The Creative Process (Part 1)

A couple of Church Insider readers have asked me about the creative process we go through when putting a series together so here are some random thoughts:

Series Graphics
The first place I look for series graphics is:
istock has tons of photography that will fit any message series you can think of. I will find a picture that I like and then buy it. They range in price depending on the size and dpi you are looking for. A large 300dpi picture runs less than $10 usually.

(A helpful hint for making message intro videos later is to find a picture that has a similar looking video to go along with it, search videos and pictures)

From there I go to They have a great selection of FREE fonts that and not too many pop up ads to annoy the snot out of you.

Take your picture and using something as simple as Publisher (or whatever high tech Mac program you guys might use) create the look you want with the font or fonts you want. As you get familiar with the program you will find ways to add cool finishing touches, but at least you now have a cool picture and a cool looking font.

Save this as a 300dpi JPEG or PNG.

Series Music
Now it’s time to fill in those dead spots in the service with bumper music. Head to iTunes and search the store with some key words from your series. For example we are starting a series this week called so I searched for cold heart and found a number of great songs. You will then need to buy them and then create a playlist so you can burn them to a CD. You need to burn them to a CD so you can get rid of the copy protection stuff on them. Once you re-load them back onto your computer you can edit them as you wish with something as simple as Windows Movie Maker. You will use these songs during your countdown clock, message intro, and during the communication card time while people are filling them out. We also use them during the offering when we don’t have a live song from the band.

Countdown Clock
You can search for a countdown clock that fits your series. Sometimes you will find one that fits, but the music sucks. Again you now have some music so import everything into Windows Movie Maker and you are good to go.

Recently I purchased a program called that allows you to create your own countdown videos using your own message series graphics and music. I have made two of them now and the program is really simple!

Message Intro Video
The message intro video is a newer element a lot of churches are taking advantage of. In the old days the choirs finished and the preacher got up to speak. Sometimes if they were really stuck on tradition they waited until the stage was totally empty! With a message intro video you can give your worship band a chance to clear the stage and set a new mood for the message.

To create one again it takes nothing more than a simple program like Windows Movie Maker and some creative thought. You can take your message series graphics and import them into Power Point in various arrangements, with text, without text and then save them as jpegs or png files. Play around with maybe throwing in some big question you want to answer in the series. The sky is the limit. These can then be installed into Windows Movie Maker where you can add 20 – 30 seconds of music and you can also add effects. You can buy some really cool effects online at places like:

(You can also add stock video files from istockphoto if they match the series graphics)

Visit our YouTube page for some simple message intro examples:

More to come later…

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Hal Mayer said...

Thanks for sharing. The font site you suggested is much easier to use than rock on!

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