Using Video to Keep Faith and Community Strong While Social Distancing

For so many people, participating with a local religious organization is about connection and support, and during the current COVID-19 crisis these communities are more important than ever. Due to social distancing, many places of worship have had to get creative. For long time videographer and Grandview Church member, Greg Mashburn, it was time to utilize his 30 years of professional videography experience to help his local congregation stay connected. Greg and Grandview Church Pastor Danny have been recording uplifting messages and sermons that they share via the church’s Facebook page to help keep their community positive and feeling supported. Read below to learn more about how Greg has helped his church go virtual with Padcaster.

Tell me about your current work with your pastor and the local church to provide weekly video messages.

The office manager at our church called me a few weeks back and said our pastor wanted to present video messages to our congregation during the current COVID-19 social distancing situation. I have a conventional full-size video camera and all the lights and microphones that go with it but didn’t want to dig all that gear out and haul it to the church each week. Padcaster was my solution. I mounted my iPad Pro into the frame, hung an LED light panel, and mounted a wireless lapel mic receiver on the cold shoe and it worked like a charm!

How are you distributing the videos? Do you pre-record the messages or deliver them live? 

I record a couple of times a week for the church; one mid-week message, and then a more comprehensive Sunday morning sermon. Although I can livestream easily from the iPad, we choose to record the videos since we’re not on a time crunch. I don’t edit the content of the pastor’s message, but I use the tablet-based editing app LumaFusion to add end caps, artwork, and lower thirds as needed. They are posted to our church’s social media page on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.

What was it like to move from traditional filmmaking equipment to using iPads and iPhones?

It was different at first. As an “old school” shooter, I had to learn to appreciate the advantages of using today’s smartphones and tablets. I had no idea the capabilities they offered, especially when used in conjunction with a range of apps designed specifically for filmmaking.

What do you think is the most beneficial aspect of using a mobile device for filmmaking rather than your equipment in the past?

I was used to a conventional editing suite and the specialized equipment and computers that go with that. Apps such as LumaFusion and Teradek’s Live Air: Action, along with the Padcaster, allow me to do absolutely everything I need to on my iPad. I was and continue to be amazed at how well it all comes together. We’ve even used the green screen to put illustrations behind Pastor Danny.

How is the congregation responding?

It has been amazing. Our congregation appreciates the contact they maintain with the church through Pastor Danny’s messages; many have asked if we’ll keep this up once we can begin meeting together again. I think they really like the convenience of connecting with the church on their timetable.

Do you think you and your church will fulfill the congregation’s request to keep up with the weekly videos in the future, even when you are able to gather physically again? Do you have plans to film other church events?

We are going to continue the weekly videos, and I think that this could very easily expand into other aspects of the church’s work; online bible studies and live streaming events from weddings to even funeral and memorial services.

What is your biggest piece of advice to someone who wants to do something similar with their church?

Be bold. While it does require minimal setup, it’s not like taking a rocket to the moon. Believe that you can do a quality job with today’s high-powered smartphones and tablets and you will. Last but certainly not least: Get yourself a Padcaster.

Do you have any other upcoming video projects using the Padcaster you are excited about?

Actually, I’ve very recently started my “retirement business”. I’ve begun providing recording and live streaming services and, in just a few weeks, worked with a couple of businesses here in town, and live-streamed an event for “SpringStreet”,  a locally-prominent bluegrass band who performed at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Just this morning, I shot an online commercial for a local music store. My goal is to do enough to keep busy, but not any more than I want. I am retired, you know.

Would you recommend Padcaster to other faith organizations? Why? 

Absolutely; and not just for faith organizations,  but anyone wanting to take advantage of video or social media. Padcaster certainly has become the main part of my rig these days and is simple to set up and record for either a live stream or to be edited later. No need to be a cinematographer and you don’t need a ten-thousand-dollar video camera to make Padcaster work.

Padcaster transforms your iPad or smartphone into an all-in-one mobile production studio so you can create professional-quality videos from your home or anywhere else. Whether it’s for distance learning, telecommuting, remote broadcasting or livestreaming -- Padcaster will help you produce high-quality content wherever you are. If you have had an event that has been moved online due to COVID-19 such as a wedding, religious service, graduation, or ‘gathering’ of any kind, Padcaster wants to help you! Fill out the form below to get in touch.  

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