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All Videos Now Available In WMV

February 6th, 2010

All videos (and all future videos) on New Worship Media are now available to download in WMV format.

In the past we had used AVI files but there have been a very small number of AVI downloads and we’ve also had several compatibility issues with this older format. In order to better serve our customers we have now converted all of our files to WMV format, a strongly preferred format for Windows.

The general rule we suggest is to use MOV files if you’re on a Mac and WMV if you’re on Windows.

If you have any other suggestions for how we can improve the site please visit our contact page and let us know!

Small Changes & Updates

December 11th, 2009

We’ve made a few small changes to the site in the last few weeks, hoping to improve usability. ;)

First, we’ve moved all our video previews to local hosting. We were previously using a external video host but we had some issues with glitchy and laggy performance so we’ve gone ahead and re-encoded all of our videos and hosted them on our own servers so you should see much better video playback.

Another small change is the addition of a couple social sharing icons. Under each video preview you will find an icon to share the media you’re viewing either on Facebook on Twitter.

The final change we’ve made is the addition of a slideshow player to our home page. It shows off some of the recent church media as well as a preview of some worship media and motion backgrounds that are yet to come.

Enjoy!

5 Keys To Making Videos/Media That Stick

July 17th, 2009

If you haven’t heard of Collide Magazine, you are sorely missing out. Fitting of their slogan “Where Media and the Church Converge” they are a huge resource for church and worship media information.

In addition to their great magazine they have a website which is regularly updated, one of the recent posts by Collide’s founder Rob Thomas (no, not the singer) touches on some of the key important principles into Making Videos That Stick.

Make sure to check out the original article — I’ve taken Rob’s 5 main points and applied some of my own thoughts and experiences. Though the original article is specific to making videos that stick, the principles are applicable to most any sort of creative media used to convey a message.

1. Grow in your spiritual walk

Obviously your spiritual walk is extremely important, but especially when you are charged with creating media to deliver a message. What you create will be changing lives and effecting people’s viewpoints on faith and life, do you really trust yourself to be delivering the right message if your own heart isn’t in it?

In addition to the responsibility side, continuing your spiritual growth can help to inspire you and develop your wisdom and understanding, enabling you to further speak the truth through media.

2. Have a connection with your pastor/minister

Several years ago I was on staff at a church where I did not have this connection. It wasn’t there to begin with and unfortunately I failed to try and develop it further. My work suffered greatly because of this and not only did it create a rift between us, but I was never able to really convey through media the thoughts and ideas he had for his message. Not only did my personal satisfaction dwindle, but I was failing the entire church congregation.

Developing a relationship with your pastor is important for helping to increase the cohesiveness of your media and their message, but it is (again) also important for spiritual inspiration you receive from their preaching. Listen for those parts that stand out, maybe they would be a great idea for your next video project?

3. Remember that content is king

There is a growing trend in the modern church of treating style as more important than substance. This has led to many critics of visual media’s use in the church (John Piper recently said “I think the use of video and drama largely is a token of unbelief in the power of preaching.”).

I could not disagree more with John Piper, but his quote serves as a reminder that the coolest video, the most amazing graphics, the greatest after effects render equate to nothing if the message is not clear.

Quality is important, and the church has come a long way in recent years, but we need to make sure the message is clear, that the content is sound.

We often struggle with this at Igniter. It’s not enough to have a well-edited, well-shot, or well-animated video. If the video has a boring story, if it’s too abstract, or if its message is just too “on the nose,” the video won’t make an impact. We’ve made a couple videos that look and sound great but leave the viewer feeling, well, nothing.

— Rob Thomas

4. Communicate beyond words

As pointed out in our last post, there are lots of wrong reasons to use visual media in your church. The right way is to communicate beyond words.

There are things that can only be said visually, and there are ideas that can be more easily conveyed through a scripted scene or animation. Your videos and media should be there to enhance and enlighten what your pastor is speaking of. Try to focus on concepts that can’t be easily said in a few short sentences.

5.  Know your audience

This is especially important, some churches are lax and easy-going would love a humorous skit depicting some ironic situation… at another church people might be mortified.

Know how you are going to reach your audience, and reach them where there needs are. Be relevant to the congregation and to the times.

Make sure to visit the original article on CollideMagazine.com to see Rob’s original take on these 5 principles.

Do Not Use Visual Media In Worship If…

July 7th, 2009

Worship VJ has written an interesting list of bad reasons to use visual media. It is a little bit on the snarky side, but it makes a good point…

Visual Media should be used to primarily to “enhance” the worship experience, not to try to fix a problem.

DO NOT USE VISUAL MEDIA IN WORSHIP

…IF your reasons include the following:

  • as a substitute for other methods (think about all the senses)
  • solely for entertainment (understand that entertainment is not bad itself and CAN be used as a tool when the timing/context is right)
  • visual media is not a crowd-getter or a cure-all
  • visual media is not a substitute for preparation
  • visual media is not for the personal satisfaction of the visual enthusiast
  • to keep the “young people” interested in worship.
  • “it’s time to boost our congregational singing.”
  • to change with the culture b/c we might lose church members to another church.
  • we have to create more powerful worship experiences (visual media won’t create it)
  • we want outsiders/visitors to know that we are a first-rate/”cutting edge” church (keeping up with the Joneses)
  • Without using the latest technology, we won’t be able to increase the size of our congregation.
  • Presentational technologies will allow us to grow and expand. (only the church can do CHURCH. Technology will not secure that a congregation will act as/be the Church.

Agree, disagree?

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