USERS

1. Are you a church?

No.

2. Do you charge hourly or flat rates?

Flat rates - but if you want a video for your ministry that is not exclusive to your organization, then suggest the idea and Church Films can develop it, own it, and license it for much cheaper than hiring Church Films outright.

3. What kind of resolution is right for me?

Great question - it's not a one-size-fits-all answer, but here is a good place to start.

4. What kinds of files will I download? 

Right now, Church Films licenses digital video files in the H.264 format. H.264 can be used in a variety of applications and should play just fine with current computers and devices. If you're running Windows 95, you'll need an overhaul.

5. How much does it cost to license a short film?

Costs are anywhere from $5 and up, depending on the resolution and bundling options. The lower resolutions enable smaller churches to access quality films and videos, something the other clearing houses are not pursuing right now.

6. What can I do with my license?

You are allowed to make small edits (for time) as needed, and you may use the film in your programming. Sharing, uploading, and reselling are not permitted. For more information, please read the terms of use.

7. Do you sell DVDs or Blu-Rays?

Church Films does not offer hard copy discs at this time - you can download a file and then use an authoring software to build a DVD or Blu-Ray. The terms of use still apply.

8. I want a Quicktime file, not an H.264 file.

You can download MPEG Streamclip (for Windows or Mac, but if you have a Mac, chances are you already have this program installed) for free and convert your H.264 file. Right now, Church Films only offers H.264 files. They're usually smaller than QT files, and they can be used just about anywhere.

9. What is the Pay-It-Forward deal about?

Simple. If you want to pre-purchase a video for a ministry or group, knowing someone out there might not be in a place to afford a video, the Pay-It-Forward option is for you. Your purchase will go on the board and anyone can redeem it. It can be anonymous and with or without a note of encouragement.

SHOP

1. Are payments secure?

Yes, all checkout and payment pages are SSL-encrypted.

2. Do you offer Google Wallet, Paypal, and Bitcoin payment options?

At this time, no, but you can use Bitcoin or Paypal for the Pay-It-Forward option.

3. Is Church Films a non-profit organization?

No, Church Films is an LLC. Guys like the Skit Guys prove that it is possible to create ministry tools that stand on their own without the need for donations. Their form 990's from the 2012 and 2013 tax years combined show $30 USD in contributions. On a related note, the NFL is a nonprofit organization. There are many misunderstandings surrounding the differences between for-profit and non-profit companies. A good write-up on both can be found here. Any excess "profit" that a non-profit generates is typically re-invested in the company. Church Films will do the same with profits because the mission and vision remain unchanged: join Jesus in redeeming film and media to share the message of hope with the whole world. Church Films will use media to share the Gospel and to equip hundreds of thousands of churches with quality, Spirit-breathed stories.

4. Why is Church Films a for-profit company?

Non-profits spend upwards of 90% of their time chasing donations; Church Films must focus on collecting and creating quality films and media that will point people to the hope and freedom we have in Jesus. If the ministry can't stand on its own two legs (like the aforementioned Skit Guys), then it needs to listen to what the King is up to and if necessary, pivot. Additionally, and this was the biggest deciding factor, a lot of nonprofits DO DEPEND on your charitable giving. They can offer little if anything in return for your hard-earned dollars. Church Films, like other clearing houses, allows ministries to download digital media - this creates the program revenue that will continue the mission and vision of Church Films. Please consider supporting non-profit organizations that are not in the same position to create an exchange of goods.

5. What is Church Films doing to give back?

Whether a non-profit or a for-profit company, giving is a Christlike attitude, and it is central to Church Films. Right now, 10% goes to planting churches in Vegas because Christ loves the church, and it is still a place for people to come and know more about the God we serve. Additionally, the Pay-It-Forward (PIF) program allows you to pre-purchase a video for another ministry who might not be in the same position as your ministry. 

PODCASTS

1. What gear do I need for a podcast?

WATCH THIS VIDEO; it explains everything. If you prefer reading, then read on! At a minimum, you need a Skype account and a Logitech (or better) headset. No Facetime, no Google Hangout - Skype only.

2. What else do I need for a podcast?

You will need to share 3-5 high-quality photos of you and your craft, and the photos must belong to you. Please keep each photo around 500 KB in size and also about 1400 x 1400 or thereabout (think 4 digits across the board). These will be used to promote the podcast.

You also need to test your Skype connection and headset. Please don't come to the podcast with an untested headset or a spotty signal. Turn off your HVAC system, power off fans, motors, etc. Keep the recording environment free of distractions and don't rock in your chair or make clicking sounds with your pen. 

You DO NOT need the video portion of the Skype call. We will not be using it. Turn it off as it only eats up bandwidth.

3. What kinds of questions will you be asking?

A general outline of questions can be found here:

4. Do I have to fill out these questions and send them back?

No. The questions are there to give you an idea of the interview.

5. I don't know if these questions really apply to me.

If you have been dialoguing with Church Films about a podcast, then you are doing something that supports the mission and vision of churches, so yes, this interview is for you. If you are on a different journey in your faith but still support a church through your craft, just ask to modify the questions.

6. I'd like to do a podcast. What do I do?

Fill out the contact form; if your ministry or craft supports the mission and vision of Church Films, then chances are we can have a podcast.

7. Do you edit the podcasts?

Yes - they may be edited for time, content, and/or form.

8. Are the podcasts free?

100% - download away.

9. How long will it take to do a podcast? 

You can expect a podcast to take about 30 to 60 minutes.

10. How long will the podcast be?

They run approximately 25 to 35 minutes, sometimes longer.

11. What is a text interview?

You can answer your interview questions by e-mail. This is the alternative if you have a poor connection or a poor headset, but this option is only used as a backup.

12. Where can I find all of the podcasts?

You can subscribe slash download the podcasts right here on Itunes. While you are there, please leave a review! Every comment helps to grow this ministry.

13. When will my podcast be live?

Generally, at least a week after recording the podcast. You will get an email the night before (or even days before) with links you can click to easily share your podcast on your social media platforms.

FOR ARTISTS AND FILMMAKERS

1. I'm a filmmaker. What's the first step to licensing my work?

First, review your work. If it's original (i.e. it's 100% yours), then share a Vimeo or Youtube link for review. If your short film matches the mission and vision of Church Films, you can expect an invite for a podcast interview to follow. Church Films believes that relationship is important. You're joining the mission by licensing your work, so we should get to know each other.

2. What kinds of materials are you looking for? 

Not every completed work will be accepted. Materials that are more relational (e.g. narrative) in nature are more favorable than generic motion backgrounds and animated text videos. 

3. How much can I expect from licensing my work?

You earn 90% of the profits from the sales of your licensed work. This enables you to continue creating, and this allows Church Films to continue its mission.

4. How often will I collect royalties?

Royalties are paid within the first 5 days of each month. Revenue statements will go out at the same time.

5. What do I do to my work after it's licensed? 

Part of the licensing agreement asks that you replace your licensed work with a watermarked copy that Church Films will provide you. This better protects both of us from piracy. If you have already watermarked your work, we are good to go.

6. Can I see the license agreement?

Absolutely! 

7. Can I license my work through other clearinghouses as well?

Sure. Amazon and Netflix both host some of the same materials, and they're pretty smart guys. We will both decide how long the agreement lasts (a minimum of one year). If your work is already watermarked, by all means, you can continue to sell it on your own site.

8. I'm not a filmmaker, but I'd like to license my work.

Right now, the main focus is carrying out the mission through film and video. Fill out the contact form and let's chat. 

FILMMAKER TECH

1. What kind of file do I need to share?

H.264. If it's SD, keep your target bit rate to 2 Mbps and your maximum bit rate to about 5 Mbps. If it's 720p, keep your target bit rate to 5 Mbps and your maximum bit rate to 10 Mbps. If it's 1080p, keep your target bit rate to 10 Mbps, and your maximum bit rate to 20 Mbps. Encode using a 2-pass variable bit rate (VBR).

2. What's the limit on file sizes?

Right now, it's Squarespace's limit of 300 MB per file.

3. What should my fps be?

24 fps is common, but you are the storyteller.

4. Do I need to provide a watermarked copy? 

You should because it will provide a way for people to connect with you on your Youtube or Vimeo account. Part of the vision of Church Films includes connecting churches to their local filmmakers. If not, Church Films will watermark a copy and upload it to its video sites. 

5. Do I need to watermark my work on my site?

You bet - part of the agreement asks you to do this.

ACTORS

1. What colors should I wear? 

If you are given no direction, bank on grays, blacks, whites, and colors in this spectrum or this spectrum. You can find this color wheel at Adobe Color.

2. Can I wear logos? 

Only if they are discreet. This is not discreet.

3. Can I wear patterns?

You must avoid fine patterns. This is something we observe in everyday life with our own human eyes, it's not just a camera sensitivity. Dots, lines, and other minutia are all culprits.

4. Do I need to sign a release?

Yes. This is the image and liability release you will need to sign.