Holiday Video Ideas

By: Media

Making a video of your holiday experience can create a memorable record of another great family time, fun and happenings. With just a little additional effort, you can turn those videos into creative gems. With some simple planning and post-recording editing, you can turn out videos that your friends and relatives will enjoy viewing.
First some basics:
oPlan on having your recording device in good working order, have batteries fully charged and have back-ups available.
oTest the lighting; take a few clips in the rooms you know will be used, with the lights that will be available. View the results and make a note of what will work as good locations and what won't. Dark hallways and stairs should be avoided unless you have extra lighting. Try placing extra lights in key places.
oRemember to keep camera motion to a minimum; if you are not using a tripod, at least remember to brace the camera firmly against your body; don't use the hold at arm's length method. When panning, go slow. If you do move quickly while filming, remember you can edit it out later. Use your zoom sparingly.
oVary your focal length. Take some group shots, but also take some close ups of faces, or mid-shots of two or three people interacting.
oDon't feel bad if you miss something, you can't film every little detail. Try to anticipate events, catch the opening of a special gift, the serving of a special dish, or the toast before a meal.
oBe aware of the audio capabilities of your camera; if you are shooting two people across the room but there are people talking next to you, it will result in a confusing clip. Later in editing, consider over-dubbing or mixing the audio stream using a program such as AVnex's Movie Morpher Gold, that will allow you to mix and match clips, both audio and video.
oFilm a lot and plan to edit heavily. People will appreciate your distilling the experience down into viewable parts. Don't be afraid to start and stop filming often. Instead of filming uncle Wally walking across the room and sitting down, wait until he's there and then film his smile.
o
Once you have the event on record, put it down and relax and put it out of your mind. Come back later and review the raw footage; make notes recording what you want to include, what is good, what is unusable, where the audio and the video are poor, and if you have a counter, at what point they occur. Once that is done, spend a little more time thinking about what you want to do with all the footage.

It's OK to plan to make several videos out of the footage. You can make a favorite moments video, a video that focuses on who was there, a video that focuses on what went on, and you can even get creative and make a music video, using your favorite song or a song with the same theme as the event, and cut the scenes to match the music.

You can also use the clips to create your version of reality, putting clips together to form an event that did not happen. You can use voiceovers to put your own dialog into the clips, using a program such as Voice Changer 4.0 Diamond; this program allows you to alter your own voice, in real time, to sound like the opposite sex, or younger or older, or any variation you can think of. Then you can over-dub that audio track into the video.

You can also try using special effects and transitions; Movie Morpher Gold is one of many programs that will let you apply these on the fly. Just be careful with special effects; try not to overdo them.

Finally, burn your production onto CD or DVD for easy distribution to your friends and relatives. They will surely appreciate your creative efforts.

BIO:
Wayne Rice is a freelance journalist, copywriter, photographer and artist. He currently resides in the United States.

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