We made this video promo a few years ago to launch our new parking lot team and new parking procedures. Not a very exciting concept to start with, but it remains one of my favorites.
Here are a few of the reason why I like this promo so much:
1. I got a great read from my friend, Brian Haymond. Brian always gives me a superior product, has a quick turn around time, and has the ability to capture the perfect pace and feel I am after. This is not his normal voice over style. He is great for warm, trustworthy reads that connect with the audience. This spot would not have worked without the foundation he provided.
2. I appreciate Jason Ratcliff closing the spot. I had no idea Jason was a NASCAR crew chief–and one of the best. I even said something dumb to him like, “I am not sure exactly what you should say.” I think he said, “That’s Ok, I’ll think of something.” Super gracious.
He gave me two reads, I took three pictures, and we called it a wrap. He’s the real deal and I can say that. I know his wife and kids as well. [P.S. He has his own wikipedia page!]
3. Using pictures for this instead of video turned out to be a big win in time–both in shooting and editing.
4. I love doing things with our Middle School Tribe Pastor Luke Lang. He’s a great friend and a fun human being. He killed it!
5, I shot it all on my iPhone 4.
Here’s some keys to success:
1. Think through what you need to communicate and the best way to get that message across.
This promo communicated a change–attenders were no longer going to be able to park wherever they wanted. As we all know, people don’t like change. Our goal was a spot that had some humor (to help the medicine go down), and also communicate how this change would improve traffic patterns and be a blessing to our young families and visitors. The team leader at the time, Lynell (who plays parking attendant #1), and I discussed the bullet points we needed to cover. We then chose to have a family, or car, represent each scenario. As a NASCAR community, we played to the racing angle, but didn’t over do it.
2. Preparation is the real work.
We wrote the script with a few key people in mind. The pastor’s family is in the first car. When the VO says that they are not strangers to GCC, people laughed. We got them laughing right out of the gate. That was on purpose. Don’t half plan hoping to make it up in post. If you do, you’ll get stuck.
3. We did a written story board for each phrase of the script. (By written story board, I mean a description of the shot I wanted for that phrase as opposed to a picture.)
- shot of hand reaching for hazard lights
- shot of kids in back seat
- shot of parking lot from inside van
I knew what I needed to shoot before the actors arrived. Planning is everything, plans are nothing. Leave space for creativity. The extra shot of baby Luke (with the kid’s “awe” sound effect) was a spontaneous addition in the edit bay. Also, I asked Luke, our Tribe pastor, to give me some intense parking attendant poses. The rest of the photos were to the letter.
4. Trust that the magic will happen.
Did you notice baby Luke giving the thumbs up like everyone else near the end? How can you not love that?
I don’t know if this idea can work for you and your church, but a video of photos, with a great voice over and music, could be an easy way to draw attention to a new area of ministry without breaking the bank or your schedule.