One of the easiest ways for churches to get more involved with video is by creating photo slideshows. You can just take your pictures straight from your digital camera and use them to make a video. It is easy, effective, and quick. I have used the free Microsoft Photostory which does a good job of panning and zooming through your pictures, but it doesn’t do anything fancy, and the results are less than spectacular. On my mac, I like to use iPhoto ’09 to do photo slideshows. You have several options, and the new “shatter” theme is awesome. You can show photo captions, but you can’t really add text slides in the final slideshow.
That brings me to the new kid on the block, Animoto.com. I’ve blogged about it before, but it has gotten even better than before. You simply upload your photos to their website, add text, choose music, and hit create. That’s it. It’s not complicated or hard, and you’ll be amazed at the end result. You can upload your own music, or choose from their library of great songs. Animoto actually analyzes your photos and creates a video to match them to the music. Animoto then provides you with the finished video file, embed codes, and several ways to share the final video, so you can easily incorporate the video into your website or show in your church.
Videos under 30 seconds are free, but you’ll have to pay $3 per video, or $30 per year for unlimited use. I’ll even help you get started with Animoto. If you sign up for the one-year pass, you can get $5 off by using the referral code DPQIVMCW.
Here is a recent video that my wife created for our local community-wide Bible school. I’ve done enough video-editing to know how hard it would be to create a video like this. You could use videos like this to promote upcoming events or show highlights from past events. We’ve even thought about making announcement videos for church using it. What are some ways you have used Animoto?