I’ve been tormented nearly my entire adult life…
The Summer between my Sophomore and Junior year of college, I worked for Disney World.
In addition to the daily humiliation of being dressed in polyester lederhosen, I was exposed to the most terrifying force in Orlando, Florida.
I, of course, am referring to the attraction they call “It’s a Small World.” My candy stand was nearby to the exit of that ride, and I had to listen to the song all day.
Combined with the incredible heat and humidity, my wee-little brain turned all mushy and susceptible to evil. Luckily, I never caved in to the horrible voices that echoed in my head.
What’s this have to do with Creative Home Movies?
I’ll tell you.
After nearly 20 years since first being exposed to Disney’s “It’s a Small World”- I bravely picked up my camcorder, and set out to face my demons.
With the help and support of my family, I took a boat ride into the belly of the beast, and I emerged a new man!
You Too, Can Defeat Your Personal Demons.
Grab a camcorder. You may be surprised to see that, through the viewfinder, your child-hood demons don’t seem so intimidating anymore.
-Or maybe they’re completely more ghastly than you ever recalled.
- If that’s the case then try throwing a camcorder at your old tormentor.
That should buy you enough time to make an escape- if you’re lucky.
When my son was a little younger he liked to jump out of hiding spots in the hopes of scaring the ba-geebies out of me.
When he was 7 years old, scaring his dad, or being scared by his dad were awesome moments.
I was fortunate enough to capture a few of these precious times on my camcorder.
Even now, he gets a kick out of seeing how scared he got!
Here’s some tips for getting your own scary adventures on video…
• Use the Night Vision Feature on your camcorder. Many SONY models have infrared built in to them. (I was using a SONY PC101 for this video)
• Buy a third party Infrared video light. Most camcorders will be able to pick up a picture just fine with one.
• Put your camera on a tripod. Keep it in the corner of a room ,where it won’t get tripped on by your unsuspecting offspring.
• Be patient and wait in the dark for the right moment. I waited for my wife to send Ryan to say good night to me. Then I played Hide-and -Seek. It took over 10 minutes of me waiting in the dark before he stumbled into my trap! Mha-ha-ha-ha!
Capturing on camera those cherished times with your family is what it’s all about.
Check this out.
This is why I want you to always have a camera charged and ready.
You may miss video gold like this accidental flying dog kick to my nether region.
Here’s a great project idea. Use video to document an achievement that you or a loved one have earned.
If you have little kids, then they probably think you have eyes in the back of your head.
There’s no limit to your mind reading ability.
- Your small children even think you can pull a rope through your body! (If you want to.)
There’s probably something you do that your kids think is amazing. Record it in a home movie.
When they’re older, they’ll still think it’s awesome!
It’s the same old song and dance my friends… You visited a big tourist attraction, and you shot way too much footage.
Nobody will ever want to see you posing next to the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.
Not ever… No. Nobody.
That is– unless you watch this and make your boring vacation clips into something wildly cool.
The Moral of the Story?
Don’t Spoil Harry Potter for anybody, or my knight will kill you.
Here’s a great idea for an awesome home movie:
Stupid Pet Tricks!
If you have a dog or a cat, then you may have the next YouTube sensation sitting at your feet right now.
- You may also have a fur ball there- maybe you should check.
In this case, our family pet, XenaBelle, has learned how to dance the Macarena with her ears…
Would you like to save money on gifts this holiday season?
Why not make a really great home movie (or several) , and send them to friends and family?
… No seriously. Why not?
- You already have a video camera. (Presumably)
- You have a computer. (And if you have a Mac, then you also have all the software that you’d need.)
- You have some great ideas.
What’s that, you say?
You’d like some ideas for what kind of home movies to make?
Grab your camcorder, and go make…
- A How-To video that shows how to prepare your favorite holiday recipe.
- A documentary about a family elder.
- Many of our parents and grandparents have amazing stories to tell.
- 10 things your thankful for this year.
- Ask each member of your family to come up with their own top 10.
- A music video. Decide what your favorite songs mean to you, and act them out with your family.
- A slide show of your vacation photos.
- Edit the pics to a catchy tune.
- A stand-up comedy routine. (Do people say your funnier than you look.)
- A video tour of your city.
- A 3-act play. (Maybe you’re a budding writer.)
- A sports highlight reel of your children on the athletic field.
- Show off some of the year’s biggest achievements.
- Your son got straight A’s.
- Your daughter made first chair in the school band
- Your spouse won an award in their field of expertise.
- You managed to maintain your sanity while working amongst a bunch of freaks and geeks at your work.
OK, class. I’ve had enough for one session. Go out there and make an awesome movie!
You can disregard that last achievement. Daddy’s had a rough day.
What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when starting to make a movie?
It’s not what camcorder to use. Or what computer you want to edit on.
The story is the most important thing.
You should think about what you want to do in your video before you start to shoot anything.
Movies are fast becoming the new family album.
Try to tell complete stories about the people you know.
Keep in mind that a good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
As you shoot, keep track of where things would fit- and if you’re missing any pieces to your story.
Some Story Ideas to Springboard From:
- Your father served in the army during WWII?
- He has an incredible story to tell.
- Interview him and have him tell his own story.
- Your daughter won an award for creative writing?
- Have her describe the process she went through to write her winning entry
- She can talk about the judging. Was she nervous?
- This story could end nicely with the winning poem being recited to camera.
- The family went on a vacation
- Edit a highlight reel from each day of the trip.
- Each family member can describe their favorite activity during their vacation.
Would you like to make an awesome home movie right now?
One of the easiest Home Movie projects to do is the Music Video.
Yes, I know. This is not an easy-to-do home movie.
But you can achieve a really fun effect by doing something that is easy to do.
Draw pictures with one letter of the alphabet per drawing- or have your kids draw draw them. Then using your camcorder on a tripod, shoot the pictures. They are now “art cards” and this is how they used to actually put graphics on screen in the original days of broadcasting.
It’s cool, it’s retro. Best of all, you could do it, too.
How I made Star Wars ABC’s:
I made separate graphic files for each letter of the alphabet in Adobe Photoshop. then, I animated them inside Adobe After Effects. This is expensive software, but as a professional, I am very accustomed to using them.
Then I edited the After Effects animation with the live footage of my son, Ryan.
This short movie illustrates how you can get creative with your own movies.
I took simple footage from my consumer camcorder and motion tracked my mouth onto it.
In your version it doesn’t have to be so elaborate. You can just draw a mouth onto your finger and get a similar effect.