How to make a DVD for 175 kids

For six Saturdays in the late winter, 175 kids grades 1-8 come to our church gym to play basketball and cheer. They have fun.

At the end of the season, there is an awards night. One of our staff members always creates a slide show of pictures from the season. One day I thought, “we could put it on a DVD and hand it out to everyone.”

It was a great thought.

But then I had to do it.

I decided to create a DVD with three pieces: the year-end show, a greeting from our senior pastor, and a video of all 280 pictures we shot during the season.

1. Can I create an editable video from PowerPoint? Yes, with EffectMatrix Software’s Free PowerPoint Video Converter. It exports the show as a .wmv file which I can edit in Windows Movie Maker.

2. Can I create an editable video file from more than 250 images? In the past, PowerPoint was impossible for this because you had to add each image individually. I looked at a number of free things today…and then discovered that PowerPoint 2007 allows you to insert a photo album, any collection of pictures. It creates a show with each image on its own slide. You then add transitions, compress the images, and use the program in the last point to convert it to video.

3. Can I create a video of my boss with a Flip? Yes. The quality of a Flip Video Mino Series Camcorder is great for what we are doing.

4. Can I find free music to use for production? Yes. Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech makes wonderful production music, royalty free.  Be sure to give him credit.

5. Can I edit it inexpensively? Yes. I have AVID Xpress Pro PC. I use Window Movie Maker. There’s a lot of power for layering video and audio.(really).

6. Can I make a master inexpensively? Yes. Our HP computer came with Sonic’s MyDVD. It’s a very basic version, but it allows me to use my own background images, create menus, and burn a master.

7. Can I burn copies inexpensively? Yes. DVD blank: 20 cents. DVD label: 20 cents. Printing label on copier:  .5 cents.  Paper sleeve: 7 cents. We have a high-speed duplicator that burns three copies at a time, but you could do them one at a time.

For less than 50 cents of direct cost, each family will have a record of the season.

I know that I could use other software, better equipment. But one of my challenges is to do things with maximum impact for minimum expense. This project used software and equipment already available to me.

And here’s the fun part: the disks get handed out on Sunday evening. It’s Thursday night and they are all done.


One response to “How to make a DVD for 175 kids

  1. A few questions and a suggestion.

    1. Did you burn and label all these by hand in house?

    2. Did you get outside quotes for this quantity?

    3. Does your duplicator print as well, or just burn?

    Printing CD’s vs. Printing Labels

    One of the things I have done with these projects is use the white printable CD’s and a CD printer. Slows the printing part of the process down, but the costs of the CD’s is an extra 5 cents, you eliminate the cost of the labels, and after the investment for the printer, it is free for the next project. The Epson model I bought cost around $99 and is one of the better photo printers I have owned as well.