How many times a year do you wish you could show people at church on Sunday something that happened in the fellowship last week? Friday night’s get-together, perhaps, or something that happened on Saturday, and you just know if people can see what happened
- they’ll rejoice at what God is doing at church.
- they’ll see how God answered their prayers for the event,
- some will make a note to participate when this comes around again next year – always a good thing.
But you don’t want to stay up all night Saturday night putting it together.
Here’s a technique I’ve used with success. It’s not fancy or complicated but it helps when an immediate review of something will encourage the church. I plan on giving an hour to this process, maybe ninety minutes, but not all-night. The math that follows will help your slides and music finish at the same time, which is always a nice touch. I hate when the last slide comes up and they “kill” the music, don’t you? or when the music runs out and 5 more slides hang out there in mid-air. This prevents that from happening:
- You can choose a song or two even before the event. Stay flexible, and choose the music bed based on the number of pictures you end up with. It should be consistent with the nature of the event. If it has words they should at least not conflict with the nature of the pictures. “Sweet Hour of Prayer” would not be a good choice for pictures of yesterday’s Men’s Paint-Ball Tournament, for example. (You wouldn’t, would you? – didn’t think so)
- Finalize the number of pictures you’ll be using – or the number of slides/frames if you’ll have more than one picture in a slide at once.
- Time the song or songs (you may be able to see how long it is already if you’re using a digital player).
- Add together and convert to the total number of seconds for music, including the pause between if you’re using more than one song.
- Divide the total number of seconds by the number of pictures. This gives you the number of seconds per slide. Is it close to four seconds? Thank the Lord you’ve even less to do and keep going.
- Manually advance through the pictures at that rate per slide. Is that too fast? Too slow? Adjust.
- Set the timed-advance to show pictures at that rate and run the program with the music bed.
- Dissolve rates may skew things a little bit, so adjust to compensate for the transition-times. (Quick transitions are usually better than cuts or slow dissolves, especially if you want to convey energy and enthusiasm.)
- Play it again and fine-tune, resisting the temptation for everything to be perfect. There will be other times for that.
- When it comes out even, or the last slide gets a couple extra seconds at the end of the music, smile. You’re ready! You’ve reached your objective AND you get go to bed on time!
See ya’ in church!