Money Saving Holiday Video and DVD Tips Form Home Video Studio!

Home Video Studio -            December 2009- Issue 22

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Money Saving Holiday Video and DVD Tips Form Home Video Studio!

Its all about Light and Sound . . .

When shooting video of your family Christmas that is.

Follow these simple rules and hints and have a joyful Christmas day:

  • Rule #1 -- Good Tripod & Working Camera
  • Rule #2 -- Good Batteries or Power supply.
  • Rule #3 -- Media (tape or storage cards) in the camera.
  • Rule #4 -- Cables and Connections & everything connected to the right place
  • Rule #5 -- Good Lighting (happens easier than you think)
  • Rule #6 -- Good sound (not as easy)
  • Rule #7 -- Set up early and test your system.
Helpful hints . . .
  1. If you want to capture your Christmas present opening, it can be easy and fun. Just by setting the tripod with camera in a place higher than where everyone is seated (like a table or mantel, and at a wide angle) you will make it easy to capture most of the action. Then as you serve up the presents, ask the recipient to face the camera area to catch the expression. This relieves you from chasing around the present opening area.
  2. Good lighting is easy if you remember to bounce light off the ceiling instead of directing it at the subjects. This diffuses the light and brings up the overall light levels with out intruding on the scene. (Cheap clamp lights, touchier lights, flexible desk lights come to mind, or even those quartz work lights in the garage - you might even back those a bit farther off or hit a wall and then a ceiling as they can put out a lot of light and heat.)
  3. Having a live monitor hooked into the camera is a good idea, as it adds a some fun as everyone gets to see themselves and you can monitor the action without jumping up continuously to see if its all working. (You still need to check the tape/record light on some cameras to make sure you are recording.)
  4. Good sound is a bit harder. Anything you can do to eliminate steady ambient sound sources like heaters and fans, TV's, radios, iPods etc. There are some nice inexpensive omnidirectional wireless mics that will work by hanging/placing them in closer proximity to the subjects. (In the tree, on a coffee table with a washcloth under it, be creative.) Or even some inexpensive wired mics from Radio Shack. Do you have a regular tape/digital audio recorder? Use it as well to capture comments and laughter from a different perspective. You can add this audio in later when you make it into your Christmas DVD production.
  5. Nothing kills good sound faster than air handling, so if you have a forced air system turn the thermostat down and or stop the fan as this will kill the ambient sound faster than anything else.
  6. For the best overall results set up a few hours early and do a short test tape to test the lights and sound, cables and connections, batteries and media, and don't forget to tighten the tripod.

Once you have recorded footage of this event, the present opening, the dinner and the kids and pets playing, bring your tapes, discs or cards to your Home Video Studio and we'll transfer all this to a DVD or stick around and see how much fun editing your footage into a New Christmas DVD can be.

While there are only a few days left before Christmas you still have time to get some great presents created at Home Video Studios. Still time for Film transfers, gift certificates, photo memorabilia, and having DVD's copied.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!


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Home Video Studio strives to make your experience with us enjoyable and truly memorable. Our specialties include video production, video editing, home movie and video transfers, CD and DVD duplication, and much more! For all your video needs, call Home Video Studio today for an appointment!
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