Making and editing family films

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Preserving precious memories has never been easier, thanks to the abundance of excellent cameras and filming devices on the market.

From dedicated cameras to smartphone applications that can capture hours of footage, there are plenty of pocket-sized solutions and each has the power to help you make something special.

Even if you’ve never filmed anything before, you’ll soon see how easy it is to create a family movie that you can treasure forever. In a few simple steps you should have all the knowledge and skills you’ll need to start filming.

Getting the basics in place

There are two main stages to making a family film, the first is capturing a special occasion or fun moment on camera and the second is editing these scenes so that they sit nicely together. To get started, you’ll need a camera. While the majority of smart phones now have a film camera function, it’s worth bearing in mind that many have poor sound quality. This won’t be a problem if you’re planning to add music in the background or you’re thinking of your film more like a moving collage. However, if you want to be able to hear your loved ones, you might want to invest in a dedicated camera. Tech Radar has a good list of the top 10 camcorders to help you make sure you’re looking in the right direction.

Getting the hang of your camera is like to take a little practise and if you’re struggling, it might be worth turning to YouTube for advice. Most makes of camera have at least some kind of instructional video online, perfect for saving you time and energy. It’s also a good idea to have a few dry runs before you try and film anything important, just in case you only find out about a crucial problem such as shaky hands, bad lighting or even leaving the lens cap on. DV Freelancer has put together a list of rookie mistakes that lots of filmmakers fall foul of that’s well worth a read.

Creating your masterpiece

Once you know what you’re doing, it’s time to enjoy the fun part. No matter what kind of home movie you’re making, it’s nice to vary the kind of thing you’re filming. For example, if you’re planning to tape a birthday party, why not start with the preparations and film a few shots of the balloons being blown up and the presents being wrapped? If you can persuade family members to say a few words to the camera that’s great, but many people prefer to let the camera stay in the background so they can pretend it isn’t there.

To make sure your footage is transformed into the kind of film you’ll want to watch together as a family, you’ll need to remove any outtakes, mistakes or boring shots. To do this, you’ll want to get used to used to editing. Film editing software is now cheap and readily available for your PC and many have simple instructions and are designed to be used by amateurs. For some guidance in finding a suitable programme, have a look at the selection chosen by Notebook Review.



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