To help out agencies on restricted funding, I came up with a 6 step and under $50 guide to creating your own custom volunteer firefighting video. I hope you like it and enjoy the process of creating something for your own department. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a sample video made by following these instructions.
1. Assemble your best pictures and video clips and prepare them in whatever order you see fit. Try to keep the video clips to: 10 seconds each. If you absolutely need more than :10 seconds, it’s still possible to make this work, but it becomes a bit trickier, the point of this is to make it simple for anyone! If you are more tech savvy, then great, you will likely learn some tricks along the way on your own. If you are not tech savvy, that’s ok -This is geared for you! Once you have all your content together, move on…
2. Go online and create an account with Animoto. I prefer an annual business account of $249/year, but in the spirit of keeping things cheap, start with a business account which will cost $39/month. Just make sure you complete your project in a month and then cancel or you will be charged for a second month.
3. While on Animoto, pick the template that you like best. As you will see, there are several to choose from. I recommend the templates “GRID”, “DOCUMENTARY”, “ANIMOTO ORIGINAL”, or “OLD GLORY”.
4. Once the template is open, take a minute to get familiar with the workings of the program. It’s designed to be user friendly, but like anything else, it can be frustrating at first. Just take your time to work through each step one-at-a-time. If you selected the “PRO” plan on your membership, you will have 2000 different songs to choose from (with licensing) or you can upload your own music. But remember if you don’t have permission from the music artist, it’s likely that YouTube will block it or the artist themselves may want some kickback. Be careful!
5. Start by adding your department logo, then add your pics and videos, (Don’t worry about organization of the pictures until the end) and then add your text. This would be for any specific information like “Apply Today!” etc. You may upload too many pictures and realize you need more music for it all to fit. If this happens, don’t panic, just click the (+add another song) and continue to add pictures! Overflow pictures are staged on the right side of the screen, so you will just need to add them back in one at a time. Don’t panic, it’s easier than it’s typed! Just relax and play with the program.
6. Once you are happy with everything, click on the PREVIEW VIDEO button on the left of the screen and after a few minutes of processing you can see what your video will look like. If you are happy with it, you can click the file size that you want (HD, Standard etc) and it will download that to your computer. You can then share it with anyone. THAT’S IT!
EXTRA- If you want to make a lot of videos and want there to be a special “intro” to each video so people know who you are, there is a company called Fiverr.com. For as little as $5.50, you can have a custom intro produced which will really add a level of professionalism to your product. Click here for the intro’s product page. Once you place your order, it typically takes a day or two for delivery. Once you have the intro file, just drop it into the Animoto slide show maker and your done!