A Great Free Video Editor for Churches
Over the last six months, many pastors and church leaders were forced to learn how to do livestreaming, video recording, and video editing. For many, this has been a difficult time of learning. While iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are fine to get you started with home videos, you will quickly discover that they both lack many crucial features that are helpful for churches. You could step up to Final Cut Pro on a Mac for $299, or subscribe to Adobe Premiere for even more money, but I want to let you know that there is a better choice for most churches.
Davinci Resolve 16 by Blackmagic Design is an excellent choice for editing videos and is quickly becoming a favorite of seasoned video editors. And did I mention that they offer the base version for free for Mac and Windows? Davinci Resolve was a high end Hollywood color grading and correction software that was bought by Blackmagic Design in 2009. They have continued improving it and changed their pricing model so that it is now free. I have been using it now for the last year, and I have been blown away by the power, ease of use, and functionality it offers. In fact, I removed Final Cut Pro from my computer because I prefer Davinci Resolve. I love the multi-cam clips feature for quickly switching between camera angles, and the color correction and audio editing features are excellent.
If you never have used an NLE (non-linear editing system), you may be a little overwhelmed when you first load up the software. The tabs on the bottom of the screen guide you through the editing process. You have tabs for ..
- Media – This is where you import audio, videos, and photos that you will use. You can also organize everything here.
- Cut – This is a quick editing mode that will remind you of iMovie. It lets you quickly put your clips in order. I use it occasionally, but I typically jump right to the next tab.
- Edit – This is where the heavy lifting occurs. You will spend most of your time in this module getting everything edited as you like
- Fusion – This is where you can do advanced compositions. You can compare this to Apple Motion or Adobe After Effects. It has a steeper learning curve, but it is very powerful.
- Color – Davinci Resolve is the industry leader here. You can quickly do color correction and color grading. Again, you may need to watch tutorials to get started, but it’s amazing how you can use tracking and selective color grading.
- Fairlight – Davinci also has an advanced audio editor. This is where you can use audio plugins, mix different sources, and even record voiceover tracks.
- Deliver – This is how you export your final project. Davinci Resolve gives you plenty of presets and walks you through the process.
They do offer a full studio version of the program for $299, but I don’t think most churches would ever need the full version. If you do, then you likely have a media department and technology budget so the cost won’t be a problem. If you are looking for a better video editing platform, then you really need to check out Davinci Resolve 16.
Here is a longer video to show you the latest features. It will give you a glimpse of how powerful the software is.
I’ve been using Resolve for sermon recap videos. Here is one I did from our message last week for Facebook and InstagramTV (IGTV). I was able to track my motion using automation, add subtitles, and add background music.
And here is one last example from my son. He has also learned how to use Resolve, and he used it to record and edit his latest music video. He used color grading extensively throughout the video. This really shows you what you can do easily with Resolve.