6 Tips for Capturing Video Story's...

Using video stories to fuel your marketing engine is a great way to energize yourself, your staff, and most of all convert new potential fans into life long ministry partners. The following are six tips I picked up along the way specific to finding and capturing a good video story.

TIP #1 - START WITH THE END

Let's assume, for the sake of time, that you want to do a video that you can use to help make your summer camp program registrations section on your web-site relate better, and convert more traffic to registrations.
Before you even think about grabbing your video cam, you need to think about what you want the end result to be. For summer camp registrations, you’ll likely want to think about what kind of story would appeal to most moms.

TIP #2 - FIND THE STORY

The best way to do this effectively is to just ask! Start with your staff and leadership team. Tell them what you are trying to accomplish and specifically what kind of story you’re looking for. In this case, it should be a story about a child whose life has been completely changed by coming to your summer camp program.

TIP #3 – BUILD A RELATIONSHIP

Once you find a potential candidate, introduce yourself and tell them exactly what you are hoping to accomplish through their testimony. Spend time getting to know them. Make sure they’re comfortable with you on a personal level and then set an appointment with them at a later time so they have time to think about what they want to say.

TIP # 4 - PREPARE A QUIET LOCATION

Have one or two locations picked out and ready in advance. Be sure to check the schedule to insure that these locations will be quiet and distraction free. Keep in mind the most important aspect of this interview will be the audio quality, so a quiet location is crucial in making this effective. If you don’t have lapel mic or boom mic capabilities, be sure to get close with your camera and listen through headphones so you know exactly what the camera mic is picking up.

TIP #5 – GOOD LIGHTING MAKES ALL DIFFERENCE

If you are doing this interview outside, (which is usually my first choice especially in a camp context) then the sun can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I have found that late afternoon and early evening times provide great natural lighting, allowing subjects to be squint and sweat free! Be sure to find the right angle so that you get great natural lighting with minimal shadows, especially your own. If an indoor location in necessary and you don’t have a lighting kit, their a few tricks you can do to make your interview look better. First, turn off any overhead fluorescent office type lights. This type of lighting is usually harsh and does not help. Second, you can do some pretty amazing things with a couple cheap work lights and white sheets as make shift light boxes. Simply hang a single layer of white sheet on each side of your camera and then shine a work light on the sheet itself. Third, if you find yourself in a real pinch, which I regularly do, you can always use 2 or 3 common lamps with a regular light bulb simply by removing the lamp shades and placing them to the right and left of your camera. I’ve personally been able to get the job done using these techniques just by experimenting with what I have, and the settings on my camera. I mean, its not like we’re shooting a major motion picture or anything!

TIP #6 – MAKE IT EASY FOR THE STORYTELLER

Have a list of questions already prepared and even a few different statements that they can say to get them started, so all they have to do is complete the sentence. For example: Tell the person you are interviewing to say something like, “This summer at Awesomest Summer Camp Ever my life was completely changed when…” This is a great way to get them talking and telling their story. From there, your job is to allow their story to unfold, helping them feel comfortable enough to share their heart with you, and ultimately, 1,000’s of moms looking for a place to send their child for the summer!