Previously on this blog we looked at common mistakes that those shooting home movies sometimes make. You can check out our tips here and here. But there are a few things you can do to ensure that Bella and Ron’s wedding is on par with A Clockwork Orange. Even Darcie’s 11th birthday party can achieve the same watchability as Saving Private Ryan, so long as you shoot it right.
So today we’re going to check out a few ways to create an absolutely awesome home movie that even your next-door neighbour’s sister’s friend would want to watch.
Prepare and Plan
Planning is absolutely crucial if you want the best movie possible. There are key moments at any event that you’ll want to capture, right? Walking down the aisle and cutting the cake at a wedding, for instance. Or the candles being blown out at that birthday party. So you want to be prepared for those moments ahead of time, getting into position and ready to film first time – the bride’s not going to walk down the aisle twice just because you didn’t manually focus the shot.
Making It Up as You Go
For all that planning, there are some moments you just can’t account for – and you’ll want to remember those too. Uncle Paul dancing like Baloo the Bear may not be on your roster, but you’ll want to be ready to film it in a heartbeat – even if Uncle Paul may wish you hadn’t! Keep your wits about you, and be prepared to capture anything your viewers may want to watch back again and again.
Try a Tripod
Hey, want to induce seasickness in some of your viewers? Then definitely don’t use a tripod. If, on the other hand, you want your audience to enjoy the movie, you’ll want to get one. The tripod will keep your shots steady and visually engaging. Better yet, it’ll give your film a professional polish.
Enlighten the Audience
Lighting is one of those factors that people don’t think they have much control over. And sure, if you’re trying to stop the sun from setting until you’ve got that shot you know will make your movie, you’re probably not going to have much luck. But you can control factors such as where you’re filming – for instance, don’t have natural light coming in from behind the main players, because no-one wants to remember a silhouette which may or may not be Auntie Jan. If you’re filming inside, whack on as many lights as possible, and whip open the curtains.
You Aren’t There
A lot of amateur home movie-makers forget that they’re not the centre of attention. In fact, you shouldn’t be centre of anything, but instead blend in like a wildlife documentary filmmaker. That way you’ll capture real moments, rather than shoving the camera into the face of a now-conscious and inhibited guest.
Insert Shot Here
You know what can be a real drag with home movies. The same long shot capturing absolutely everything for two or three hours. Hey, you’re a movie-maker now, so be creative. Get as many different shots as you can. A long-shot of the birthday girl in front of the cake to set the scene, before a nice close-up of the candles being blown out, followed by reaction shots can really enliven those moments. That goes for angles too. A low-angle shot, followed by a towering overhead can make a home movie far more visually appealing.
Can You Hear Me Now
Sound can be a tricky thing to get right. Some camcorders can go all to hell when there’s too much chatter. But if you have control over the ambient noise, then you should take advantage of that. Lowering the volume of the music, for instance, may make all the difference. Invest in a pair of headphones and hook them up to your camera – that way you’ll know precisely how that sound’s being caught on film.
Once you’ve got your epic movie, it’s time to share it. And what better way than to hold screenings on DVD? That’s where we can help. Whatever format you’ve filmed it on, we can convert it for you. We can even transfer 8mm film to DVD if that’s your bag. To get the scoop on how we can help you, simply contact us on 0800 592 433 and our experienced team of technicians will be delighted to help.