Using video to communicate youth group news (2 of 2)

Using video to communicate youth group newsIn case you missed it, see Part 1 here about benefits of using video for youth group announcements and how to utilize it to it’s full potential.

Here are my two latest youth group video episodes to serve as finished examples of what I’m about to explain.

This post is not intended to teach you how to use whatever video editing software is available to you, but rather to give you resources and directions for how I created my youth group video episodes in case it’s helpful for your ministry’s communication.

How much time will it take to create videos?

The first one took me about 8 hours to put together just because I had to search for video clips, figure out what transitions I liked, choose fonts, and everything else. Now that the basic framework is put together for each episode, every consecutive video takes about 1 to 2 hours. It’s just a matter of shooting a new video of myself, L.T., and inserting different video clips from YouTube and such.

Video editing software

iMovieI used iMovie for pretty much everything except for one or two scenarios, which are indicated below. Fortunately, iMovie comes free on every Mac computer.

If you’re on a PC, the Microsoft’s free Windows Movie Maker may be sufficient for your needs as you begin to experiment with video editing.

1. Intro video

Video introIt looks cool, but I’m not that good. I actually purchased it royalty-free from the video section at for about $20 (15 credits on their site). It came without a sound track, so I purchased a royalty-free audio track to go along with it from , which cost me almost $38 (€30.00 EUR).

NOTE: Royalty-free means you are free to publish and use the material over and over again without paying royalties to the creator. [“Royalty Free” on Wikipedia.]

In iMovie, I simply laid the audio track over the video, made the final frame of the video last for about 10 seconds longer (called a “still frame”), and threw the “ News” text on top.

2. Recording myself

Video introThis is probably the easiest part of making the video: I just record myself talking to my Mac’s built-in iSight camera using iMovie’s “Import from camera” option. When I click “Done” it automatically imports the video to the iMovie project where it’s ready to click and drag to the video timeline.

Again, if you don’t have a Mac, almost any webcam will do. Although a webcam’s video quality isn’t as high as using an actual video camera, it certainly is a lot easier and a lot fewer steps to get the video to your computer. And, as you can see from my videos linked above (and every youth ministry training video on this site), my Mac’s iSight camera is completely sufficient.

3. Adding lower-thirds

Video introLower-thirds are the little text banners that display at the bottom of the screen while L.T. or myself talk. I’m just using one of the default lower-thirds available in iMovie. Click and drag it to wherever you want it in the video, type in your text, and drag the ends of the text section in the timeline for whatever duration you want the lower-third to appear.

4. The short transition clips

Video introAgain, it’s just a still-frame from the end of the intro movie I purchased. I put some text over it and used a quick static audio clip from iMovie’s extensive sound effect library.

5. Using L.T.

Video introThis is actually just as simple as recording yourself in the step above, although it requires some extra software. Fortunately, L.T. works on Windows, Mac or Linux and best of all, he’s FREE! Download him from the free section of

Read my tutorial from last year about how to make fun video announcements in 3 easy steps with L.T. (Check the comments there for a link to free Windows software to use in place of the Mac program I recommend.)

Green screen option with L.T.
Video introIn the first video epsidoe I actually put myself on the screen with L.T. and talked with him through the announcements (although, I obviously messed up my script a bit in the beginning lol). This is thanks to the green screen background that comes with L.T.. Unfortunately, you’ll need a more advanced video editing program to filter out the green screen so the background video/image can show through. I used Final Cut Express and learned how to do it by following this tutorial on YouTube.

6. YouthBytes devo (jr. high preview)

Video introYou can get the 1 minute versions for free from YouthByte’s YouTube channel. Or, if you purchase their DVD series, you can rip the high quality versions straight from the disk. (Don’t worry, I’ve talked with Chad Daniel from YouthBytes about it and he thinks it’s a great idea.)

DVD ripping software for Mac
On Mac, I look at the DVD’s file contents in Finder, find the VOB file of the video I want, copy it to my computer and use ffmpegX (free) to convert it to MOV file for iMovie. Another (and easier) option for Mac is to use Handbrake (also free) to scan the DVD, find the video you want, and export it to the format of your choosing.

DVD ripping software for Windows
For Windows, you can also browse to the DVD’s contents through My Computer, find the VOB video you want and use a program like SUPER (free) to convert it to WMV or whatever video format your video editing software wants. (If you have a better recommendation for Windows, please post it in the comments below — I’m not as familiar with Windows as I used to be.)

7. YouTube video of the week

Video introThere are a lot of different services available for downloading videos from YouTube and other video sites. Two easy web-based tool are and Just copy and paste the YouTube URL to it and click through the steps.

Personally, I use a free program called TubeTV (Mac only) just because it’s fast and seems to encode the video at a higher quality than web-based services. Another good Mac program is called VideoBox, free to try for 5 days (thereafter, $15 to buy).

Once your clip is ripped from a DVD or downloaded from YouTube, import it into your iMovie project and place it wherever you want in the video’s timeline.

Let the questions commence! Post them in the comments below.

Posted on November 4, 2008

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