I’ve been producing a lot of what we call “sermon bumpers” lately at The Crossing. It’s been a fun and challenging process. I know a lot of other churches do this, but I have no idea about their workflow to make them. We’ve been doing them for about 6 months now and we’re just trying to figure out what works and how we want to proceed.
A video bumper is something we use as a transition between one part of our service in to the next. In this case between when the band finishes playing and the pastor begins speaking. I think this accomplishes two things. One, it provides a more aesthetic transition that allows the pastor to walk on stage and the band to leave the stage while all the eyes are watching the video. It’s less awkward. Two, it engages the mind in a different way than music does so I feel like those in the audience are changing the gears and becoming ready to sit and listen.
So, here is a little peak at how we do them.
For the most part we make a new video bumper every week. Usually the conversation starts on a Tuesday with the pastor who is teaching that Sunday. We talk through his ideas, if he has any, or explore the topics and main points of his sermon. And from their I wildly work on Wednesday and Thursday to get it done by Thursday night when I leave for the weekend.
I work alone so after the first meeting I sketch out ideas and scripting (taking cues from the first conversation) and I try to come up with three different ideas. Then I usually try and do a few proof of concepts. And then run them by the pastor. And sometimes I only have one idea and I just run with it.
Once I have the idea I have to decided how to pull it off. Sometimes I will go out and shoot footage on my own. Sometimes I will rely on footage from stock agencies. Sometimes I will just craft everything in Adobe After Effects. If you are curious I use the Adobe Creative Suite for all my work, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects.
I send previews to the pastor for feedback. Sometimes I will have enough time to pull in a colleague or two for a critique. Once it’s approved it’s exported out. Tested on our projectors and made ready for that Sunday’s service.
I think the key for me in making these is to keep it simple. It seems that the simple ideas often turn out to be my favorite. Also I think it’s really important to keep my creative well full. This means for me engaging in creating art for the sake of it. Filling my eyes and brain with art, photography, music, films and books. And also journaling and getting my ideas out of my brain and on to paper.
Here’s some of my favorites from the past few months: