For those of us who work on church video teams, we are sometimes tasked with creating recruitment videos. These are not necessarily fun videos to create. Usually, any suggestion from the requesting department involves the dreaded testimonies-in-front-of-black-curtain ploy. Nothing saps the life out of me quicker. No creativity. No thought. No story! Just 1 hour of footage to pare down to 90 seconds. Good luck. Make it great.
Just the thought makes me want to climb down a deep hole and hide.
Lucky for me, I work with some great children’s pastors. For their video, we discussed needs in the department (always a good place to start) and brainstormed some ideas. Things were looking up.
Then I ran across the awesome short film Voice Over by Martin Rosette.
VOICE OVER (English subtitles) from Kamel Films on Vimeo.
We loved the idea of changing direction within the voice over and making the promo overly dramatic.
I wrote a script. They approved it, and we were off. Here it is.
Children’s Ministry Promo 2013 from MikeSchwiebert on Vimeo.
We decided to shoot the promo on Sunday, after Church, when Cali and her family were already here (her dad, Pastor Jeff, is one of those children’s pastors I was bragging on earlier).
Tim Vaughn of 7aMedia in Charlotte, NC came out and grabbed some b-roll during service and then shot and edited the promo
A couple takeaways for good script layout for your voice over talent:
- Give direction to the voice over talent that includes speed, style, and tone. Use words like: hard sell, soft sell, conversational, energetic, warm, etc.
- Always designate the timing of the read. Most scripts are not open-ended, but even so, I like to give the talent an idea of what I have in mind.
- Spell out numbers for easier pronunciation. For example, if you write 2013, does the talent say two thousand thirteen or twenty thirteen?
- Provide a pronunciation guide for names. Just because we grew up with Bible stories, does not mean the talent will know how to pronounce Onesimus. Get it right the first time–provide a guide.
- 12 pt Courier is an industry standard for screenplays. It is used partly because it creates an easy rule of thumb for figuring out minutes per page. I personally like Courier Prime a font created by John August.
- When in doubt, over communicate. I have never had a voice over talent get upset because I gave too much direction.
I thought it might be helpful to download the script in Word format if you would like: Children’s MinistryPromo2013.
Since I was not going to be shooting or editing this one, I added more detail than I normally would to the shot sheet.
I use the free program Celtx for my script creation. After creating a script, it’s very easy to adjust to additional layouts. Very nice.
Here it is: ChildrenMinistry_A-V Script.
Hopefully this provides inspiration for a creative recruitment promo.
I’m really pleased with how this one came out.