Home Base How To Make Better Testimonial Films For Your Church

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  • Nic McElveen

    Hey everyone. I am the director of worship at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chattanooga TN. My wife and I have been married for 11 years and have 4 kiddos! I truly have a passion for storytelling whether through video, spoken word, graphics, etc. it is one of the most effective forms of communication in my opinion. It is such an honor to have someone trust you to tell their story in a way that is accurate but also makes the gospel the center of it. A few of the most recent projects I have completed are below. Take a watch and enjoy God At Work –

    Student Summer Camp

    Dale & Deb

    Jeff & Amanda

    • Eiric Shriner

      Nice work nic. Love the graphics (graphic designer here). The story telling is very engaging.

  • Craig Harris


    I’m Craig Harris — a filmmaker & photographer based in Charleston, SC. Super stoked about this class!

    I look forward to hangin’ virtually with y’all!

    W | http://www.craigharris.co
    Vimeo | https://vimeo.com/hellocraigharris
    IG | @hellocraigharris

    • Nic McElveen

      Bro, you have some fantastic work. Also, I see you shot a video with Jon Guerra. He is a buddy of mine. In fact he is leading worship for me next week. Glad to have you here

    • Craig is the raddest! I had the pleasure of working with him over the summer on a youth group video curriculum series. Here’s a little BTS that Craig cut together:

  • Eiric Shriner

    Hello everyone! I’m Eiric’s Shriner. I am the Communications Manager at Plainfield UMC. I am very new to filmmaking. I have dabbled in promotional pieces for sermon series and such, learn more each time I do them, but I really want to learn how to tell a story. I am excited about this class & meeting all of you.

    • Eiric, you’re blowing my mind right now. I grew up in Plainfield & graduated as a Quaker just down the street from you guys in 2002! How did you hear about this course? Do we know someone in common?!

      Ps. Stoked to have you here in the course!

      • Eiric Shriner

        That’s awesome! Small world, eh? I found the course via Storytellers Facebook page. I bet we do know people in common. My daughter graduated in 2014 from PHS.

        • Awesome! Every time I come back home I’m blown away by how much the town is growing and changing.

  • Nathaniel Brown

    Nathaniel Brown here..i’m a filmmaker from Harlem NYC. Excited to learn, meet some folks and dive into this course!

    Website: Nworb.co
    Vimeo: vimeo.com/nworb
    IG: @nktbrown

  • Jordan Smyth

    Hey everybody, my name is Jordan Smyth from Knoxville TN and I am actually not on staff at a Church (maybe one day) but Chris has graciously allowed me to still hang out and hopefully contribute in some way shape or form. I have done some work at Church and volunteer as well, but I may be a little inexperienced compared to some of you but I’m stoked to be here and learn some new stuff!! I have an eagerness and passion for film/video…I currently work a job doing video stuff and do freelance work as well.

    web| http://www.holdstrongproductions.com

    (got some shots) just the teaser

  • Mark Fansler

    I am an artist, designer, and now, learning video. I’ve done some but really looking to step up another level with it. I have been placed as the main interview video guy at First McKinney and want to honor the position and know I will with what I get from your lessons.


    • Hey Mark, thanks for joining us. Stoked to have you!

      • Mark Fansler

        Thank you. Since this is my first video gig, I don’t know the “go-to move” for B-roll. I don’t know if I should get it overtime, some of the time, only when I had a good story, etc. What’s the standard protocol with B-roll? What’s the best way to get it from the person you are filming? What about shooting stuff yourself that tells their story but not advising them about that part?

        How do you minimize the cuts from stripping out all the “ums” and “uhs” people say on camera? Do you have a favorite storage technique? Do you sort by B-roll and primary or do you store by project? Do you store all active projects on external drives? What about using old footage for B-Roll, do you ever go to your old projects to get assets?

        What are your thoughts on Videohive and using After Effects template projects? What’s the best way to get in to After Effects?

        Thanks πŸ™‚

        • Hey Mark,

          I address how to cut the “ups” and “uhs” in Week 3, so be on the lookout for that lesson. For the other stuff, let me take a crack at some of those questions:

          In this course I don’t go over how to shoot B-Roll, but I do talk a little bit about how to figure out what to shoot in Week One’s lesson.

          I store B-Roll within its corresponding project folder (personally I never shoot B-Roll just for the sake of shooting B-Roll). However, when I worked full time at a church, sometimes we would duplicate the files of our best shots and keep them in a central folder on our servers and label those folders (like “Worship”, “Sunday Experience”, “Outreach”, etc. – basically any type of general B-Roll that would often get re-used for other videos.

          Personally I store all active projects on my 50TB Drobo: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1276603-REG/drobo_5dt_50tb_5_bay_thunderbolt.html and then keep back up copies of individual projects and all of their source files (footage, audio, project files, etc.) on these cheap 4TB external drives: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0196J40BA/ref=twister_B07454F4JH?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 and store them offsite at another location in a fireproof safe, that way if disaster strikes or Murphy’s Law takes over, I’ve mitigated the risk of losing everything.

          Re: Videohive & After Effects, I don’t really know much about either. Would be curious to know if anyone else that’s in the class does?

  • Elle White

    Hello from Canada! I’m Elle White in Ontario at Harvest Oakville. Grateful to be a part of this course and eager to learn from everyone.

    Harvest Oakville: harvestoakville.ca
    Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/hbcoakville

  • Chris Pahls

    Hey ya’ll. I’m Chris Pahls – Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Comms Director at New Community Christian Church in Salina KS. I’m a former public high school sculpture teacher and freelance designer. I’m dabbling in video and have been learning a lot in the last 2 years. I’m excited to share and grow with you.

  • April Eslick

    So pumped for this class! I am diving in head first into somethign I have been dreaming about for our church for a few years! Starting from the bottom and ready to work on up!

  • John Cranman

    Oh, I forgot to introduce myself.

    I’m John Cranman, Video Creation Manager at First Church of God, Vero Beach FL. I love movies and the medium, just trying to get better, and get what’s in my head out onto the screen.

    Heres a sample of my work, a Lifegroup promo designed as a fake prescription commercial:

    • John Cranman

      And here’s the latest testimony film I worked on:

    • This is hilarious John……”Barna approved πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚”

  • John Cranman

    This will sound morbid. But do you ever look at some of your work and just hate it?