Archives For

I saw this post over on, and thought it had some reminders about shoot good video footage.  It might be great to share with any students that might be shooting for you.  Even if you are just shooting with a Flip cam, your final video can only be as good as the footage you have to work with.

The tips covered in the post include: timecode, camera movement, lighting, audio, and more.

GUEST POST: 12 Tips for Shooting Better Footage | More Than DodgeBall – Youth Ministry Blog by Josh Griffin.

How To: iPhone Band

Chris —  December 16, 2009 — Leave a comment


Here’s an update to the post about the iPhone Band.  Josh posted an update listing out the apps used (all links open iTunes):

Guitars: (Electric and Bass)
Pocket Guitar ($.99)

Piano #1:
Virtuoso Piano Lite (Free)
Virtuoso Piano Free
Virtuoso Piano
Virtuoso Piano

Piano #2:
Pianist ($3.99)

DigiDrummer Lite (Free)
DigiDrummer Lite
Digidrummer ($1.99)

A few other things to keep in mind:

  1. If your students are using an iPhone have them put it on Airplane mode, so they can still get to apps without having to receive phone calls.
  2. Also turn off all notifications in the settings app on itouches.
  3. If you do the bit with the phone call, make sure the one person getting the phone call has their phone set to receive calls. Also, the person calling has to be in another room because the sound system will echo through the phone and the main house.

This should give you everything you need to do your iPhone band.

Video Editing Software

Chris —  July 28, 2009 — Leave a comment

Josh, over at had a great basic rundown on video editing software.

iLife ’09 ($59 or free with a new Mac)
Mac only … and super easy to use. While it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of higher end software, it can get a decent movie made in with a short learning curve. Good for beginners and Mac enthusiasts. B

Final Cut Express 4 ($150)
Also Mac only … and easily the best of the bunch – but it’ll take you a while to even figure it out, much less master it. This is the software the big boys use, and it is ultra powerful – higher versions of the suite can go for up to $999. You can pretty much produce feature quality shots and effects with this guy. If you take the time to learn it, you’ll make great videos – this is what several people on our team use regularly and the bar to shoot for. A

Sony Movie Studio HD ($75)
This is the program I use personally – it is an awesome PC application that chews through HD footage no problem. The price is right and the performance is incredible. You can make slide shows in seconds, drop in transitions and split/cut/splice massive pieces of footage in seconds. Simple to learn, and has lots of options to make a highly polished final product.  A

Windows Movie Maker (Free with Windows)
This one comes free with your Windows PC, and while it has gotten far better than earlier versions, it still takes up the rear. While it is free, the end product isn’t great and there are all sorts of limits to what you can produce. Still though, for the budget conscious, this is a place to get started. C+

(I’ve updated Josh’s prices to reflect Amazon’s current prices)

I agree with his assessments, although a C+ for Movie Maker may be generous.  I myself do most of my editing in iMovie.  It’s super quick and easy.  It lacks some of the bells and whistles of Final Cut Express, but gets the job done.  I would rate it a B+ or A-.  I would love to learn Final Cut, but I think I need to buy a book or something because the few times I’ve tried it I haven’t been able to accomplish much.

One that he left out that I think deserves mention is Adobe Premiere Elements ($50).  Much like Final Cut Express it’s not the professional level like it’s big brother Premier, but is a great option for PC users that need more than Windows Movie Maker, but still don’t want to spend $1000 on software.

Blogger Panel from NYMC

Chris —  March 9, 2009 — Leave a comment

Here’s the video from the Blogger Panel from National Youth Ministry Conference a few weeks ago.  The panel was made up of Josh Griffin (, Tim Schmoyer (, Chuck Bomar (, and Me.  Although I was more AV support, but I managed to get a few words in.  Thanks to Tim for filming this and posting it.

Panel discussion with a few of our favorite youth ministry bloggers from Tim Schmoyer on Vimeo.

Great TV Experiment

Chris —  February 23, 2009 — Leave a comment

I know a lot of people that have been abandoning traditional cable and satellite TV services and moving all their viewing to online sources.  Some are doing it to save money, others are doing it to cut down on the amount of TV their family is consuming.  One of those who took this step was Josh Griffin from  He posted an update on how it’s going.

Why we love it
We haven’t missed traditional TV nearly as much as we thought we might. The big win here is the money we’re not spending on the cable bill. We also don’t waste time channel surfing and we’re just watching less TV altogether. The TV is no longer the focal point of the house and life, it is a side note when we want to enjoy it. The picture quality is great, and nearly every show we do watch is available within 24 hours of the TV airdate.

Why it isn’t for everyone
I still miss a few live shows – American Idol being the big one this season. I haven’t even seen a single episode, which is hard to believe given my past. We still get football, but some special events like the Academy Awards tomorrow night won’t hit the web live. Also, certain sites work better than others – Hulu has the best interface, but ABC has the best HDTV picture quality. And when the internet is down, although rare, you’re offline without TV, too.

Do you think your family would make it?  If I was going to do this, I would need to install something like PLEX to get my mac mini ready for it.