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Church Video Production...
Posted by Beamer Films
March 1, 2009 10:33 pm
So, I was recently emailed through the Beamer Films website with this question;

"We are working on our video production as a church and are trying to come up with a format for video projects as we train people. ie. storyboards, timeline etc. wondering if you can point us toward resources?"

I just decided to take the time to respond what I felt it might look like and was encouraged by the individual to share with others... He felt it might be pretty relevant...

That being said, here is my exact response I pounded out on the fly. Forgive any grammatical errors... just thought this might be relevant and helpful to some...



Let me toss out a decent plan for you.... Keep in mind, your timeline will depends on the project. If it's one location and a 3 minute mini-movie. That can be shot in 1 day. If it's a 3 minute mini-movie and 6 locations, you may find that it takes 3 or 4 days to shoot. I'm dealing with an evangelism script right now that is in 9 locations, but it's going to be about a 2.5 minute mini-movie. It's going to take 4 days to shoot. Probably 10 days total from development to post production. Typically, this is not the norm for Beamer Films, but the script is so good, that I don't want to pass on it.

That being said, here goes the plan...

The Production Phase

The production of a mini-movie occurs in four distinct phases (1) development; (2) pre-production; (3) principal photography; and (4) postproduction.

(1) Development. During development a Producer, Pastor, Writer, and/or Media Specialist works to develop the idea. This development process obviously has an impact on the budget and timeline so this is the time to adjusted accordingly. Also, during development, the producer may seek tentative commitments from cast members and other creative personnel.

(2) Pre-Production. After a mini-movie has been approved for production, the project enters the pre-production phase. During pre-production, the cast members, creative personnel, are gathered, shooting schedules are planned, locations are scouted and established, and the budget is finalized (many times there is no budget). Also, if it's a mini-movie involving actors, build in pre-production rehearsal time.

(3) Principal Photography. The principal photography phase is when a mini-movie is actually photographed. Principal photography can take one hour or one week (or one month for that matter), depending on factors such as location, weather, budget, special effects and other requirements of the project.

(4) Post-production. The final phase is post-production. Here a film is edited; the music, dialogue and special effects are finalized; and the dialogue, special effects, music and photography are synchronized.

The entire production phase could take one day (not likely, unless it's a point and shoot interview with no edits) or 2 weeks. The end result is the creation of the edited master from which various copies can be made for distribution and/or projection.

Breaking all that down into layman's terms it might look something like this.

1. Concept is born.
2. Script written.
3. Storyboards created (if necessary).
4. Cast, crew, creative personnel gathered.
5. Locations scouted. Shooting schedule panned. Budget finalized.
6. If actors are involved, a minimum of one rehearsal with the director. Readthrough. Blocking. Vision. Discuss objectives and subtext with actor.
6. Principal photography / Video Shoot(s). On set, shots are lit. Camera moves and actors are rehearsed (if it's a mini-movie build in time to work with the actors.)
7. Footage captured. Picture, music, dialogue, special effects are edited into a rough cut according to script / storyboard...
8. Video is scrutinized with team leaders for constructive criticism.

(Side note on #8) This must be done with great sensitivity. Artists are touchy. They want to be trusted and have made decisions that are unique and sort of happened on set during the creative process. Be mindful, navigate carefully. This is where both sides of the process get hurt. Seen it happen over and over again as working as a creative specialist at a large church)

9. Adjustments are made from step 8. Picture is locked.
10. Audio is sent to Pro Tools (or some other-such audio software) for touch ups
11. Final Video & Audio are printed for projection.

That's about it. Once you've done this process a couple of times, you'll add or subtract steps and really get a good idea of the process. Let me know if this helps and if you make adjustments.


Beamer Films

So, there it is. Again, forgive my grammaticals. That's my exact response. Hope it's helpful. Feel free to comment to refine the list...