Best tips for home movie creation in iMovie09

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by the-oz-man, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. the-oz-man macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2009
    I'm new to Macs (about 2 months now) and I'm attempting to create/edit some of our home movies of my daughter from birth to age 2 currently. This is not a thread about how to use iMovie09 as I can easily lean on Apple's tutorial videos, but this is a questions of creativity and best practices/tips about producing a quality set of short films that 1) captures the history of my family, 2) is interesting to watch (i.e. - not endless hours of pieced together clips) , and 3) looks somewhat professionally done. Time is not of great importance in completing this task as I would sacrifice that for quality and doing things right the first time. Suggestions are much appreciated.
  2. GeraldButton macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Newfoundland, Canada
    The best advice I can give is keep it simple. Your telling a story and want to show it so it's easy to understand. The most I can say is you don't need a transistion after every clip, and if you do, keep it basic with a fade in or crossfade, don't use the door open one or page curl, it's fine for somethings but in something like your describing it may look tacky.

    As I said right off the bat, keep it simple and basic, that's what I do, and while it's not hollywood material, it's fun and enjoyable to watch.
  3. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I'm only a hobbyist, but I'll say that the best thing you can do for home movie creation is to shoot more video than you think you need, and shoot from different angles. When filming your kid, you won't really have the luxury of storyboarding everything out in detail, so constantly be thinking of the story you want to tell and how you want to tell it so you can at least get some interesting shots. Even if you don't use it, no harm done. You can toss anything you don't like, but you can't get something from nothing.

    Shoot for a couple of extra seconds after you think you got your shot, so you have something to work with when editing.

    Shoot lots of b-roll.
  4. the-oz-man thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2009
    Thanks for the advice so far and I can certainly see the benefits of keeping it simple and not adding all the "cheesiness" to your clips just to move them along. I can already tell that I wish I had those b-roll clips from events. In my mind I can see them, but there is no going back to recreate them now. Thanks.
  5. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    I agree with all the comments given--keep it simple, avoid tacky transitions/effects, shoot extra footage, etc.

    Some other tips:

    * Light is very important. Especially with consumer level camcorders. With still we have flash, with video we often do not have enough light. If you can, turn on lights and open blinds before you shoot.

    * Get different angles, especially for kids. You don't want all the shots to be you standing, shooting down. Get at your daughter's level for some shots, show her prespective.

    * Get stuff for cut-aways. After the action is over, shoot the toy she was playing with, her bike, books, crib/bed. For a sledding video get shots of just the sleds, their boots, etc. Just little clips that will give you a nice transisition from one scene to the next. Also get some establishing shots, the outside of the house, the entrance to the Zoo, etc.

    * Mix in photos with music and ken burns. Breaks up video nicely.

    * Make two versions of each movie - long and short. Think of it as your "director's cut". You and your wife will want all the memories you can get but your extended family and friends may get bored after 5 or so minutes. Make a short version that show just the highlites.

    * Get a printer that can print directly on DVDs. Friends and family love this.

    * Backup, backup, backup. If you are shooting to tape, you at least have that backup. If you are shooting to newer AVCHD cam, come up with a workflow that works for you. Backup your footage to DVD, external HD and maybe even online storage. These are family memories and you need to ensure you have them backed up.

    * Have fun.

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