This is the first year we have will granddaughter Wren with us for Christmas. And her sister Lyla turns three in December. My mom turns 90 in April and we are anticipating a wedding for our daughter Erin in the spring also.
So many milestones, so many reasons to celebrate. SO MANY VIDEOS!
But where do you start? It seems overwhelming.
Here’s what you do:
1. Let’s say I want to make a video for my mom’s birthday. She’s my subject so all my pictures will have her in them if at all possible. I start to gather pictures. I may have to enlist my brother and sisters to help. Be sure to include all family members as equally as possible. Yes, these things matter.
2. Cull the pictures. You will end up with duplicates and fuzzy ones and too many of one baby, etc. Determine your final number by how long you want the show to be. We make the pictures about 4 seconds long, so 15 per minute. In a 10 minute video (the optimum length) you’ll have 150 pictures. Put the pictures in the order you want. It might be chronological or by subject (for me it might be youth, marriage, children, friends and other family, grandchildren and great grands.)
3. Decide if you want titles to introduce sections. Decide what music you want to use.
4. Open Windows Movie Maker. This is a free program for creating videos that should be on your computer or you can download it. It’s a simple program. You bring in the pictures and the music (from your iTunes.) You can make the music stop and start when you want. You can add dissolves between the pictures and animate them to move as you like (zoom in or out or pan right or left.) Add your titles or captions. Save the project. It’s not elegant, but works very well for most occasions.
5. Windows Movie Maker can export your project in a number of formats depending on what you want to do with your video: post on YouTube, edit in a different software, put on Dropbox, etc. It will also export for a DVD, but don’t be fooled. You will not be able to make a DVD that can play in a DVD player unless you have additional DVD authoring software. Nero and Roxio are two programs that are good for that.
Then show your creation at the party and enjoy the tears and smiles it brings. It’s probably my favorite thing to do for my clients: create precious memories they can share with the people they love. Priceless.
For a detailed version of this post, download Instructions for Family Video.
For help with your family video, call me at 214-349-2349.