Social Media / Video

How To Make A “Hot Mass” Video

Would you like to make a video like “Hot Mass” from Episcopal Chruch of All Saints in Indianapolis? It may be easier and cheaper than you think!

Thankfully, Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale, the brilliant person who created the video, was nice enough to answer all of my question about why and how the video was made.

In case you missed it in my weekly round-up, here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Why Make a Video?

The average attendance at All Saints worship services dropped from 90 to about 55 in the summers because of the heat. The Rev. E. Suzanne Wille had the idea and sense of humor to turn the heat into an asset and decided to advertise it as a “Hot Mass.” The title was also a deliberate play on “hot mess” and, as Brendan says,

“if you feel your life is a mess for any reason, we want it known that you’ll experience Christ’s love at All Saints.”


The video was part of a Facebook marketing campaign. They had the ad show to select groups in the Indianapolis area who identified themselves as the type who might like to attend “hot mass.” The ad budget was $75 and reached about 20,000 people in the area. The video was also intended for regular All Saints worshipers who needed some extra motivation to attend services in the summer.


Brendan kept the video to under two minutes in length because he didn’t want to take too much of the viewer’s time. Also, he decided to be honest and upfront about the video’s Christian theme – he didn’t make a popular theme video with a bit of Jesus dropped in at the end. Finally, as Brendan noted,

“even if the audience comes away not believing in Jesus… then at least they come away with the impression that – to borrow a phrase from Bishop Curry – those crazy Christians at All Saints are a force for good in the world.”



The video was made using Windows Movie Maker, a free software package from Microsoft.

The photographs and music were from the public domain or creative commons:

  • Public Domain Historical Images – Library of Congress Online Archive
  • Public Domain Astronomy Images -NASA Images
  • Creative Commons Images - Flickr
  • Free Songs – Free Music Archive

Edited to add: Remember to properly site the photographers, artists, and musicians for the media you use from the public domain or creative commons. These guidelines from Scientific American are a good place to start.


Producing the video took about 2-3 hours, but Brendan took several weeks to formulate a plan for the video before starting the project.

End Result

Attendance at “hot mass” is up to 70-80 people per week. Most of the attendees are All Saints regulars, but there are some new faces too! Success!

Stay tuned here for more video tips over the next few weeks!

Tags: Creative Commons, , Indianapolis, Jesus, Public domain, Windows Movie Maker. Bookmark the permalink.

3 thoughts on “How To Make A “Hot Mass” Video

  1. Carolyn Clement (@singingcarolyn) says:

    I enjoyed watching the video and now my wheels are spinning about what we could create for our church. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Brendan says:

    Thanks for highlighting this video! Just one minor clarification on our budget – we actually had a $250 budget for the campaign, but turned it off after spending just $75 – which got us through about 2 weeks. We got a pretty good initial hit of viewers with the campaign, but after about a week, clicks fell off dramatically. The natural life cycle of a Facebook campaign promoting a single post seems to be maybe 10 days…still experimenting with this. But one thing we learned is that Facebook advertising is *extremely* cost-effective.

    • Laura Catalano says:

      Thanks, Brendan! I have also noticed that the Facebook ad campaigns seem to get fewer clicks after a few days. I also agree that they are very cost-effective.


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