Archive - October 2011

Dave Thomas


Dave Thomas
How long have you been a videographer?

I have been using video for more than 20 years.

What got you interested in filming?

I would have to say my dad got me interested in film. He is one of the film industry’s biggest fans. He was checking out films from the library when I was very young. I had an experience when I was 10 years old, and I knew that when I grew up I wanted to create things that inspire and make people happy.


What is your filming specialty?

I feel that my strength is editing, but most of my professional experience has actually been video design and animation.




How did you get interested in submitting your video to the Church’s International Video Contest?

I noticed the “call for entries” on the Newsroom page on 

How do you feel you can use videography to build up the kingdom or share the gospel?

People are strengthened when they watch things that are uplifting. I find it can be an effective and subtle way of conveying the message of the gospel. The Church has been doing a marvelous job for years. I appreciate that members are getting opportunities to share their talents as well.

What about videography inspires you?

I am definitely inspired by the finished product. It is the art of creation. 

What has been a favorite experience or memory while filming?

My favorite moments while shooting have always been when I am executing a project that is in collaboration with my brothers. I love to go through the whole process with them. When we have the time, it is amazing what we can do.

Where is your dream location to shoot?

One year with no agenda or schedule in Italy.

What tip or trick have you learned along the way that made the biggest difference in the quality of your videos?

The most important thing I have learned is to avoid using the zoom function. If I want to get a close-up, get in there and get it. Only zoom in when there is no other option.

What advice would you give to new videographers?

I would advise any new videographer to use your gift with wisdom and soberness. Take time to pay homage to the art instead of just trying to make a buck. There should always be a project out there that YOU want to do.

How much do you edit your videos?

I edit everything I shoot. I make a mental edit out in the field, and it makes for a much more effective edit if I can be the guy that handles the editing as well. However, I do recognize the power in collaboration. If you are not able to collaborate, you do yourself a great disservice. 

If you could take a video of anything, what would it be?

This is my favorite question. “A Day in the Life of the Prophets and Apostles” would make for some fantastic film making. I am referring to their “human” side rather than their spiritual day-to-day activities. I think that a great majority of the members of the Church would be very uplifted to see that these good Brethren are more like us than we might have thought.

What is your favorite lighting?

My favorite lighting is the natural sunlight in the morning and the evening. It is amazing what happens in that kind of light. If I can, I always try to use it before setting up any lights.

Joleena Drolet

Alberta, Canada

Joleena Drolet

How long have you been a videographer?

I have always wanted a video camera since I was little, but could never afford one. Finally in April 2010, my husband gave us an early anniversary present. It was a Sony Video Camera! I have used it almost every day since then. A few months later we bought Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 editing software.

What is your filming specialty?

I love filming my daughter, Kate, who is 16 months old. She makes me laugh when she tries to talk or when she gets into things around the house. I also had a baby boy on July 9th, 2011, so my filming adventures will only get better!



What got you interested in submitting your video to the Church’s International Video Contest?

Upon hearing about the opportunity to make your own Mormon Message, I was drawn to it because I felt I could follow the Spirit in creating a message that would inspire members or nonmembers to feel the Spirit. If they felt the power of the Spirit, they would want to act. I know I don't have much experience in filming and editing (it's been a year now), but I know what the Spirit feels like and that I can ask for Heavenly Father's help to convey a message that would testify of Christ. I felt that I might be able to contribute to the cause the Church was offering to spread the gospel through modern media.

The Making of the Mormon Message:

I love “interviewing” children because they give such pure and honest answers that come from their hearts, so I thought I would film my nieces, nephews, and friends' kids and ask them what their favorite story from the Book of Mormon was. The talk from general conference by Elder Bednar also rang through my mind, and I knew that that was the quote I needed to find to be the “thread” that would lace my message.

Being a piano teacher, I love music and know where beats fall, so I was able to time the videos and the pictures to the music so that the video flowed. Music is a powerful tool in creating a masterpiece. It creates momentum and builds emotion. Choosing the best song to go with your video is important. I've learned that background music can either make or break your video or movie. If the theme is positive and upbeat, then it needs rhythmic and tonal music to go with it. If the theme is solemn or serious, it needs music in a minor key or that is slow moving. I think that having a musical background helps in film production.

I then used Adobe Premiere Pro in editing and adding desired effects.

What positive experience did you have while creating the Mormon Message?

After submitting the Mormon Message, I have been continually reminded by the Spirit of the words of Elder Bednar—to read the Book of Mormon with my children. Whenever I walk past the Book of Mormon each day, I think, “Did I read the scriptures with Kate today?” And if I hadn't, I quickly obey the prompting because I know the promises that Elder Bednar speaks of are true and will follow those who are faithful to this commandment. I am grateful for the opportunity to have made this video. The message has strengthened my own testimony, and my desire is that it will strengthen others too.

How would you describe your shooting style?

My own! Since I haven't gone to school for videography, I have to make up my own way of doing things and learn by trial and error.

What tip or trick have you learned along the way that made the biggest difference in the quality of your videos?

Since I don't have any extra microphone equipment, I find the internal microphone of my camcorder picks up everything, so I make sure everyone listening during the recording doesn't talk, fidget, or move their feet, etc. Even people in the next room over, I have to tell them to not open cupboards or cook anything, etc. I even have to turn off appliances such as washers and dryers because when I go to edit the video, I can hear all of those sounds, and they are distracting when trying to listen to what the person is saying in the interview. It has saved me time in sound editing, or in redoing the whole interview.

How much do you edit your videos?

A bit. I like to play around with the editing software we have and experiment with the different effects available, such as the color correction, zoom, video transitions, and motion and opacity tools. I only know a fraction of the tip of the iceberg, though. There is still so much to learn!