TIPS! Ideas For Making Family Films

Making the most of our digital memories can sometimes leave us at an inspiration impasse. Luckily, J. Kevin Tumlinson gives us some great ideas to get things going:

  • Make music videos. This is by far my favorite type of production; I’ve made eight of these so far. Yesterday I wrote about making a music video as a romantic Valentine’s Day or anniversary gift, but any idea centered around your family is just as good.
  • Boil down your family video tapes. When I go on vacation, or to a family outing, I often take my video camera and shoot a bunch of footage. But I wouldn’t dare show these tapes to people as is. There’s just too much “garbage” footage in them. The idea here is simplicity itself: take those tapes and remove all the boring footage, leaving just the interesting material. The result is something you can show to family and friends without inflicting too much boredom.
  • Narrate your old home movies. This idea was suggested to me by the proprietor of a company that converts old 8mm films into DV or DVD format. Here’s how it works: You hook up a tape recorder and clip a microphone to a family member whose memories you want to record – let’s say for this example, it’s your Grandpa. Then you watch the movie, and while it plays you record Grandpa reminiscing about what he’s watching. Afterward,you take the recording of Grandpa’s voice and dub it onto the video footage he was watching, perhaps adding some soft background music. The result is a home movie with priceless audio commentary.
  • Record an oral history. This idea is similar to the previous except that there’s no videotape to stimulate your subject’s memories. Instead you ask questions in interview format, or perhaps you just sit and talk. If your subject doesn’t mind, you can also set up a tripod and videotape the interview. Afterward, you can edit the interview down to its best parts. You can merge in footage from old home movies, merge in family photos, perhaps even scans of old letters or memorabilia.
  • Make a video memoir. My nephew is a high school senior. Last year his mother bought him a mini DV camcorder so he can record the best moments of his last year in high school. Christmas Dance. Senior Prom. Graduation. That’s great starter material for a video project. Add to it digital photos, scans of his graduation announcement, yearbook photo, and the like. Set it all to the music of the senior class song (do high school kids still choose Free Bird as their class song?) and he will have a great product he can cherish forever. This idea would work well for other experiences too: a wedding, a new baby, building a new house, you name it.
  • Create sporting event videos. Does little Johnny (or Janie) play little-league baseball? Do you take your camera to the games? When you watch those tapes, you probably find yourself yawning through much of it. They’re rarely as much fun on tape as they were live, but with a little editing, you can turn a couple of hours of baseball into a much shorter, tighter production that’s great fun to watch. Edit out the field changes between innings. Take out any pitch that’s not a hit, a walk, or a put-out. Overlay the video with pitch count and score graphics. Of course, this works with other sports, though some better than others. There’s a lot of variations you can make on this idea; for example, at the end of the season, you can take your child’s best plays and put together a highlight reel.

{link to original article}
{photo by aka Kath}

WATCH! Top 10 Funny Baby Videos on YouTube

Who doesn’t love a good funny baby video?  Well here’s a compilation of the Top 10 on YouTube.  Enjoy!

GEAR! Wrap Your Lens in a Burrito

Cute but not so tasty!  I imagine it would be a conversation starter if it looked like you were pulling out a fresh burrito every time you went to shoot.  But then again, hasn’t everyone stashed a real burrito in their bag from time to time?  No?  Oh, this is awkward.
Photo from Gizmodo

Super 8 DVD out tomorrow! Enter to Win! Three SUPER tips!

You know we love cool old family home videos. That’s our biz! Turning all of those memories – whether on Super 8mm or VHS or iPhone clips – and mixing them with great music, professional editing, a little love et voila…. your little film :) Like this film of little Tate….
<iframe src=”;byline=0&amp;portrait=0″ width=”420″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
We’re celebrating the release of Super 8 on DVD tomorrow by giving away a 2-Disc DVD set of Super 8 to one lucky winner who leaves a comment here on the blog or on our Facebook page or Twitter page. One winner will be drawn at random. Good luck! Let us know what your favorite film from childhood was!And here are three SUPER little tips for making your own classic home videos…

  • USE AN APP – cool smartphone apps will turn your crisp HD videos into a more vintage look and feel. Like the Super 8 iPhone app we featured or Videocam Illusion for Android)
  • MOVE AROUND – I remember all of my old videos as a kid looked like dad chugged a Jolt Cola right before he hit record. Have fun. Run around.
  • PLAY PRETEND – Just like in the Super 8 movie, think about writing a quick script (takes 15 minutes!) and have everyone in the family play a part. And… ACTION!

And let’s watch the old movie trailer from E.T. just for old time’s sake :)

FUNNY! This Little Baby Loves Notorious B.I.G.

Do rap-loving babies make your heart melt too? It’s just so adorable – and straight gangsta ;)

This latest YouTube viral sensation (1.5M views and climbing) shows off a little baby crying his lungs out until his Daddy (or “Big Poppa” if you will) turns on some Notorious B.I.G. and the baby immediately stops crying to listen to the beats. Super funny.

Link to video.


APPS! The “Super 8” Movie iPhone App

With the Super 8 DVD release coming Tuesday (remember to enter to win your copy from YLF – link for details), we wanted to make sure you knew about this awesome little iPhone video app, Super 8.

The Super 8 app turns your iPhone into a classic vintage Super 8 camera. Just take some video clips, click a button and presto your crisp HD video transforms into that 70’s style washed-out, scratchy, stuttering Super 8 millimeter look. (like Instagram for video).

Watch our little girl Grace get the Super 8 treatment here (link).


WATCH! Super cool. Painting with (iPad) light. Nerdy but cool

Happy “Watch!” Wednesday…

This is a trippy video we saw from some brainiac artists out of London who are using an iPad and a custom app to create holographic animations out of thin air. It’s cool throughout – but it really seems to get super cool around the 3 minute mark.

WIN! Your Own Super 8 DVD Package!

Win YourLittleFilm Super 8 DVD Package

You know us. We love film. But then add some Steven Spielberg and a little J.J. Abrams. And then make it a film celebrating kids making movies with Kodak Super 8 film and we explode with excitement. So we’re giving away a Super 8 DVD Package to celebrate!

Next Tuesday, November 22nd, the Super 8 DVD comes out, and we will be giving away a copy to anyone who enters a comment that day on our blog, Facebook (link) or Twitter (link) pages. Just say hi or – even better – share your favorite Spielberg movie moment. Jaws? E.T.? Indiana Jones? There are a lot to choose from. What’s your fave?

FEATURE! A film for Castle Heights Elementary

As parents we love schools (maybe more than we did as kids ourselves) and YourLittleFilm had the honor of videotaping a fundraising event for Castle Heights Elementary School in Los Angeles.

The event was incredibly produced by the parents at Castle Heights.  They held it at a large awesome photo/video studio space called Screaming Broccoli Studios. And there was a professional MC and auctioneer, and a great DJ and great open bar. Just a really fun night to shoot and experience :)

And most importantly they raised a great amount of money for the school and will be able to use this promotional video to rally even more interest (and money) for next year.


It’s World Kindness Day this weekend and we like to celebrate with this awesome viral video “Free Hugs” where free hugs start to equal big smiles throughout the country.

Have a great 11-11-11 today and start giving out a few little (and BIG) hugs to those all around you.

And be sure to videotape them too!! Maybe we’ll all collect ours and show off our own hugs :)