Part of my role in ministry involves the creation of video teaching resources for K-5th grade and 3-5 year olds.  Every month, we create an average of 80 minutes of finished video for these age groups.  The more video I create, the more I realize that video is one of the best methods to communicate powerful messages with consistency and quality.

Part of our teaching videos with K-5th involves a creative, story-driven element.  We’ve had a boy band, a lost medieval paige, restaurant critics, and a Cereal superhero come to life on the big screen.  Our kids go crazy for these characters and become markedly more interested in what we are teaching from God’s Word. It’s a big win for us.  But through the process of brainstorming, creating, casting, writing, producing, shooting, and editing hours of video I realized that these characters are all just really simple ideas that connect to our audience.

This is a lesson that Blendtec, the company that produces the “Will it Blend” series of videos found to be true through their showcase of random items destroyed in a Blendtec blender.  Here are some takeaways from a recent interview with Blendtec’s Marketing Director, Jeff Robe.

1.              Good videos connect the audience to a message. Part of the reason why our crazy videos work is that they tie into the teaching every week.  The ties might be subtle, but they ensure that kids watch until the end and walk away with God’s Word planted firmly in their heart and mind.

2.              If a picture is worth a thousand words, a few seconds of video is a few million words. Simply get past the mindset that video equals entertainment.  Videos teach.  Powerfully.

3.              Great series do not come by chance. They take creative planning and process involving multiple people. A great video is not a bolt of lightning. We started working on our current series “Cereality” last summer.  It took that long to get it right.

4.              Always write a script.  Videos that do not have a script won’t be any good.  Every video we shoot has a script.  I will not turn the camera on without one.

5.              Know your audience. Profile your audience. I spend time every year creating a profile of a Kindergarten-1st grader, 2nd-3rd grader, and 4th-5th grader.  It is one of the best exercises of the year.

6.              You have what it takes. A good video does not require a $10000 camera and a studio backlot.  We shoot videos with a $200 Flip in poorly lit rooms.  You can do this.

Cereality – Episode 1 from Matthew Guevara on Vimeo.

Quest – Episode 1 from Matthew Guevara on Vimeo.

Shorts – Episode 1 from Matthew Guevara on Vimeo.