Do It Yourself

Christmas Gift Idea for Everyone — Home Movies to DVD

Christ­mas sea­son is upon us and it’s time to come up with ulti­mate gift for the hol­i­days. There’s noth­ing more mean­ing­ful than giv­ing the gift of clas­sic fam­ily movie. I’m not refer­ring to It’s a Won­der­ful Life or Mir­a­cle on 34th Street. I’m refer­ring to the clas­sic movies you recorded through the years of your fam­ily. The hol­i­days, birth­days and all the spe­cial occa­sions that make up your history.

Fam­ily Doc­u­men­taries is a local Boise, Idaho busi­ness that trans­fers videos and film to dig­i­tal for­mats, includ­ing DVD. Since 1999, Jim Rei­den­baugh has helped thou­sands of fam­i­lies pre­serve their mem­o­ries to DVD. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion con­tact Jim at (208) 331‑3456, or visit Fam­ily Doc­u­men­taries at www.familydocumentaries.com .

Archive Tips: Safeguard Your Videos and Photos — Two Copies are Better than One

When you trans­fer old videos to DVD, or dig­i­tal pho­tos to disc, make an extra copy and mail to a trusted friend or fam­ily mem­ber. Fires, floods and other nat­ural dis­as­ters can be dev­as­tat­ing enough with­out loos­ing your only copy of irre­place­able  images. How do you safe­guard your videos and photos?

Videography Tips: Learn from Your Mistakes

I bought my first video cam­era back in mid 80’s.  It was a Sony Hi-8mm, and cost an arm and a leg.  I took it every­where, hol­i­days with fam­ily, vaca­tions, camp­ing trips, you name it.  I shot a lot of footage.  I was dis­ci­plined to label all my tapes (start date to end date), and shot until they were close to full.  I care­fully stored them in a safe place know­ing that some­day I would get around to watch­ing them, maybe even edit them.  What a mistake!

Fast for­ward 15 years and I acquired my first edit­ing equip­ment and cap­tured the first few tapes from my col­lec­tion.  I quickly and painfully became aware that most of the stuff I shot is not only dif­fi­cult to watch, but it’s unus­able to edit.  I con­sis­tently made all the mis­takes; fire hos­ing (i.e., rapidly pan­ning the cam­era back and forth, up and down), con­stantly zoom­ing in and out, poor expo­sure, over­shoot­ing sub­ject mat­ter (I have cap­tured a bil­lion hours of my Ger­man Shep­pard chas­ing and retriev­ing a ten­nis ball in every moun­tain­ous water­way in the Greater North­west – obvi­ously before we had chil­dren to focus on).

I will pro­vide tips and tricks for suc­cess­ful videog­ra­phy in my next posts, but my main point here is to learn from what you have shot.  And the only way to do that is to watch what you have shot and hon­estly cri­tique your­self.  Watch it on the big screen and check for the following:

  1. Am I becom­ing dizzy or nau­seous from what I am watching?
  2. Does my sub­ject look they are dark sil­hou­ettes against the back­ground, or totally washed out from overexposure?
  3. Am I becom­ing insanely board from what I am watch­ing?  — 2 non-stop hours of watch­ing the fam­ily open up Christ­mas gifts at one sit­ting, or a bil­lion hours of the dog retriev­ing a ten­nis ball.

Stay tuned, I will follow-up with posts on how to cor­rect these prob­lems and also dis­cuss other trou­bles that can arise from not view­ing and archiv­ing your footage in a timely manner.