Top Ten Easter Videos

After sharing my top ten Christmas videos last year and the year before, I thought it was about time I put together a list of the top Easter videos. After watching many many videos, I’ve hopefully found ten films that are not only great for sharing on social media but could be played in church too.

1. Good Friday Live
This video from Christians in Sport, is a clever telling of the Easter story through BCC news style footage, making it able to relate to how we consume news nowadays

2. The Gospel
An incredibly powerful, visually stunning film, showing the reason behind Jesus’ crucifixion, dying for our sins. This video might also be useful at Pentecost.

3. Easter Sunday Opener, Luke 24:1-6
A short simple video perfect for starting your Easter Sunday service.

4. This is Easter
Using text and computer generated graphics, this is another short and simple video which breaks the story down to the important message behind it.

5. Good Friday (Easter Tilt Shift)
Tilt Shift is a video effect which makes everything look like a moving model village. In this video, Church groups from Dursley in Gloucestershire carry a large cross to the top of Cam Peak, a steep hill on the outskirts of the town, to commemorate Good Friday, all to the tune of Jerusalem.

6. Easter
This video uses lightbulbs to explain the story of the cross, and does it effectively. The high quality video, mixed with a great spoken word piece over the top is very creative and very watchable.

7. Egg: An Easter Meditation
A nice piece of simple poetry, telling the Easter story, combining it with the symbolism of the eggs we all eat on Easter Sunday.

8. Cannonball
Written by Glen Scrivener with his expected cleverness with words, and performed by rapper Guvna B. This animation stands out from the crowd and makes you want to watch it again and again.

9. Easter Address – The Gospel
Short but powerful. This film was created to begin an Easter service which means it’s the a great opener to a bigger conversation.

10. Light of Life
Another powerful film, mixing old footage with a simple spoken word piece which combined creates a unique telling of the Easter story.

Why not make your own Easter video? Have a read of my easy video ideas to be inspired.

Let me know what you think of the videos in the comments below.
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Videos to Inspire

In the past I’ve posted some great Christmas videos for churches to use and share on social media, and I’ll be sharing some for Easter very soon. But I also want to inspire you to start making your own videos. Nowadays, videoing and editing equipment doesn’t cost the earth and can be easy to learn, so it’s not out of the reach of churches at all. Videos are a fantastic way of telling stories and will engage people in ways that words can’t, so the more videos churches create the better!

The ones I’ve chosen below aren’t incredibly complicated or expensive, but they do tell stories in unique ways. Look at the many stories your church is telling (either in the bible or as a church family) and I hope some of these videos inspire you to start creating.

The Scared is Scared
The idea is simple – get a young child to create a story and turn that into a video. It’s clever, funny, cute and simply made. How about you get some of the younger church members to tell a bible story and the adults have to recreate it?

Gulp
The world’s largest stop motion animation turned a beach into a canvas. How can you make use of your church building to create a smart stop motion story?

George’s Boots
The story here is told in voiceover which means you can be creative over the visuals. In this video, the visuals aren’t flashy and don’t distract from the story, instead they help tell the story. What visuals would you put with someone telling their testimony?

Go All Day
What’s great about this is how the story unfolds in one continuous shot. The logistics of this style of filmmaking can be hard to co-ordinate as everything has to be choreographed, but it will stand out from the crowd. How could you tell a story in one take but still keep it captivating?

There and Back – Columbia
What makes this video clever is the unusual perspective throughout the film. You get to see what they see and experience, making you  feel like you could almost be there yourself. How could you experiment with unusual angles and perspectives?

Speed of Light
By using what you already have, but in a different way, you can can create something that’ll make people not only stop and watch, but want to share it too. 

I picked these videos from Vimeo as there is an absolute abundance of stunning films being uploaded onto the website, from beginners to experienced directors. Do explore the many different styles of animation and filmmaking the site has to offer and be inspired further.

Want to have a go yourself? Have a read of my easy video ideas to get started.

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Cheap and Easy Video Ideas to Replicate

Video is an incredibly important tool to engage people online and a great way to tell stories. Videos are also easy to share, meaning your video could be shared much further than a simple text post could.

But you may think it’s hard to create good quality videos for your church, or that you need expensive equipment and editing skills. There are some simple ways, however, that you can incorporate video into your social media strategy.

Here are some ideas that need next to no editing at all:

  • Update people with what’s happening in the church over the next few weeks. It could be service themes, regular events such as messy church or special events like a quiz night or a party. All you need is someone from the leadership team who is enthusiastic and charismatic who can give people a quick rundown of what they can look forward to.
  • Set up a camera somewhere quiet and let people record their testimonies. Hearing stories of how people came to faith can be incredibly inspiring and can be shared on social media and in church services.
  • Film the best bits of a service or an event: an amazing musical performance, a baptism or a part of an inspiring sermon. These kinds of films don’t need to be long at all and can even be filmed on a mobile phone.
  • Try something more creative such as stop-motion or timelapse (see below videos for examples of these) You don’t even need a film camera for stop motion, a regular camera will do the job. Just take a photo every second or two and edit all the photos together to create an interesting effect. Here’s more information on creating stop motion. 

For the more advanced:

  • Create a welcome video which shows all that your church has to offer (a basic version of this can be done with just someone talking to the camera) Here’s a good example

Some things to think about when making your videos:

  • Keep the videos short, around 2-5 minutes
  • Make sure you check that everyone in the church is happy to be in any video you shoot. Make a simple announcement that you’re filming and if anyone doesn’t want to be in it to let you know so you can keep them out of shot
  • Don’t forget to check which licenses you need to use any music with your video
  • Try and write a storyboard or a plan of the shots you need and what it’ll look like, this will save you time when you come to filming and will keep the filming process focused and on track
  • Sometimes words aren’t needed, use the actions and emotions in a video to tell a story
  • Keep all the footage you take saved somewhere, it may come in handy for videos later on
  • Don’t take yourselves too seriously. If you haven’t seen this video from a church advertising for a new vicar, you should! 

Here are some other creative videos that you could try yourself – Or just be inspired!

Telling stories on pieces of cardboard

Using time lapse and illustrations on a whiteboard to explain the Bible

A stop motion announcements video

A short stop motion Christmas video

A Good Friday video (also includes an effect called tilt-shift)

Another time lapse video, an easy idea where you can get the whole church involved

A simple, beautifully shot, baptism video

A “Day in the Life” of one church in London

For other ideas – have a look at some of the videos The Church of England has pinned to their Pinterest account

Have you discovered any interesting and creative videos or just have ideas for one? Share them in the comments!

5 Ideas for Regular Features

Along with regular day to day posts, it’s good to have a regular feature: something you post on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Not only can it become something people look forward to and come back for, it shows a lot more planning and strategy for your account. It’s also something you can schedule in over the next few weeks or even months, leaving you more time for the day to day posts.

Here are some ideas for your church account:

1. A monthly video
Why not get your vicar or someone else from the leadership team talking about what’s to come in the services for the next four weeks? Keep it short and snappy and finish it with an invite to come and join in. It can be done in one shot using a phone or tablet and uploaded straight to Facebook. Not only is this a great way of reminding your congregation what’s to come, but it’s a friendly introduction to those visiting you for the first time.
If you’ve got someone with advanced editing skills, try filming bits during each service and putting it all together in a video that looks back over the last few weeks.

2. Weekly/Monthly quiz
Maybe it’s a cropped photo from around the parish that people have to guess where it’s from, or maybe it’s a missing word from the lyrics of a hymn. Give people something fun to do on your page.

3. Photos Galore
Images and photos always have more engagement on social media than text alone. There are a few ways you can take advantage of this: Why not post an an unusual photo of your church each week or photos of different church members? It’ll be less intimidating for the person coming to your church for the first time if they can recognise faces from your twitter account. It also makes your just appear a lot more open, honest and welcoming.
Alternatively, create a feature where church members send in photos from services, events giving them a turn to be in the limelight.

4. Fun Facts
People love a fact or a statistic on social media. It’s a bite-size piece of information which leaves them with a little bit more knowledge. Think about having a regular ‘did you know…’ section. It could be about the church building, about the staff team or how many cups and tea and coffee served at the last service. If you want to go one step further: turn the fact into a colourful graphic

5. Quotes/Verses
You may have spotted corporate accounts posting graphics featuring quotes from famous thinkers. These kinds of posts are really well received but why not make yours a little different? Use thought provoking quotes pulled from sermons, or comments people have made about your church. It’s also really easy to pull out verses from the Bible and add it to a nice background. You could find verses that match the service topics or go for broader topics. For those that don’t have someone with design skills, try a website such as Recitethis.com where it does all the hard work for you.

Quick tip: always post your regular feature on the same day of the week, that way people will know when to look for it. 

If you have any questions or have any other regular feature suggestions, let me know in the comments below

10 of the Best: Christmas Videos

There are plenty of videos online, all with a different take on the Christmas story and all of them perfect for showing in church or posting to Facebook and Twitter. With so many good ones to choose from it’s hard to know which ones to use, so I’ve picked my favourites. Hopefully there’s something for everyone in this list.

1. Someone is Coming
A gorgeous animated film which fits the Christmas story into a much larger story.

2. Santa vs Jesus
One of many spoken word videos by Glen Scrivener (do check the others out). Once you’ve watched it once, you’ll want to play to again to take in all the clever wording.

3. GRYMG -Beat Convention
Combining rap, singing and a Cathedral choir performing the carol God Rest You Merry Gentleman, this is the ultimate combination of traditional and contemporary.

4. The Christmas Story, by the kids of St Paul’s Church, Auckland.
Another high quality video, this one full of cute children dressed up telling the Christmas Story which is perfect for showing at a crib service (a similar video with more cute children can be found here: http://vimeo.com/33388642)

5. InstaChristmas
A completely unique telling of the Christmas story, this one using hundreds of instagram photos, definitely one which will get people talking.

6. The Magi: Advent & Christmas Unit — Holy Moly Sunday School
Perfect for Epiphany – a simple animation telling the story of the magi which children will love. (Do see the other videos in the series which may also be useful)

7. O Little Town of Bethlehem
A powerful video of the story of the birth of Jesus told by the people of Bethlehem. Made by St Paul’s Church, Auckland.

8. The Earth Stood Still
The nativity using miniature figurines and music. A simple video which makes a great starting off point for any Christmas services.

9. Unto Us
A short modernised telling of the Christmas story with proves you don’t need words to be powerful

10. The Christmas Chord.
Another spoken word piece about the one chord which holds all of Christmas together – very clever’s written and produced.

Let me know what your favourite video is in the comments below.