Cromer's 40acts of Kindness - a lesson in giving out not giving up
Many churches use multimedia in services to project song words and display notices on screens.
There's been a growth in websites offering professionally created high quality videos designed for churches, but finding the best can often take some time.
Short inspirational video clips/films can connect and engage with congregation members and are a great way to introduce a theme for a service or communicate a Bible verse. Motion backgrounds or video loops when used appropriately behind song words can raise the professional feel of church multimedia. So what are the best websites offering them?
Here we highlight some of the best:
www.creationswap.com (Limited downloads for free; $19pm for unlimited)
An excellent range of high quality background loops, mini movies, countdown videos, titles and images/graphics.
Church Motion Graphics
www.churchmotiongraphics.com ($10pm or $99pa; $348 to access their archive)
Each month a new pack of video loops, countdown videos, graphics and motion titles are released, and you can choose to download each pack individually (for $39) or subscribe and receive each new pack as they come.
Worship House Media & Videos For Youth
This site brings together in one place short inspirational videos from a large number of creative professionals and Christian media companies such as Centerline New Media, Motion Worship, Dan Stevers, Graceway Media & Igniter Media. The breadth and quality is superb - using just one of them in a service can make a powerful opening or set a theme. Each video can be expensive, but if you only want to use one occasionally this is an excellent one stop shop.
www.shiftworship.com ($5-$15 per download or $149pa unlimited)
If you want to build a collection of high quality motion backgrounds from scratch then you won't need to look further than this site. Subscribing gives access to their many hundreds of backgrounds and limited range of mini movies.
www.videoblocks.com/freeclips ($79pm or $149pa; 7 day free trial)
Not specifically designed for church, but a good and vast collection of high quality motion backgrounds which can be used behind song words. Sign up to their 7 day trial and you can download up to 20 videos per day; that's 140 videos for free.
www.sharefaith.com ($30pm or $204pa; 7 day free trial)
An extensive collection of motion backgrounds and graphics for churches.
The Bible Project
Short professionally animated passages of scripture from the Old and New Testament, as well as Biblical themes videos; all free to download and new animations added every few months.
Other sites offering free video backgrounds include:
What are the different types of video content available?
What video size/ratio should I download?
If you use TVs or modern data projectors in church, then they'll most likely use a 16:9 (widescreen) ratio rather than the traditional 4:3 ratio. Even if using older projectors, downloading video clips in 16:9 is best so they're a little more future proof and won't appear stretched on modern projector or TV screens.
Tips when projecting song words over video backgrounds
Large font sizes are always best; however large you can appropriately make the words, the better. Using a clear font such as Arial or Myriad Pro makes it clearer to read quickly, and when using video backgrounds white words on darker background video loops is best for visual clarity.
If you use a song words programme such as ProPresenter, you can change the colour or play speed of any background video which can make good backgrounds (which may be too fast moving or too light) great backgrounds (making them play much slower and darker).
Is downloading YouTube videos legal?
As with all content (available online or not) the author of any video by law retains the copyright to their creation. To download, store and show videos to any 'public audience'/congregation without permission of the author is not legal. Whilst downloading videos from YouTube can be quick and easy, you're doing so without the expression permission of the video author, so this is not legal.
When purchasing videos through websites like those above, in agreeing to their terms and conditions when you sign up or download you are granted a license to store and play that video any number of times (but not freely share the video file with others).
Why should I pay for videos?
We all like something for free, but when it comes to church video clips often the best can cost $10-$20 each. For the perfect professionally made and relevant short film I would suggest that's worth it, and given the time and skill which goes into making them it's appropriate to pay what the author is charging to enable them to make great videos in future.