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How To Make a Great Family Holiday Video

With so many families gathering over the holidays, Christmas morning is a great time to capture special moments and with today’s tech you can edit and publish your family’s Christmas video before lunch. But, not everyone was born with a video camera in their hand, so here are some tips to help you make your holiday family video.

1. Record the Early Moments
Before the kids wake up (if it’s possible) capture a few shots of the presents, the tree, the lights, the adults sipping coffee and the general “calm before the storm.”

2. Capture the Tradition
Whatever your family’s tradition around the holidays, capture it on video. If you don’t have any specific tradition, this is a good time to consider starting one; go around the room and ask each family member what they are most thankful for this year.

3. Don’t Film Every Present Being Opened
While it’s tempting to throw the camera on a tripod and let it record the entire morning of present-opening, you must resist. Get close-up shots of people’s faces, expressions, joy, surprise, and excitement. It also helps to start recording just before they start opening a present that you know they’ll like.

4. Retell the Stories
Once the present opening frenzy has subsided, ask a grandparent or an older member of the party to retell one of their favorite stories. It can be the story of how they met their spouse, their favorite holiday from childhood, or even how your family came to live where it does.

5. Film the Aftermath
Record shots of the family, holding their favorite presents. If someone got a special toy, a nice sweater or a new gadget, film them using it.

6. Ask Leading Questions but Don’t Narrate
Instead of saying, “here’s sally, opening her gift,” ask here what she’s doing, and what she thinks the gift is and have her explain it. It’s far more interesting when the person being filmed talks, than the narrator. Also, with today’s video editors, you can add your voice to a video later, if you really need to.

When You’re Editing the Video

7. Add the Soundtrack First has plenty of fun songs built into its online video editor, or you can add your own. Whatever you choose, add the song first, this will help you keep your video short give you something to edit to.

8. Add Descriptive Text
Most video editing platforms have “titles,” text inserts and/or thought bubbles you can use to add information to your video. Try and imagine this video as it will be seen years form now and add information accordingly. The first time you show one of the children, for example, add a title that says their name and age. If someone got a gift that you want to feature, add a text bubble describing what it is, like “iPhone 5” or “Armani Sweater.” Don’t forget to add a quick title at the start that says something like, “Christmas 2012” at the beginning.

9. Finish The Video That Day
An “okay” video today is better than a “great” video never. Time is of the essence, and while it may be tempting to edit for days, refining your movie, resist. Finish your video and put it on YouTube today if you can, (WeVideo makes it really easy). Remember, your video doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be heartfelt, fun and timely.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Make Your Video at the Expense of the Holiday
Filming the holiday, doesn’t excuse you from being an active participant in the day. Enjoy your friends and family and remember to have fun. If you’re lucky, you’ll capture some magic while you’re at it!

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