[This post is a part of the Technology in Youth Ministry series]
In youth ministry, it is highly likely that at some point you will want some type of video to use with your students. The video might be a promotion for an upcoming event, an illustration for a teaching, or a highlight reel from the recent retreat. Students are regularly consuming all kinds of media from a variety of sources, and it is important that our student ministry knows how to use some of this same kind of media so we can redeem it for a good purpose.
What You'll Want To Get Started in Video
Good Quality Camera
With any of these things there will be a low, easy entry into making videos and also higher end, more expensive equipment. If you are looking to just get into making videos and want something that will easily shoot quality video and can be used by students or brought on retreats I would consider using an iPod Touch (or iPhone if you already have one). An iPod Touch will shoot at the same quality as a Flip HD camcorder, but can do significantly more on the device itself.
Here's an example of video that can be shot on an iPhone:
If you're looking to produce a more professional quality video, I would recommend using a DSLR camera with video functionality. Some of the things you might notice in a camera like this will be the ability to adjust frames per second (great for shooting slow motion stuff), have more control over video settings like ISO, exposure, aperture, etc. A DSLR also allows for some awesome depth of field in shots (the shots where one thing looks in focus and another out of focus) As soon as you enter into this category you will spend significantly more money on the camera and the equipment required to make this all work. The camera we use is the Canon Rebel t2i. You'll also want to spend some money and get a good, versatile lense with a camera like this.
Here's an example of video that can be shot on a DSLR:
Video Editing Software
Once you've gotten the video you want, you will need to find a way to compile the footage and put it into an actual video. If you have a simple video you want to make and you decided to use an iPod Touch, you could simply use the iMovie app and quickly edit the video on the device.
Good Quality Audio
If you've been choosing the higher end in the previous two categories, you're going to also want to invest in some good audio equipment. While initially you might think that producing a good video is all about what it looks like, you'd be surprised at how crucial good audio is. If you're not going to have any audio besides an audio track in the background, this doesn't matter. But if you're going to have actors or a teacher, you'll want to invest in good audio. You can still have actors and a teacher without good audio and simply use an iPod Touch, but if you're investing in a fancier camera and hoping to have high quality productions; good audio is just as important as good video.
This will allow you use to XLR mics or the built-in audio recorder to capture your audio. Any of these will be significantly better then the built in recorder of the camera; an XLR mic will definitely be the best of the options. Having one of these devices will allow you to use a boom mic or lavalier mic plugged into the recorder and simultaneously record audio and video. Once you drop these both into your video editor you will then want to sync up the audio so the voices match the lips. If you are using Final Cut X, this is a built in function; if not there is an awesome video editing tool called Pluraleyes that will do the trick.
Photo Credit: Wilamor Media