4 Tips For Filming Home Movies

Home movies are more popular than ever, but once people take their new camcorder out of the box, there are usually more questions than ever. The easy-access of videos on the Internet makes it seem so simple, but that camcorder can be awfully intimidating. Part of the intimidation may come from experience. Most people have sat through hours of endless home movies that feel like they go on forever.

That brand new piece of equipment you've been looking forward to doesn't have to be intimidating. If you follow a few basic tips, your home movies will stand out, and you will notice why your home movies are easier to watch and enjoy for years.
1. Be Prepared

Before you go out to record that holiday, sporting event or special moment, it's useful to prepare. Make sure you have extra power or access to power. You may be able to plug in, and that is a tremendous advantage. If not, make sure you have additional batteries and that they're charged.

Check your memory to make sure it's adequate to record the entire event. If you can add memory, take along extra. You'd hate to record the majority of a wedding, get to the "I do," and have your viewfinder flash "memory full". Have a sturdy tripod for steady shots and smooth pans. Practice using it. Most tripods have a head that allows you to tilt (move up and down) and pan (move laterally, from side to side.) Get used to the feel of it.

2. Be Deliberate

When you set out to record your child's soccer game, think about what you want to record. Be prepared to get the shot when it happens - you won't get a second take on your son scoring his first goal. If you know what you want before you're out there, you'll have a lot better chance of getting it. When you see it approaching, make sure the camera is running.

3. Don't Just Record It - Interpret It

You could set up a camera and simply let it run, but you don't want to watch everyone coming out for Christmas morning for five minutes. You'll capture the holiday, but it won't capture your audience. Think about what's meaningful, and simply shoot that. Just for practice, when you watch television or movies, think about how they place the camera, how the light falls, and when they cut. Learn from the pros.

4. Be Candid

Capture the moment. What is unique about home movies are that they are yours and yours alone. They can contain what only you can get. Be ready to record the unexpected moment. Sometimes those are the most precious ones.

All of this comes back to being prepared. If you're intentional about what you want to capture, and you do it in a creative way, you'll be ready to catch the moments unique to your life.