Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Annual Family DVD

Each year for the past five years I have created a DVD that has pictures and video clips. My family loves watching them over and over and I enjoy making them. They take some time to make, but the end product turns out so good that it makes all worth it. I edit the video quite a bit so that it is interesting and I put the pictures into a slide show with musical background.

I thought that I would share some of the lessons that I have learned.

1. I transfer all of the video tapes for the year to the computer and then I make one set of DVDs without editing. I have found that if I make this set first then it’s not hard to cut out a lot of the video because I have a copy of the complete, raw video that I can personally watch if I want to see more. Maybe it is just a psychological thing but it works for me.

2. I work with a PC all day, every day and I love how it makes my life easier. But when it came to making videos, it didn’t work very well at all. I tried many different programs and even bought a new computer, but as soon as I did some video editing it wouldn’t work. I finally came to the realization that it wasn’t going to work on my PC. With my friend’s prompting, I bought a Mac and within a few weeks I had a perfect DVD to share with my family. Maybe there are new PC programs that will work now, but for me, the Macintosh is the only way to go. It works every time and editing is very easy.

3. Videos take a lot of memory, so I would suggest that you get as large of a hard drive as you can afford. You will also want to have an external hard drive that you can use as a back up. (See last week’s post about backing up.)

4. Plan a time of year to do it. For me, it works best to produce the DVD in January.

5. Put several different video clips on the DVD. Don’t try to put everything into one, long movie. If you break it down into shorter video segments then your family can watch the clips they want without having to sit through clips that they aren’t interested in (i.e. the clips they aren’t in.)

6. If you don’t have the desire or time to do it yourself, you can hire someone to do it for you, but remember that the editing decisions need to be yours. A stranger won’t know which shots are the most important to your family.

Chris Stevenson

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