One of my 25 at 25 goals was to make a mini video. I absolutely love these short clips and am so inspired by them. My sister is really good at this, and I loved the casual wedding video she made me. I, however, am utterly rubbish. I ignored this fact and planned for the video to be of our honeymoon. I practised filming when we went to the Allgau, and when we visited Berlin. This didn’t help at all, and I’m still awful. I use Windows Movie Maker because it came with my laptop, and it’s simple and basic enough. I can add my videos and music, shorten or speed up clips, and add text. I’d love to learn how to use a better program, but I will only try that once I can take better videos.
Since I am now the expert of holiday highlights videos, here are my top five tips:
1. Take a metric ton of raw footage
On honeymoon I ended up with 41 minutes and 1 second of raw footage. That’s 94 mini videos, and 5 gigs with my normal Nikon DSLR. I also took 602 photos AFTER deleting ones I don’t like, and it was the first time ever that I used up my SD card in one go.
Since I had also videoed approx. 60% of the space with cats, at least the 40% was a lot of time for me to choose footage from.
2. Wear makeup because videos do not have Photoshop
Since I was on holiday I felt as though I didn’t need to wear makeup, and I didn’t need to straighten my hair. This is a great idea if you’re not going to have proof afterwards. And videos are just so much more unforgiving than photos.
The mosquitoes at our honeymoon liked my sweet blood a lot. Especially in my facial region. So I have a lovely red face for the bits of the video that I’m in. My eyes are puffy from the lack of sleep (I wish this was risque, but alas, mosquito fault again).
The fact is, most people look better with makeup on camera. If you don’t, then you are a glorious unicorn, and can we please swap faces ?
3. Force someone to get footage of you
I have wonderful footage of T swimming in the Greek water, drinking a cocktail, playing with a cat, and general handsomeness. I have a video selfie, a few seconds of myself at the beach that I hate, and some feet. T hates using my camera because I’m so particular and moan at him when he doesn’t do it the way I want. I really should have shut up and let him do what he wanted so that it looked more like a honeymoon and less like a creepy girl stalking a tall handsome man.
In university, we’d take twenty photos of a friend, and then say “now me”, she’d take twenty photos of us, and the photo tag would continue. Don’t worry about being “vain”, the memories are worth it.
4. Choose a song that you don’t mind listening to in bits, and on repeat, for hours and hours on end
The one thing I did right in the video is the song. Top 40 hit songs are probably not going to work because you’d get tired of them quickly. Choose a song by a band that means something to you, or with words that mean something. The xx has a special meaning to me, and the song I chose is called Islands, so it was perfect for Greece.
It’s also really nice when the music matches the image. For example, when the music becomes gloomy, the footage is darker, or when the music changes tone, a new piece of footage comes on. I tried to do this and got it every now and then, but Windows Movie Maker is not the best to get things precise.
5. After four months, eventually export and walk away from the laptop without breaking it
In the end, as with most things, my perfectionism got to me and I gave up on my pedanticism. I realised that it was as good as I could get it, and that my future kids / parents / self wouldn’t care about anything other than what Greece and young T+C looked like.
Here’s the video in its gorgeous email-quality splendour:
Have you ever made a highlights video ? What lessons did you learn ?