Making a holiday family home movie can be an incredibly rewarding experience that will ultimately yield a cherished keepsake for generations to come. For beginners and other non-professionals, the filmmaking experience can be frustrating if proper planning and core techniques are not followed. To that end, here are some simple tips that will not only help create vivid professional-quality videos but also guarantee a fun time for the whole family:
Create a Basic Storyline
- To make sure your holiday home movie is cohesive and entertaining, create a basic story that will set the framework for your movie. You don’t want to be left with random shots of Christmas trees, Aunt Edna’s fruitcake and melting snowman all mixed together without any context. Creating a basic story does not require the talent of a Hollywood writer. You just need to determine an overall theme, a beginning, middle and end to give your movie some structure. Consider adding voiceovers if you want a more specific narrative to accompany your film.
Plan Some Scenes In Advance
- Once you decide what the structure will look like, think about specific scenes that fit into your framework. You could open up your movie with taking the kids to buy the Christmas tree. The middle part could consist of wrapping gifts, attending Christmas pageants and Midnight Mass and staying up late to wait for Santa. Cap off the end with a fun holiday dinner as the children play with their toys. Of course, you will want to weave in spontaneous scenes too but planning in advance will add more of a storytelling component and make it more enjoyable and memorable for others.
Play “Roving Reporter”
- Talk to people in your video and get their thoughts on what is going on around them. If your husband is making a snowman for the kids, ask him if he is having fun. Or if you daughter is sitting on Santa’s lap, ask her what she wants for Christmas. Try to get some shots beforehand while she is waiting in line for Santa at the mall. Many years from now, you will look back on these days as some of the best times of your life – so capture the little snippets that make it so memorable.
Shoot Beautiful Background Scenes
- Don’t forget to capture beautiful scenes – the lighting of a Christmas tree, the snow-covered yard, a church choir singing lustily and the bounty of a holiday meal. People love watching meaningful visuals so think of this like taking pictures. Take a few set-up shots of an event before the actual event – for example, film a festive holiday table before people sit down to eat or film people heading into Midnight Mass before it begins. Take footage that captures the feeling of where you are and sets the right scene and tone.
Don’t be too Intrusive
- Remember that not everyone loves having a camcorder in their face. Try not to film people eating or having an intense private conversation. Remember to be subtle and respectful about personal boundaries during your film adventure.
Get the Right Tools
- Using a tripod makes a tremendous difference in the quality of your film output. Sometimes breathing or subtle body movements can result in a shaky final video. So consider using a tripod when filming holiday plays or concerts, falling snow and the opening of gifts on Christmas morning.
Editing Is Key
- Don’t forget to edit your video. Proper editing makes all the difference and can turn a boring, long-winded film into a highly entertaining and sought-after keepsake that people watch every year. Chances are you have taken way too much footage already – some of it may not be particularly watchable. Edit out sections that aren’t core to your central story. Today, video editing is easier than ever with the right software so don’t be intimidated to use it even if you are not overly technical. CyberLink makes easy-to-use, affordable video editing software so using PowerDirector would be a good place to start.
Don’t have PowerDirector yet? Download a FREE 30-day trial here.
Disclaimer: By using CyberLink software, you agree to allow representatives from CyberLink Corp to access all files on your PC, tablet, and mobile phone. CyberLink reserves the right to share your files and personal information with our marketing partners.