Things I Did: Vacation Videos as DVD (Home Movie Tips)

My trusty Handycam

In the brief history of Kaleidoscopic Raygun, I’ve dedicated the majority of entries to discussing coffee and shooting home movies. I know how to make a great cup of coffee. Conversely, I am less than pleased at my ability to make good home movies. I suck at narration and I never seem to remember to HOLD THE CAMERA STILL. I shake and pan wildly back and forth …I give myself sea-sickness watching my own movies back.

However, one thing I’m getting better at is taking lots and lots of video. My approach is this – shoot enough video and by golly, something will turn out. With the annual Torch Lake vacation, I tried to roll video just about every single day. In the process I shot almost 2 hours of video (which is quite a bit). Some of it …well, I’ll be embarrassed I shot it at all. But some other stuff really captured some good memories.

Last night I successfully created a DVD from the video footage. It has a cool opening page with cool background music and 43 Chapters worth of video, and each Chapter on the DVD is labelled. This is the first time I’ve made a DVD from my home video files.

I’m kicking myself, however, because the other vacation I took this year was Disney, and I woke up this morning all geeked to put footage from that trip onto a DVD and it turns out I have less than 20-minutes worth of stuff video taped from that trip. Drat …drat …drat. Blast you, mad cat!

So the lesson here on shooting home movies is the same lesson as I hope to pass along to my kids and that I hope to live out during the rest of my time on this earth.  You will regret the things you DON’T DO far more than you’ll regret the things you do. Similarly, you will regret the things you DON’T VIDEO TAPE far more than you’ll regret the things you do video tape.

Below is a little more classic footage from our annual Torch Lake tradition of driving into Elk Rapids and visiting the Elk Rapids Bakery for their famed Cherry Pockets. Prepare to feel dizzy as you watch some very poorly shot video. I promise …I’m going to get better. There’s gotta be a book on this topic, right?

Any ideas for better home movies? I Google’d the topic a little and found these…

1. Shoot shorter clips, but shoot more shorter clips v. long 10- or 15- minute segments.

2. Move the camera alot to capture different angles

3. Shoot often and bring your camera around family often so they act more natural around you and your pesky camera

4. When narrating, describe the who, where, and what of the scene you are shooting.

5. Stay on your subject for a minimum of 7-seconds

6. Think of each shot as if it were a still-shot

Leave some comments on what you do and how you made the home movies you’re most proud of. Thanks. Here’s to good shooting.

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