How To Make Better Testimonial Films For Your Church An Online Course by Chris Francis

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Eight years ago I embarked on my first attempt at making a testimonial video for my church.  I was fresh out of college, I had a mini-dv camera, a plastic tripod, and a brand new microphone.  I was all set.  After all how hard could it be to make a little 3-minute video?

After working on that project FOR SEVEN STINKING MONTHS(?!?!?!?!?!) I learned – it’s very hard.

I literally made every mistake in the book and believe me it was painful, but to be honest the most frustrating part of the whole process was that I knew how to make the video – it just wasn’t working for some reason.

I mean, I wasn’t going to win an Oscar or anything, but I knew how to frame a shot, I knew how to put a microphone on someone, and I knew how to edit the video.  However, during the production process I learned that I had one giant problem that was standing between me and the amazing film that was in my head…

People!

Why weren’t the people in my film doing and saying what I thought they would do and say?  Why didn’t they telepathically understand my vision for the film?  And why were they so uncomfortable being on camera?

My name is Chris Francis and during the next eight years I discovered the answers to those questions as I journeyed from being a church volunteer stumbling through that first testimonial project, to a paid contractor, to a full-time staff video director at a “mega-church” with 15,000 weekly attendees.

I’ve learned countless lessons and have made some cringe-worthy mistakes along the way 

But through all of the ups and downs, I’ve taken what I’ve learned and have made testimonial films for churches all across America that I’m extremely proud of.  Here’s a couple that I’m especially fond of:

What is holding you back from making the films you know you are capable of making?

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Whether you’re a church staff video producer, an independent contractor, or a volunteer – the struggle is real.  Deadlines, small (or non-existent) budgets, and a live audience waiting for you on Sunday are enough pressures to deal with – and I’ve been there – which is why I created this course.

I want to do everything I can to help you grow in your craft and create better testimonial films.  Your church needs them, the internet needs them, we all need them.

Are you ready?  Let’s do this!


In this 4-week course you will learn:

  • How to prepare yourself, your team, and your subject for an amazing interview
  • How to avoid the painful mistakes that ruin an interview
  • How to ask questions that get authentic, heartfelt responses
  • How to save your film (and your butt!) during the editing process
  • How to speed up your development as a filmmaker

“I typically work in environments where I'm a camera operator and I never felt I could handle an interview by myself, but this course has changed that for me. I got more than knowledge from the course - I got confidence.” -Brandon Day ThinkTree Media

 

We all have room to grow.

Investing in your ability to tell a powerful testimony may be one the most valuable decisions you can make, both for the Kingdom and for your career.  Over a hundred church filmmakers from across the globe have already enrolled in this course and here’s what they had to say about the experience:

“This is a great course. It helps you think outside of what a lot of filmmakers get caught up with (perfect lighting, filmic settings, etc.) and helps you focus on the purpose of a testimony - the story. Chris did a great job of helping me understand how to better prepare myself, my team, and the storyteller for an experience that gets the most out of the interview.” -John Wist Creative Lead, The Church at Severn Run

This course was so much more helpful than I orginally anticipated. The video tutorials were awesome and the conversations between everyone in the class was a great way to connect with other church filmmakers. -Elle White, Harvest Bible Chapel Oakville

 

What’s included in the course?

This four week course contains 13 unique video lessons that will show you how to make better testimonial films for your church. This includes almost an hour and a half of video teaching, editing tutorials, real examples of some of my finished films, & raw outtakes from those projects, and all sorts of other goodies covering the topics below:


week one // Pre-production

  • Conducting a pre-interview
  • What the other side is thinking
  • Using a script
  • Preparing your interview subject
  • Preparing yourself
  • 5 things that every interview subject needs to know before going on camera
  • Going on camera: What to wear / What not to wear

week two // On Set

  • Prepping your crew
  • Creating a safe, focused environment for your interview subject
  • How to communicate with your crew during the shoot
  • Why you need backup
  • The top two things that kill an interview & how to avoid them
  • How to be awkward (in a good way)
  • The most important interview questions I ask every time
  • How to get your interview subject to repeat the context of the question in their answers (without coaching them)

week three // Post-production

  • What to do in the interview to give you the most flexibility in the edit
  • How to ensure specific words and phrases are captured
  • The missing reason for using B-Roll and how to do it
  • How to fix content problems without anyone noticing
  • How to shave (or gain) valuable seconds from your total runtime

week four // wrap

  • What you absolutely have to do before moving on to the next project
  • How to kill bad habits right on the spot
  • How to fast-forward your professional/career development
  • Maintaining and protecting key relationships
  • How to give & receive feedback with your crew

“This course highlighted problems within my filmmaking methods that I didn't even realize were issues. I literally had an "aha!" moment in every lesson.” -Jameson, Harvest Bible Chapel Brampton

 

so how much does this cost?

There are three options to choose from:


deluxe team – $199

+ Unlimited number of student registrations to the full How To Make Better Testimonial Films For Your Church course for your entire team (staff and volunteers).
+ Access to private class discussions where you can ask questions, share your work, and build community.
+ 1 Live Small Group Q&A Video Chat where you can ask questions, hear from your fellow classmates and gain additional insights from Chris in this group coach setting
+ One-on-One Strategy Call w/ Chris (50 min) where you and/or your team can get specific coaching to take your testimonial film productions to the next level

**PLUS SPECIAL BONUS #1
Complete project breakdown from this testimonial film that Chris produced.  The bonus video includes:

  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Lighting, cinematography, and set design diagrams and gear breakdowns
  • Producer’s pre-production & pre-interview notes
  • Editor’s paper edit
  • Producer’s commentary
  • Director’s commentary

**PLUS SPECIAL BONUS #2:
This 38-minute behind-the-scenes documentary where you get to watch Chris and his team shoot a real testimonial film for a real client – no rehearsals, no safety nets.


Deluxe individual – $99

  • Unlimited access to the full How To Make Better Testimonial Films For Your Church course for one individual person (no team access).
  • Access to private class discussions where you can ask questions, share your work, and build community.
  • 1 Live Small Group Q&A Video Chat where you can ask questions, hear from your fellow classmates and gain additional insights from Chris in this group coach setting
    + One-on-One Strategy Call w/ Chris (50 min) where you and/or your team can get specific coaching to take your testimonial video productions (or career) to the next level

**PLUS SPECIAL BONUS #1:
Complete project breakdown from this testimonial film that Chris produced.  The bonus video includes:

  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Lighting, cinematography, and set design diagrams and gear breakdowns
  • Producer’s pre-production & pre-interview notes
  • Editor’s paper edit
  • Producer’s commentary
  • Director’s commentary

**PLUS SPECIAL BONUS #2:
This 38-minute behind-the-scenes documentary where you get to watch Chris and his team shoot a real testimonial film for a real client – no rehearsals, no safety nets.


Standard individual – $49

  • Unlimited access to the full How To Make Better Testimonial Films For Your Church course for one individual person (no team access).
    Access to private class discussions where you can ask questions, share your work, and build community.
    1 Live Small Group Q&A Video Chat where you can ask questions, hear from your fellow classmates and gain additional insights from Chris in this group coach setting
    One-on-One Strategy Call w/ Chris (50 min) where you and/or your team can get specific coaching to take your testimonial video productions (or career) to the next level

**PLUS SPECIAL BONUS #1:
Complete project breakdown from this testimonial film that Chris produced.  The bonus video includes:

  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Lighting, cinematography, and set design diagrams and gear breakdowns
  • Producer’s pre-production & pre-interview notes
  • Editor’s paper edit
  • Producer’s commentary
  • Director’s commentary

**PLUS SPECIAL BONUS #2:
This 38-minute behind-the-scenes documentary where you get to watch Chris and his team shoot a real testimonial film for a real client – no rehearsals, no safety nets.


Enrollment closes soon

got questions?

How do I know if this course is right for me?
If your desire to tell amazing stories that can change lives is stronger than your desire to make a cool looking video, you’re in the right place.

What if I don’t work at a church?
No worries!  This course is designed with volunteers and freelancers in mind as well.

Can this help me get a job at a church?
Yes.  Last time this course was offered multiple church staff filmmaking jobs were posted by other students to join their team.  I also got an email recently from a former student who just landed a church filmmaking job.  Obviously no guarantees, but this course will help.

How can I make my video go viral?
Let me answer your question with another question: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

How long do I get access to the videos for?
In the words of Squints from Sandlot…..FORRREVVERRRRRR.  Once you sign up for the course you get lifetime access to the content.

Will this course make my videos look awesome?
If you buy the Deluxe Team or Deluxe Individual registrations you’ll get a special bonuses that includes a detailed behind the scenes featurette that dives into some technical gear and cinematography stuff, but other than that, the course itself is going to stick to the non-technical, ooey-gooey story telling stuff that will make a much bigger impact on your audiences.

Why doesn’t this course cost way more?
Because I’m not trying to get rich or die tryin’, just trying to raise funds to expand this ministry resource and equip more church filmmakers.

Why isn’t this course free?
Because I’ve spent a TON of time and a significant chunk of my own cash to help you as much as I can and let’s face it, that’d be weird if I’m more willing to invest in your career than you are.

What is your refund policy?
If at the end of this course you don’t feel like you’re better prepared to make a compelling testimonial film for your church/ministry, I will gladly give you a 100% refund no questions asked.  My only stipulation is that you must request it within 60 days of enrolling and that you participate in each week’s class discussion.

Got more questions?
Don’t be shy, shoot me an email!  chris@churchfilmmakers.com

 


Enrollment closes soon