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Five Simple Tips to Make Amazing Home Videos

Have you always wanted to put together amazing home videos but have no idea where to start or how they are made?

Hopefully, after this post, you will know not only how to make amazing home videos, but will also be inspired to start creating home videos for you and your family. Why do I prefer video over pictures? While pictures are great at capturing still moments, I really enjoy documenting our important family moments by creating home videos to capture my kids’ voices, actions, demeanors and the overall moment in time.  

In this post, I will show you how to create amazing videos using your smartphone to record video and a video editor to modify your video. Currently, I use iMovie to edit my videos. The downfall with iMovie is that it is only compatible with Macintosh computers. Don’t despair, however, because there are many awesome and free video editors available whether you are using a PC or Mac such as Shotcut, Davinci Resolve, and Hitfilm4express. Regardless of the video editor you choose, I will explain the five steps to basic video production to help you create amazing videos of your own!

First, check out this video that I recently made for the Burlington VT Moms’ Blog,“Welcome to Burlington Dinner” hosted by B.Good. I will use this video to explain different video editing steps that I used.

 Step # 1

This step isn’t really about editing but more about the philosophy of creating your video. My philosophy is that a video should tell a story. For this video, I thought a fun storyline would be to show a mom in workout clothes with a desperate need for a hot shower hitting the town for a girls’ night out. Your story can be as simple as visually telling about your day at the zoo, to an in-depth and inspirational story like in the video, “Do What You Can’t,” by my favorite filmmaker Casey Neistat.

Step # 2

This is the fun part… start shooting your video clips! Most of my video clips are three to ten seconds in length. Examples in the attached video are me walking on Church Street, the B.Good sign, and filling up my drink. These small details in my video help to support the storyline. Once you have all your video clips recorded, export them into your video editor. Once your video clips are uploaded in your video editor, it will look something like the picture below. The first part is your media library. Below the media library is where you will create your video timeline.

 Step # 3

Add videos to your timeline. To add videos to your video timeline, simply drag them from your media library onto your video timeline. Once your videos are on your timeline, you can start trimming parts of the video you do not want. To trim your video, click on the video clip you want to trim in your video timeline. In my video editor, it will highlight the video clip yellow. The white bar shows where the clip would be cut. To trim a clip you select the modify menu and choose split clip or use the shortcut, “Command B.” This will cut the video into two separate frames. Your next step is to highlight the unwanted part of the video clip and delete it. By trimming two of my video clips, I was able to make it appear like I got all dressed up for my night on the town in my closet.

splitting video

Step # 4

Add music! This step can be completed at any time in the process. I like to add my music into the video somewhere in the middle of editing. Once I have a vibe for the overall video, I start to search for music. You should make sure to match your music with the overall feeling of the movie. The song I chose, “High” by LYFO from SoundCloud gave me the feeling of an awesome girls’ night!

A word of caution when it comes to music is to abide by copyright laws. If you are planning to post your video on social media, and you have longer than ten seconds of copyrighted music on your video, it can be subjected to a copyright strike and could be taken down. To avoid having a copyright strike, search for music that is copyright free and follow the artist’s guidelines for using their work.

Once your music is downloaded to your computer, you will follow the same process as you did for adding your videos to your media library. After your music is in your library, you can drag it down to the bottom of your timeline and this will add your music to your video. Just like you can split video clips, you can also split your music. Other awesome features that are available when editing music clips are being able to lower the volume of your music and have audio over the music, for example when Josilyn says, “It’s going to be family style,” or you can have your music fade out or into a clip so it doesn’t just abruptly end or start. To add this feature into your video, simply hover your mouse over the music and click on the white ball. Once you have the white ball, pull the ball to the point in the video where you want the music to fade in or out.

Where to add sound into iiMovie

 Step # 5

Add an eye-catching camera trick, such as a time lapse! A time lapse works by dropping a bunch of frames out of a video, but presents the video to you at the same frame rate- therefore, your brain perceives the motion to be sped up. Using a time lapse is a great way to show a subtle movement or an overview of what you are trying to present in your movie. In this video, I used a time lapse to show the dinner itself. Most smartphones have this feature built in. However, if your phone does not have this feature, you can always download a time lapse app. To shoot my time lapse, I just set my phone down at the end of the table, hit record and let the video record as we ate dinner. I recorded around twenty-five minutes of the dinner and by using the time lapse feature, my phone automatically compressed the video into a thirty-six-second clip. I just love the end result of this time lapse. Even if you never branch into making a full video, try time-lapsing your child on an amusement park ride or playing five minutes of a sport, and I am sure you will love the final result!

Timelapse

There it is, my five steps to making amazing home videos. I hope this post inspires you to start making some amazing home videos of your own!  

If you already make awesome videos, leave a link in the comments below as I would love to check them out, and if you would like to see more of my video work, head over to Raising Mr. Mischief on Facebook!

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