Creating memorable Holiday Videos

http://www.motivproductions.co.ukEveryone wants to be a great director when they get behind the camera. There is a strong urge to tell people what to do, where to stand, and how to act. Try to avoid that tendency as you film your family’s holiday events. Instead, take a back seat to the action. A short documentary style video will tell the story for itself and keep interest. Take a tip from the pro’s: we asked our friends at based in leeds video production agency for their thoughts. That is not to say that you can’t manipulate some of the events, but let the actions of your guests and family tell your story rather than giving them direction or even a script to tell your story.

Start simple and keep it that way

Set up the story with the arrival of friends and family. Ask them to introduce themselves and how they are related or close to the family. This makes it easier for those older family who may have difficulty remembering faces and names. It will also help years down the road when you may not remember yourself who everyone is in your story.

We asked our friends at www.motivproductions.co.uk for their top tipsIf you want it to be more interactive, ask questions of your subjects or ask them to share a memory of their favourite holiday. If you have a small camera, video activities on the sly and piece it together later to get more candid video. Some people are camera shy or freeze up when a camera is pointed their way.

Family Traditions are precious

Each family has its own traditions. When families blend through marriages traditions change or new ones are made. Keep a video record of those traditions. If your family enjoys a game on the field nearby, take your camera to record the game. If the youngest child is the one designated to put on the final decoration, show that child’s honoured role in the family. Everyone wants to be a star, but no one will appreciate it as much as a child in their special moment. Check out some of these great video ideas

Respect everyone as you create your video

As mentioned before, some people are camera shy. If a family member or guest would prefer you not include them on the video, you should respect their wishes. You should also respect the special times when family gathers at the dinner table or attends church ceremonies. It may be best to put down the camera and simply participate in the event yourself.

As a burgeoning filmmaker you may want to play with your camera by getting close ups, or playing with the lens to create interesting cinema effects. Sadly, the only effect you will get is close ups of people’s noses and eyes, or your viewers may become ill with the lens changes and “wacky” effects you attempt. Instead, save special effects for the editing stage. You will find plenty of editing ability with various computer programs so that you can get those fun effects to make the film visually interesting.

Most importantly, have fun!

If you find that you are not getting into mix and enjoying the fun you see through the viewfinder, it’s perfectly alright to put down the camera and join in. You can also hand over the camera to get into the scenes that look like fun. Some of the greatest producers and directors also starred in their own films. You can be a star in your film, too.

Guide to choosing video editing software

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There are so many options for video editing software it can be a challenge to find one that suits your needs as well as your abilities. It may be tempting to get the most sophisticated software and assuming that you will figure it out and eventually you will be an expert with it. However, you may want to rethink that.

Technical jargon can hinder even the most avid learner.

Intermediate and Expert level editing software will have more options available to create amazing videos that could be a match for professional filmmakers, but there is that pesky “insider” language. Manto.tv told us “More developed editing software makes assumptions that the user has edited video in the past so it tends not to “dumb down” its jargon. What is the point of having fancy editing software if you cannot figure out what it is telling you?”

Great advice guys – find out more at www.manto.tv

Start simple and work your way up.

The smartest thing for new or first time video editors to do is to use free or beginner’s editing software. There are a few offered online that will help you learn what you can do with your video, teach you the language, and help you prepare for eventually moving on to intermediate level.

Start with Movavi or Coral Video Studio. Movavi is an automated process and it offers a free downloadable version that, while limited in scope, it will get the job done for a beginner. After you become comfortable, you can always upgrade.  Coral Video Studio Pro 6 offers tutorials for beginners who want to dive right in and learn more challenging video editing.

Check the software for compatibility with your camera and computer.

If you shop at a store, read the packaging carefully, and ask for assistance from a techie. You need to know about the import compatibility, or the file that it can work with (QuickTime, movie files, mp4, etc.) And Export, such as whether you can upload your finished product to something like Windows Media File.

Know what is important to you for your selection process.

Keep in mind that less expensive video editing software will have less sophisticated effects. Beginner or less expensive software will have a few different modes for transitions, will correct lighting, or take out red-eye, or other things you want to correct in your video.

More sophisticated, thus more expensive, will have more transition options, sound effects or music options, visual effects such as borders or creating an old-time feel to the video, and things of that nature. Adobe Premiere editing software offers the most flexibility for customizing your special effects.

Keep these factors in mind when selection you’re editing software to create fun and memorable videos:

  • Manage your budget: If you are a beginner start with free software to get a handle on the process. Graduate to more fanciful software as you become experienced.
  • Understand the Software specs: You must know if the software will work with your gear. Talk to a salesperson. If purchasing online, use chat to ask others what they know before you buy.
  • Know your goals: What do you want to do? Make a sweet family video or create a dynamic film. Knowing what you want to do will help you choose the right software to suit your needs.

In a world where we have a digital revolution your video could bring together music, video and all things digital in one simple package.

Top tips for memorable family videos

It is fun when family get together for holidays, celebrations, and reunions. Most people want to take those memories home to cherish. Weddings are such whirlwind events that the bride and groom tend to miss everything but their vows. Graduates see the event from their singular perspective. Family reunions abound with individual stories that can be shared on the video so everyone can hear the stories that make up their family history.

Be prepared with the right equipment.

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While there are many smart phones that have pretty good video capabilities, they really are inadequate for creating a family video. A better quality camera with more bells and whistles will enable you to create a memorable video. Look for a video camera with these features:

  • High Pixel Count: the higher the count the better the picture quality. Look for the term ”true resolution”
  • Good low light performance: Activities often take place indoors. Even a reunion event can happen on a cloudy day.
  • Good Zoom: Optical Zoom maintains picture clarity.
  • Stability: Look for menu item for anti-shaking, and test it for comfort to prevent jostling the camera.
  • Connectivity: HDMI is essential for using computer software to view and edit your video.
  • LCD screen and viewfinder: It may be tempting to use the screen to make your video, but a viewfinder is better when working in bright light, and a viewfinder won’t use as much battery power as the screen will.
  • Sound: Look for a plug in for a microphone and a jack for headphones. The on board mic is often not adequate and the headphones will let you hear the reception over the microphone.

Creating your family video.

Have a plan in place what you want to film. Each of the above scenarios offer a different element to plan. One example is the case of the wedding.

The chances are good there will be a professional working too such as animation companies Leeds based Brian, who told us ” What can you do that perhaps they can’t? Can you get some behind the scenes action? Can you perhaps focus on the reception preparations or the rehearsal dinner?” Thanks Brian, great tips!

Another example is the family reunion. Perhaps you can be the family historian. Prepare some questions to discuss with the older generation about their younger years. Or you can record the games that are often played at reunions, or if there is music and dancing, you can record those events.  You could create some whiteboard video to link sections using simple software.  There are some great examples at www.doodledirect.com

Shorter stories hold interest well.

These focus points will allow you to create a memorable family video that with a concept that the viewers will be able to appreciate. Make sure your video is short enough to retain everyone’s attention without being so short that their hardly seem a point.

Steve of Steve Bootle Photography a wedding photographer in Leeds has seen an increase in interest in short documentary videos.  Six to eight minutes of behind the scenes activity will ramp up interest in the wedding, for example. Or 20 minutes of interviews with elders will interest both generations without being too long. Rather than one long video. Make several for different parts of the family event and show them at different times.