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Thread: first home movie, what can i do to improve?

  1. #1

    Default first home movie, what can i do to improve?

  2. #2


    Are you asking about the camera work or the editing ?

  3. #3


    yes sorry, i was asking about the editing

  4. #4


    This is hard to do with varied old footage you have stitched together. Normally I would look for some sort of narrative to a piece but as this is a montage of different family memories, it's hard to know what to do with it. As the intended audience is probably just your family I would just leave it as it is and enjoy looking back at the special moment that has been captured. I'd may be get rid of the MGM bit at the beginning as this is over kill after the 20 century Fox bit.
    The titles transition/wipe seemed over the top as well. I like a nice neat simple title, I think I would have faded from the black to the first image rather than a cut to the first image and the blank screen lasted a little to long. Then rather than seeing the camera swing round to the second boy which was out of focus, I would have cut to him at a point when the camera had found it's focus. Then the next transition/wipe could be gotten rid of, as it just looks amateurish and have just a straight cut to the boys opening the presents.

    The next shot just seems to be put in and doesn't fit with anything prior to it or after it. Then there is the hose pipe joke but then it jumps back to the wedding reception or party.

    Do you see the sorts of things I'm pointing out to you. I can't take you though the whole piece but if you use the principles that I've pointed out to you it may help to make theses memories that bit more special.

  5. #5


    thanks for taking the time to watch the vid, i forgot how long it was. Yeah some parts i just slapped together cause i didnt know where it would belong, but i understand your point. I know its hard for an outsider to feel a connection to the video as you guys dont know anyone in the vid, but at this point the family seemed to love it, but now i have a better idea to make another one

    thanks for the critique!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    Whilst I won't pretend to you that I watched all of it, I think you've got it reasonably well sewn up for a family compilation.
    With a family vid like this some of the normal rules don't apply. The crucial "What does the shot add to the video?" question doesn't really matter - so long as it shows family members and it shows the clearly doing something - even if it's just sitting chatting - then it's potentially worthy of inclusion.
    Midnight has already pointed out the main rule in his reference to the first pan to the boy who is out of focus. Cut out ALL the bad shots - the "hosing" of the camera, the zooming in and out - which, i'm glad to say, you've pretty much done, so all creit to you.
    The other thing is you haven't plastered all sorts of cheesy transitions all over the place.

    One thing I would suggest - which is what I do with all my family stuff - is make a lot of much shorter films, 2-5 mins. At first people will be happy to watch the whole 15 mins, but keeping them short and on a menu on a DVD which describes them (eg "1998", "X & Y's wedding") will remind them what's on the DVD and they much more likely to dip in from time to time. We arrely watch a whole DVD but frequently pop on one or two small films.

  7. #7


    In some shots, there are some very fast flashes of white lines (interference) across the image. They were distracting. I wonder if careful editing could remove some of those frames. In effect, cut out the wrong frames.
    One scene had a guy drinking from a bottle and the text caption shows a name, and the letters "RIP'. Is this an indication that the guy is no longer alive? If so, I would remove it.

  8. #8


    Thanks for the compliments tim, much appreciated. I was originally going to make it shorter, but the family heard what i was doing and began dropping off their beta and vhs tapes so i pretty much had to include everyone at least once in the video. Yeah those "r.i.p" captions were for members we lost, so in essence it was also a tribute to them.

    thanks again!

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