Making enjoyable family movies - Who, where, how, etc.

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Scott09, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Scott09 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2008
    Kind people,

    I’m interested in making home movies that won’t bore the pants off family and friends :eek: This means I need to learn more about planning and shooting family events :cool: This community here has been great and very helpful, but I also need to find something more specific. Does anyone know of a good web site or two where people download and talk about how they made their own home movies? As much as I can watch unedited video of my daughter for hours on end, I also realize no one wants to see a 3 year old’s birthday party where the camcorder was put on a tripod and set to record for 30 minutes at a time. I figure there must be a cyber community out there somewhere that meets this description; I just haven’t found one yet.

  2. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    I know exactly what you mean. I could watch tape after tape of my girls, but I know that no one else wants to do that ... not even my wife or girls.

    Anyways, I've always found the demos on to be pretty nice, although it's not in tutorial form. Just the end product. If you go to an apple store, set yourself up on a MacPro and open up iMovie and watch the various projects that are loaded in there. The one with the skiers on the mountain playing around is pretty good. There used to be one with kids skateboarding in an empty pool. Lastly, there's one with scuba diving in the Carribean.

    These look well done and give the illusion that a home movie hack like me could even do it ... even though they were shot by a pro with real-life actors.

    For non-spontaneous stuff, I like to pre-plan my shots by thinking of specific movie scenes that I'd like to emulate. Of course, this assumes that I'm highly motivated and actually shoot this kind of footage. That's the flaw. I'm not that highly motivated and end up pulling the camcorder out to shoot spontaneous stuff.

    I captured my daughter's first steps over the course of a couple of days and put it to music (Fats Domino - I'm Walkin'). Cut the footage up into 2.5 minutes of the good stuff (with my girls, it's all good stuff, but this was the best of the best). Added some captions, and VIOLA!.

    Keep it to under 3 minutes and you have a captive audience.

    BTW, this was pretty much the only video that I've done. I told you, I'm not that motivated.

  3. Scott09 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2008
    Thanks FT


    Thank you and great idea of putting “I’m Walkin’” to your daughter learning to walk. I bet that’s a great little movie. It is exactly the kind of creative ideas I’m looking for.

    I’ve seen Apple’s videos and they are good examples to follow. Unfortunately, it’s not a cyber community. Nothing beats seeing real home movies and talking to real people about what works for them

    I know of a few basic rules and I found the following work pretty well for me.

    • Try to keep a home movie down around 5 minutes or less.
    • Try to keep a particular shots under 10 seconds.
    • A movie should have a single theme or point to make.
    • And utilize the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle as often as possible.

    My video also ends up being mostly impromptu, but the more video I take the more I learn what works and what doesn’t.

    This is how my last effort is shaping up. I recently visited this castle with a number of friends. I mostly have video of their backs walking down hallway after hallway and up stairway after stairway. On the surface it’s pretty boring. But, I have this idea. I’m going to edit those clips together. Each clip will be about 3 seconds long and they should give the impression of doing just what we did – we walked down many halls and up many stairs. However, when you get to the top of the castle you get to put a stamp on your ticket or brochure. So, I’m thinking this 2 to 3 minute video will have a punch line at the end about all that walking and climbing and what do you get? A crowded view and a stamp! Then I’ll show the view (which was kind of cool) and the stamp. Now I just need to find the right song to play in the background.


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