services as excellent as they do. So what’s wrong with that?
What we perhaps don’t realize is that these ministries have both a wealth of professional talent to pull from for the production and editing. Once they shoot a video, it may take several days, weeks or months to fine tune the timing of every shot until it looks absolutely fantastic. Unknowingly, we watch and try to instantly achieve the same level of perfection live during a church service, only to risk the entire production by trying to go to far to fast.
Here’s the disclaimer: I am by no means discouraging you from watching other peoples videos, gathering ideas, and aspiring to achieve their excellence. On the contrary, I highly encourage you to do just that! What better way to grow yourself then to look at the example of others and try to match their achievements? Instead, I’m urging you not to expect your production to achieve the same quality overnight.
Building excellence isn’t quick; it’s a long process of growing, evaluating, learning and trying. When you see some new shots you want to try, research, practice, communicate and practice some more. Let your team know that you want them to try a couple new things, but NOT at the expense of the service. Work it in – if it doesn’t look right, don’t feel pressured to take the shot. In the end it may take longer to achieve the result you are aspiring to, but along the way your production won’t suffer at all. Instead, with each service it will get incrementally better and more professional as you slowly build the entire team’s excellence up.
It may not have been what you wanted to hear, but in my experience this is the best way to actually achieve your desired results. Don’t take a shortcut or the easy way out – excellence is only achieved by planning and lots of hard work.