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Lights, Camera, Action!

By Kayla

Camp promo videos are the NUMBER 1 way to get people amped for your event.  But unfortunately, not everyone has the knack for making cinema-quality work.  And that’s okay!  Between a phone and a computer, all that really limits you is your imagination.

But before we get started on the techy step-by-step, let’s talk about the elements you need for your video:

Visuals – Primarily when people hear the word “video” they think of moving images in a sequence that tell a story.  And if you have video content to throw into your project, then you are a step ahead.  This could be from the venue, a previous event, or you could make your own for this specific piece.  Remember that this doesn’t have to be long.  Short clips of a recreation activity being used or a worship service are great, and you only need 3 seconds.  Boomerangs can also be a great option here.  The Boomerang app from Instagram (free) takes a bunch of photos and stitches them together to make a mini video that plays forward and backward. All you have to do is push one button. 

If you are lacking in the moving visuals, don’t fret.  Pictures are still a great way to showcase your message.  Plus, with all the transitions available in post-production, you can make it look like it is moving. 

Transitions – Like I said in the previous paragraph, transitions can be added in post-production.  These animations give the video a cleaner flow that adds to the overall appeal (if done correctly).  Fade, morph, uncover, flash, and drape your images and clips together.  For an abundant example of transitions, see original Star Wars movies.

Info – This includes dates, location, cost and registration.  While I’m sure you have this information on your website and flyers (if not, please stop reading right now and do that first), it is still important information to show in the video.  This may end up being the only promotional material they see.  Now the question is where to put it.  The best place is at the end of the video, because when it finishes playing, the information will sit there for them to read.  Plus, studies show that people are more likely to remember a beginning and end than they are the middle.  Depending on where you share the video, you could use a screenshot of the information as the video thumbnail.  You can also put each tidbit individually, but make sure to summarize the important stuff together at the end.

Music – Many online movie/slideshow makers have music clips that can be added to projects.  There are also multiple websites (such as Bensound) that provide royalty-free music, meaning you don’t have to worry about copyright issues.  Please note that only SOME of the music is free.  However, for a small fee you can purchase individual songs with licenses or get a subscription.  Make sure the music fits your event and gets people pumped up about it.  Choosing a poor song can be just as bad as having no music at all.

Theme – The easiest way to make a video is by choosing a pre-formatted theme and just filling in your images/video clips.  This should match the style and theme of your event.  For example, if your theme is Marvelous (based on Psalm 71:17), then choose a superhero-looking style, with comic sans font and star explosion shapes.  Another example could be Ready Player One, in which you would want a video that looks techy like a video game.  

Graphics – Speaking of shapes and fonts, graphics are going to make a huge impact on your video.  If you can’t find a theme you really love, you can always add your own images, gifs, text, stickers etc. that will add that little something extra.  Don’t forget the camp logo!!!!

Now that we know what you need, it is time to get to work.  Make sure to budget some serious time for this because it can end up taking a good chunk. 

  1. Collect your visuals. The best place to start is by putting your images and clips into a folder to get them organized. You can choose to upload them into the video program one at a time or altogether.  Personally, I like to upload each image/clip as I go so that I know what has been used.
  2. Choose your theme. If you are using an online tool that has themes, choose one you think would be best for your project. NOTE: Some themes already have transitions and music, but you can usually change those as needed.
  3. Put them in order. Now is the time to decide what you want where. Get your images placed in your video.
  4. Add text. Once your images are in the proper sequence you can add text over the top where needed.
  5. Add graphics. If you are so inclined, add your shapes and colors to give it that extra pop. Again, don’t forget a slide or overlay of your camp logo.
  6. Add music. Whether you take one from the site or upload your own, you need to save this step until you know how long your video will be. If the music is too long, you will have to decide where to clip it so that it fits best. You can also adjust the volume in different areas of your video if there is voice overlay.
  7. Preview and upload. When your video is complete, watch it and you are ready to export.


  • Keep your video between 2 to 3 minutes in length.
  • Don’t overdo it on the transitions, animations and text. There is such a thing as “too much”.
  • When using text, keep it short and sweet, making sure it is easily readable by viewers and that there is plenty of time to read it.  The best bet is to give enough time that it can be read twice.
  • Have someone else watch your video before publishing to see if they find any mistakes.

If you don’t have a go-to video maker website, here are a few options:

Most provide a free version, but of course that does limit some of your editing capabilities.  But you can usually still make a high-quality video without the need for purchase.

Here’s an example promo video by Illinois Student Ministries for Breakaway Kids Camp 2019.

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626