Promote your next show with a video poster

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How to make a concert poster that moves

To celebrate the release of my new album, I’m playing a seven-night residency next week at one of Portland’s coolest listening rooms.

Part of the arc of the week involves having different featured guests each night to showcase the music of some of my friends and collaborators. I’m excited to have these guest musicians for obvious reasons, but it also gives me a fun opportunity to promote the shows, since I can design a different poster for each night of the residency.

What’s a video poster?

I did have a standard poster designed for the whole week (and I think that was a good idea to present an overview of the entire event), but I’ve also been making little individual video posters, each with a snippet of a track by the corresponding featured artist.

Here are those video posters so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about (be sure to scroll over the image to find the play button):

In addition to Instagram, I’ve also been posting them to Facebook and Twitter, and might compile all seven into a single video for YouTube, and hopefully all the featured artists will share them with their fans too.

Anyway, I thought it was a fun idea to make something a little more special than just a static poster. With these video posters you don’t have to worry about shooting footage since the motion and audio elements are simply added on top of a still image.

So, how did I make my video posters?

Well, I’m a neophyte when it comes to video, graphics, and editing, so there might be a MUCH easier way to do this than my current process (and maybe within a single app?), but basically,…

1. I find the background image I’m going to use and save it to my phone.

2. I open the image in an app called WordSwag to add text. If you want more control over fonts and spacing you will probably have to “re-swag” your images by going through several rounds of text additions within the app.

3. I save that image to my phone, and then open it in an app called gifX.

4. Within gifX I add any motion elements, and then save the file as a high-quality .mov.

5. Then I email that file to myself, open it on my desktop, and fly it into Final Cut Pro X to add music. You could probably find a simpler way to do this with an app that allows you to add audio to video, but that was the quickest process for me without having to hunt around in the App Store.

If you know a simpler way to do the same thing, please holler in the comments below. And if you make any video posters, I’d love to see ’em. Leave a link.

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