Deadly Church Videos

Some of my recent posts about video & congregations have lead to a number of email discussions with friends and colleagues.   One question that has come up is the overall quality of the videos congregations are producing and whether I have been encouraging  to produce mediocre videos. (Clarified 10:20pm 9/25)

I must admit that we have a lot of severely mediocre UU videos out there — too long, too slow, low light… I’ve caught a glimpse of each of the 1300+ videos I’ve added to the UU TV library.

Here’s where I am with this — though tentatively which is why I’m looking for feedback.

Producing videos takes skill.  It is a different way of communicating than we are use to.   As such, it takes time to learn. Given this,  I think it is best for congregations to just do something, to start playing with video.  If you wait until the perfect volunteer with all the best equipment comes along or some funding makes hiring a professional possible years could slip by. Those are , to me, great excuses for not developing a basic in-house video production capacity.

What do you think?

Since we’re talking quality, in addition to general comments, I’d love for you to share URLs  of videos by UU congregations and other faith communities that you think are outstanding.  What do you think we should be aiming for?  If present, paste Youtube URL’s into the comments of this post.  I’ll update this post to include the videos you share.

6 thoughts on “Deadly Church Videos

  1. We (UU Congregation of Santa Fe) have just started doing videos at our church. We got feedback from a number of sources concerning the type of camera to get, and camera features, and the type of tripod. We ended up with a professional grade camera. Bottom of the professional grade, but professional grade. We spent some extra money so we could take the output from our audio board directly to the camera. We are still learning, and there are issues with the background color, but we have been doing this for a little over a month.

    We embed the latest sermon on our home page. We have been on iTunes for a year and we now have videos available along with the audio.

  2. Not sure that makes it to excellent. The sound is pretty good and the lighting is fine, but the camera jiggles during the first part of the music (not set up beforehand) and it’s not level, which suggests “I shot this from my favorite pew on the spur of the moment”. Having a second camera to zoom in on individual players or the conductor would have added interest to a static scene. Where are the drummers mentioned? Off-camera. And a title slide identifying the music and the musicians would have been nice.

    The breakthrough congregation videos are generally very well produced. Look for them on

  3. This is the only one I’ve found so far that I really think is outstanding.

    It is a video specifically about a “multigenerational” approach to children’s religious education at All Souls, but it is truly the only church video that has made me think “I want to be *there*!” (And I’m not even a huge fan of Workship rotation.)

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