Is Video Worth It?

Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 6/13/2007

My involvement with the church website had a major influence on my decision to write a book about church website design, but I have more responsibilities at church than just maintaining the website. One of the things that is taking up a major portion of my free time at the moment is a leadership video that I am producing. I am tentatively calling it Heed the Call. South Park Baptist Church has in excess of twenty ministries. The video will be interviews with ministry leaders. My hope is that that it will make people, who are not currently involved, aware of the ministries in the church and become motivated to become more actively involved.

I have already filmed eleven of the ministries. There are others that I have not filmed, but I will do so if the ministry leaders show an interest in appearing in the video. I already have the problem that I am cutting out more footage than I would like, but my goal is to keep the video at about thirty minutes in length.

Based on the length of time it has take to do what I have done so far, I am expecting it to take between 80 and 120 hours of my time to complete the video. I mention this because it is turning out to be a significant undertaking. There is a lot of potential in using video as a means of communicating to a church and to those outside of the church, but it can require a significant investment of time or money.

Another video that I am producing for the church is a slide presentation of our pastor’s fiftieth anniversary as pastor of our church. It requires less effort, but there is still a lot that must be done. On that one, I have had to mess with securing copyright releases on a number of things. The images have to be placed in some form of order and decisions have to be made about how to present the images to those who are viewing the video. Because it is mainly still images, the major decisions are yes or no decisions rather than the decisions concerning how much of a video clip should be used, where to cut and splice the video as well as whether to include “B Camera” clips.

On a website, I view video as being part of the whole package. With the exception of some very notable videos that go viral, a web video will not drive very much traffic to a website, but if someone has already found the website, it can be used to get the point across. Audio files are no better. Until the software to convert audio into text is improved and the process of converting an audio file into a transcript is automated, people will be unable to find the audio files that contain the specific information they need. When Google or someone who wishes to compete with Google makes accurate transcription services available for all audio files, we will see methods of searching for audio files that will help drive traffic to a site. It will take longer for video because there will need to be software that can identify the objects in a scene and summarize it.

In conclusion, what my experience has shown so far is that video in its many different forms can be a good thing, but it requires a significant investment. If you are looking for maximum results with minimum investment then video is not the way to go. If you are looking for something to add to the methods you are trying to get your message across then it is worth considering.