First Things First

Justin Czech   -  

May this serve as a constant reminder.

For you…

For me…

For the videos we make…

Invest in the first things first.

Joel W Smith's Hierarchy of Video Production

Invest – not just money – but time, attention, evaluation, and effort. As questions…

Why are we doing ‘this’?

How is this benefiting our ministry, or how are we helping spread the Gospel Message?

Let’s break it down…


A tool is only as good as the hands that wield it.

Above all else, invest in people – yourself and others. It’s difficult and requires patience and takes time. Ultimately reaps the best rewards vs investing in everything else below.

Have you learned it all?

If not, learn more.

Have you taught someone everything you know?

If not, start teaching.

Be a disciple!


Content is everything that happens before the gear, and is a sum of many parts: scripts, locations, set designs, talent, action, colors, moods, etc.

Compelling content doesn’t require fancy gear to be compelling.

And fancy gear rarely, if ever, makes poor content better.

The Gospel Message has been spread from the East to the West over 2000 years without fancy gear.

The Gospel spread because the content (the good news message) was so compelling, so audacious, that humanity couldn’t help but notice.


We are more sensitive to what we hear than what we see.

Audio can easily make or break a production quicker than visuals.

Listen before you look.


Cameras love light.

And cameras can only work with the light they’re given.

Give them the best light you can.

Small camera = more light


Give credit where credit is due…

The lens is the better half of a camera.

Giving more attention to the camera instead of the lens is like putting a lawnmower engine in a race car.


When everything before the camera is done well, camera selection suddenly becomes less daunting.

It’s still a crucial piece of gear, but there are no longer unreasonable expectations being placed on the camera to make up for weaknesses above.

A camera can’t work magic, but it can look magical when everything before it gets the attention it needs.

Everything Else

Now the critical work is done.

Don’t get me wrong – many things in this category are still important.

But now you can at least rest assured that you’ve taken the necessary steps to create a solid product.