Starting a Video Ministry at church from scratch

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    • #46505
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hey gang…

      I’ve been working with video in churches for several years now… primarily as an editor but in the past few years I’ve improved my filming a bit. I edit with Final Cut HD (but not actually in HD) and have been using a Canon GL1 camera.

      Anyway… long story short and where I need your advice, I am starting a new job at a new church and being asked to begin creating original videos for worship. I’m not talking about broadcasting our services, more along the lines of either short skit type videos or else highlight reel type stuff of things that have happened in the church.

      My budget will be in the 10-15k range to start out… I need help in what to get. Here is my list and I would love to have ANY suggestions on these things and also things I might be forgetting.

      Computer / Edit system (probably mac G5 tower w/ final cut studio)
      Camera – (leaning towards XL1)
      Tripod – (can’t spend a fortune, but would like a good one)
      Lighting – (need a fairly basic, easy to use setup)
      Mics – (wireless lapel / handheld… what are some good ones?)
      Edit desk – (I have no idea where to find these)
      Green screen – (portable? paint a wall? what’s the best option?)

      Okay… that’s my short list… I’d love any help with advice you guys could give. I’m pretty good with editing once it’s shot but the filming of it is something I’m still learning.

      – Greg

    • #191720
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Howdy Greg! Let’s see if we can’t give you some ideas πŸ˜‰

      I’ve been working with video in churches for several years now… primarily as an editor but in the past few years I’ve improved my filming a bit. I edit with Final Cut HD (but not actually in HD) and have been using a Canon GL1 camera.

      Interesting history. I was quite the opposite. I started out on one of the cameras, and workd my way into the editing suite.

      Anyway… long story short and where I need your advice, I am starting a new job at a new church and being asked to begin creating original videos for worship. I’m not talking about broadcasting our services, more along the lines of either short skit type videos or else highlight reel type stuff of things that have happened in the church.

      My budget will be in the 10-15k range to start out…

      That sounds incredible. A church that’s willing to put that much into that sort of ministry has a lot of potential. I’ve always believed that a strong media ministry can make or break a church in several ways.

      I need help in what to get. Here is my list and I would love to have ANY suggestions on these things and also things I might be forgetting.

      Computer / Edit system (probably mac G5 tower w/ final cut studio)
      Camera – (leaning towards XL1)
      Tripod – (can’t spend a fortune, but would like a good one)
      Lighting – (need a fairly basic, easy to use setup)
      Mics – (wireless lapel / handheld… what are some good ones?)
      Edit desk – (I have no idea where to find these)
      Green screen – (portable? paint a wall? what’s the best option?)

      Okay… that’s my short list… I’d love any help with advice you guys could give. I’m pretty good with editing once it’s shot but the filming of it is something I’m still learning.

      – Greg

      Okay, the one thing I have to ask is what does the church already have? I can advise you on cameras, tripods, mics, etc, but without knowing what the camera has, and what plans the church has for it’s Audio/Video in the future, I can’t say with any certainty "go buy this or that".

      For the editing computer, if you learned editing on a Mac, you might as well stick with it. If you want to save some money though, PC’s are cheaper. Of course, compatibility isn’t an issue anymore, since Macs can run Windows software, but keep in mind that you’ll have to drop an extra couple hundred bucks on a copy of Windows if you go that route.

      For a Camera, the XL-1 is a nice camera (though not as nice as the new XL2), but for your needs, do you really need that much camera? If you want to stick to Canon cameras, you could buy 2 GL-2’s for a fair price, which would serve your needs. Plus, having two cameras would mean that you wouldn’t have to reshoot a scene to get differnt camera angles. I will always recommend at least two cameras. In a wedding I’m doing this upcoming weekend, I’m bringing four. Admittedly, recording in a studio versus a live event are two totally different animals, but even in the studio, the more cameras you have means the less takes you’ll need to make.

      As far as tripods go, get yourself a good Fluid head and a nice set of sticks. And if you have to comprimise on one of them, do so on the legs. The Bogen 503 is a great affordable fluid head. If you can afford the Bogen 516, it’s super sweet. I got to play with one, and even though I love the 503, If I can ever afford it, the 516 will enter my collection.

      Something people sometimes forget in ordering tripods is that your camera controls will still be on the camera, not the tripod. To solve that, Bogen makes a wired remote, "521" that mounts to the pan/tilt arm on their tripod head. It has all the basic features you’d need. Of course, you could use the wireless remote that comes with the camera, but because cameras can "see" infared light (i.e. remote control lights), you might notice blinking on your subjects when you hit the buttons, caused by the remotes transmitter. I’ve seen this in closed quarters especially.

      On lighting, your studio space really will determine what you need. Large stage, or small closet? Good ambient lighting, or terrible, shadowy room? What you’ve got, as with the rest of this, determines what you need. I once took a job where I was to turn an old stage into a video studio. The room had good enough lighting already that all I had to do was switch a couple of the existing lights around and add a few difussers, and I got the lighting done for under $150.

      But if you are just looking for a simple lighting solution, I’ve seen kits with 2 lights, stands, and difussers for under $800.

      Mics. This is where I really shine, because I’ve been doing sound a lot longer than I’ve been in video. I am a Shure fanatic. I love them. I desire them. I would rather have a beat up used shure mic than a brand new anything else. But because Shure mics are expensive, I’ve sold my sould in the past to save money. Once again, what your church already has along with what you’re doing will determine what you need.

      If you’re filming studio stuff, you won’t want wireless lapel mics, becaue they are very visible on camera. We use them for filming weddings because having a boom mic operator dangling a mic over the pastor would get me killed by almost every bride I’ve worked for, but this is really an ideal setup. A nice shotgun mic or something you can mount on a boom pole would be the way to go, so you can get good sound and not have to look at microphone heads on the talents’ clothing in the final video.

      A couple notes – most pro mics use XLR jacks. Because of this, you’ll need to buy Canon’s MA-300 to use them with your canon camera. If they use a cardioid setup that requires phantom power, the MA-300 won’t cut it, and you’ll need (in addition to the MA-300) a sound mixer or an adapter to apply phantom power to the line.

      You asked about an Edit Desk. Honestly, An old door placed atop two short filing cabinets would work ;). I don’t use a special desk personally, just the regular ol’ Wal Mart $99 special. If you want to buy a nice desk, I saw a neat desk designed for editing at Office Depot. It had a built in port hole that had firewire and usb connectors on it, which was a neat feature. Of course, this desk is smaller than my Wal Mart desk (I think it’s actually made by Sauder), but it costs about $200, if I recall correctly.

      Green Screen – Again, what are your needs and limitations? If you want to be able to film in several locations, they make collapsable screens. You can just paint a wall if you have a studio, but you need to make sure that your wall is super duper smooth. I mean like smooth as a car’s finish smooth. The texture and bumps found on most walls can throw off the key index in your editor. I’ve painted a wall green before and it worked okay for the project, but then, you’re stuck with a green wall.

      Remember that you shoul have a 12 foot tall room for chroma key application, and if your subject can be at least 5 feet away from the screen, you’ll get less washout and a better picture.

      I’m interested in this project. Feel free to shoot me a PM with more details, and I can help you more, or you can just post here and you’ll get hte help of several othr helpful people too.

      By the way, for future reference, this forum has a whole section just for folks who use Video for church application. It’s the "Video for Worship" forum, towards the bottom of the page. There are a lot of great comments down there, too! πŸ™‚

    • #191721
      Avatartpainter
      Participant

      Greg – I’m a little envious. I am the unofficial media director for my church and have been trying to create some shorts as well. But I still have to work full time to support my hobby πŸ™‚

      You have a great budget to start with – and you will get a lot of great advice here.

      Other than creating shorts for worship, are there any other uses for the equipment? (Like taping performances, weddings, etc?)

      I am not sure how your church plans the service, but I am part of a team that meets weekly to coordinate all the elements of the service, including music, video/graphics, sermon, etc. We usually start planning a month in advance and the pastor gives us the theme of the sermon, so from there we can brainstorm ideas and come up with ideas for skits and video so that it fits into the overall theme of the service. I mention this because it may be time you need more than equipment in the future.

      One thing that I have been trying to do is see if the video can have some use outside the service. It can be disappointing to work hours on a 5 minute video to be shown once in a service. Sermonspice.com sells short videos to show in the service and allows people to post their videos for sale there as well. Basically you end up getting half the sale. I wouldn’t expect to bring in a lot of money with it, but it would be worthwhile knowing that the fruits of your labor can be used elsewhere.

    • #191722
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks guys for the quick help… Let me reply to some of those questions to see if I can’t give a little more clarity.

      Okay, the one thing I have to ask is what does the church already have? I can advise you on cameras, tripods, mics, etc, but without knowing what the camera has, and what plans the church has for it’s Audio/Video in the future, I can’t say with any certainty "go buy this or that".

      They have nothing. No cameras. No computer. No lights. Zip. This is from the ground up.

      For the editing computer, if you learned editing on a Mac, you might as well stick with it. If you want to save some money though, PC’s are cheaper. Of course, compatibility isn’t an issue anymore, since Macs can run Windows software, but keep in mind that you’ll have to drop an extra couple hundred bucks on a copy of Windows if you go that route.

      I am pretty much set on Mac. I love Final Cut and use Motion for all my text / animation stuff… I can use Premier, but prefer Final Cut.

      For a Camera, the XL-1 is a nice camera (though not as nice as the new XL2), but for your needs, do you really need that much camera? If you want to stick to Canon cameras, you could buy 2 GL-2’s for a fair price, which would serve your needs. Plus, having two cameras would mean that you wouldn’t have to reshoot a scene to get differnt camera angles. I will always recommend at least two cameras. In a wedding I’m doing this upcoming weekend, I’m bringing four. Admittedly, recording in a studio versus a live event are two totally different animals, but even in the studio, the more cameras you have means the less takes you’ll need to make.

      We will be filming all kinds of things… Weddings? Maybe… kids plays, musicals, services, all that kind of stuff will probably get filmed at some point… I’m sure I’ll be asked to make videos of anything and everything, but the #1 function is to film original productions. I would rather spend more here though to get the right camera… I also can envision a few years down the road trying to setup a 3 camera shoot for webcasting the services. I’d like to buy a camera that I can use in that setup when the time comes.

      As far as tripods go, get yourself a good Fluid head and a nice set of sticks. And if you have to comprimise on one of them, do so on the legs. The Bogen 503 is a great affordable fluid head. If you can afford the Bogen 516, it’s super sweet. I got to play with one, and even though I love the 503, If I can ever afford it, the 516 will enter my collection.

      How much are we talking here for this?

      On lighting, your studio space really will determine what you need. Large stage, or small closet? Good ambient lighting, or terrible, shadowy room? What you’ve got, as with the rest of this, determines what you need. I once took a job where I was to turn an old stage into a video studio. The room had good enough lighting already that all I had to do was switch a couple of the existing lights around and add a few difussers, and I got the lighting done for under $150.

      But if you are just looking for a simple lighting solution, I’ve seen kits with 2 lights, stands, and difussers for under $800.

      Any brands you recommend here? We’ll need this to be portable… we won’t really have a "studio" to film in. Everythign will be done on location.

      Mics. This is where I really shine, because I’ve been doing sound a lot longer than I’ve been in video. I am a Shure fanatic. I love them. I desire them. I would rather have a beat up used shure mic than a brand new anything else. But because Shure mics are expensive, I’ve sold my sould in the past to save money. Once again, what your church already has along with what you’re doing will determine what you need.

      If you’re filming studio stuff, you won’t want wireless lapel mics, becaue they are very visible on camera. We use them for filming weddings because having a boom mic operator dangling a mic over the pastor would get me killed by almost every bride I’ve worked for, but this is really an ideal setup. A nice shotgun mic or something you can mount on a boom pole would be the way to go, so you can get good sound and not have to look at microphone heads on the talents’ clothing in the final video.

      Lapel mics are going to have to be a reality for us at first, because we just won’t have the crew or manpower / know-how to start using shotguns right off the bat. I could see us moving to that in the future.

      A couple notes – most pro mics use XLR jacks. Because of this, you’ll need to buy Canon’s MA-300 to use them with your canon camera. If they use a cardioid setup that requires phantom power, the MA-300 won’t cut it, and you’ll need (in addition to the MA-300) a sound mixer or an adapter to apply phantom power to the line.

      Does the XL1 & XL2 have XLR inputs to where I can just plug mics right in?

      I’m interested in this project. Feel free to shoot me a PM with more details, and I can help you more, or you can just post here and you’ll get hte help of several othr helpful people too.

      By the way, for future reference, this forum has a whole section just for folks who use Video for church application. It’s the "Video for Worship" forum, towards the bottom of the page. There are a lot of great comments down there, too! πŸ™‚

      Thanks man… I don’t actually start this job for another month… just trying to research it now so that when I start, I can go ahead and have it in my mind what we should buy.

      ALSO…

      Does anyone have any experience with a product called the Firestore? It’s a hard drive that connects to your camera so you don’t have to capture to your computer… you just move the files over… it looks like a HUGE time saver… wondering if they work well and if folks are satisfied with it.

    • #191723
      Avatartpainter
      Participant

      [quote="gregmuzak"]
      Does anyone have any experience with a product called the Firestore? It’s a hard drive that connects to your camera so you don’t have to capture to your computer… you just move the files over… it looks like a HUGE time saver… wondering if they work well and if folks are satisfied with it.[/quote]

      Yes, I have the FS-4 Firestore. It works great – it really does save a whole lot of time not having to capture the tape. Another plus is that you save wear on your camera’s tape heads if you go totally tapeless.

      However, most would suggest that you also record to tape as well, just to be safe and for backup purposes.

      http://www.focusenhancements.com/solutions/catalog.asp?id=3

      Most cameras should work with it – there is a compatibility chart at their site.

      I bought mine from ideoguys.com they currently have a great deal on a bundle (extra battery, camera mount, etc) right now.

      http://www.videoguys.com/FireStore.html

    • #191724
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hi again,

      I think I’ll start at the end of you last post, on firestore.

      It’s a great tool, but a spendy tool. On the pro side, you can record up to three hours on it at a time, and it’s fast for dumping onto your PC. On the con side, it costs almost $700 for the cheap model, and about a grand for the fancy model.

      I’ve never used them before, but I have used other products by Focus, the company that makes the FireStore. They’re a good company from what I’ve experienced. Yeah, you’ll never have to buy another MiniDV tape again, but if you buy three cameras and put one on each of these, you’d have to buy about 1300 tapes before you broke even.

      Besides, letting the video dump in realtime gives you the chance to review it right before you edit.

      The other option is to buy a super laptop for editing, and plug the camera directly into it and record live. That’s all the Firestore is.

      They have nothing. No cameras. No computer. No lights. Zip. This is from the ground up.

      Do they have any sound equipment? Mic’s, cables, anything? Some of that might reduce your need to buy more equipment.

      We will be filming all kinds of things… Weddings? Maybe… kids plays, musicals, services, all that kind of stuff will probably get filmed at some point… I’m sure I’ll be asked to make videos of anything and everything, but the #1 function is to film original productions. I would rather spend more here though to get the right camera… I also can envision a few years down the road trying to setup a 3 camera shoot for webcasting the services. I’d like to buy a camera that I can use in that setup when the time comes.

      The GL-2 is actually capable of this. If you plan on someday getting a switcher, you’ll need to buy MA-300’s for each GL-2 to convert your composite video into a bnc style connector, but aside from that, you’d be set.

      Seriously, if you are sold on Canon, I would say get a couple GL-2’s for now. They’re not bad. They don’t work as well under low lighting as the Sony VX-2100, but since your primary purpose is production of short clips, that’s not a problem. And then next year, you can buy an XL-2, which would be a good camera for what you need.

      Does the XL1 & XL2 have XLR inputs to where I can just plug mics right in?

      Something to know about the XL-1 is that it’s an old model, and is being phased out by Canon in favor of the XL-2. That being said, the only prosumer camera Canon produces with built-in XLR jacks is the XL-2. But that camera costs 1/3 of your total budget. Hold off on buying it til next year’s budget.

      (Re: Bogen 503 vs. Boge 516) How much are we talking here for this?

      For the 503, you’re talking 275 bucks. The 516 is about $550. Sticks will run anyplace from $200-$600 for a fair set. The 521 controller is usually about $190.

      Any brands you recommend here? We’ll need this to be portable… we won’t really have a "studio" to film in. Everythign will be done on location.

      I don’t really have any one brand I use or love. The lights I currently use are a Frankenstein’ed collection form who knows how many light kits. I almost never use them, because I mostly do events where lighting is a bad idea, like weddings.

      Lapel mics are going to have to be a reality for us at first, because we just won’t have the crew or manpower / know-how to start using shotguns right off the bat. I could see us moving to that in the future.

      Honestly, for the cost of it, you’d probably be better off buying a nice shotgun mic and paying somebody $8/hr to hold it than to go wireless for productions. The price difference is huge.

      But if you do want to go wireless, Shure has a series specifically for videography. You can see them at their website. I have a set of Azden ULT200 mics I use from time to time. They’re okay, but because they’re not true diversity, they drop out every now and again. Not often, but it happens.

      Really, for most of this stuff, you can either get great quality that’s not the most convenient, or you can get acceptable quality that’s far more convienient, and carries a price tag to prove it.

      I got started in a big church that had a TON of equipment. Seriously, if they liquidated their entire AV department, they would easily make over a million dollars. They actually were rated as the second best editing suite in Omaha. Believe me when I say, coming from that background, it’s easy for me to want to buy the top of the line stuff, but the reality is that like you, when I started this business I had a budget, and as much as I wanted to get the pretty toys, I’ve had to put that off to get the sensible stuff for now. But hopefully soon, the toys, they will be mine πŸ˜‰

      I’m interested to see how this all turns out. Keep us informed!

    • #191725
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Did it work out for you and the ministry?

    • #191726
      Avatarokoji
      Participant

      I am starting a christian media and will love to know how far you have gone with this project.

    • #208528
      AvatarJonnyboy
      Participant

      im not a pro at audio, im more into video. Dont get something cheap. I know some people say buy a gl-2, dont. It doesnt record HD. the xl1 looks cool buts old. go tapeless aka SD. its fast! you have a incredible budget! I wish i had that kind of budget! 

      heres a idea of how much i would put into each area

       

      3 cameras: $7,100  –     (2 sony nex fs100 kit cameras ($3000 each if you shop) and a canon t2i for b-roll (300$) with a 50mm 1.8 (90$) 3 sd's  (100) get transcend 32gb class 10

      computer:   2200$ –      ( 16gb imac; 3.4 ghz if you can) and a couple Xternal hard drives (500$) headphones (skullcandy hesh 2, 50$), card readers. (5$)  

      ediiting software –    (Adobe premiere; digital download: 200$)

      audio:   –  2 grand  (not a pro but i own seinheizer ew 300 and their flawless but $$).. work within the budget and get 3 lapels. and if possible a gun mic would be nice.. idk if you have a pulpit mic eithir.. if not thats an aditional 100$ get some xlr chords to. 

      3 tripods: 400$ (just need to be strong and stable; manfrotto recommended; something like 190xb

      3 fluid heads: 420$  – manfrotto 701 hdv fluid heads

       

      you then mentioned green screen and edit desk and lighting. 

       

      wouldnt recomend green screening unless your already familiar with it. white or black backgrounds work good for interview type shots. (sheet, or if your church has a pupet stage with black curtains.wala)

       

      lighting might be the $$ vacuam. are you needing lighting for the stage and everthing? or do they already have basic ceiling lighting?    if so my budget for that would be about $3,000

       

      you dont need a fancy desk. i got one free! Craigslist it. (50$)

       

      ik my recomdations for cameras is probably what your gona blow off. But thats the whole thing. Those are the best cameras i can think of for lowlight situations. (youll run into that a ton). 

       

                 you also might think about buying the whole adobe sweet. you can get it as a download for less than 300$  you get, Audition, after effects, photoshop, bridge, premiere, illistrator, encore.. and like 5 others i use less often.   That might not be wise getting though if you have no experience in those programs already. (PS and the t2i go together hand in hand).. idk if your church has a website but this is great stuff.. your limitless to what you can create.  You always have adiotional options for camera movements other than a tripod or free hand. youve got jibs (100-1200$) sliders (50-200$) and others that are less important. depends how far you want to go and how many hands you have.lol

       

      this all comes out at about 11,020$ (exluding optional items)   ebay it all. get it cheap.

      and wala you have 4 grand to ad to any catogory i missed or didnt acount for enough! (batteries, speakers, etc)

      consider my recomdations priceless! go cheap where expensive doesnt matter. go expensive where expensive does matter!  (not price wys but product wys)

       

      and if its over the budget you can cut it down 700$ cheaper by exluding the canon t2i and 1 fluid head and tripod and canon 50mm 1.8.   (b-roll package)   youll have no b-roll though. Its just a option

       

      if you bought all this everyone will want a wedding shot at your church! haha

      good luck     – Jon

       
    • #208529
      AvatarJonnyboy
      Participant

      it just dawned on me as well that you will need a sound system. So pitch a a couple grand there. so your down to an extra 2 grand.  my .02 cents

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