Category Archives: video

5 Steps in Making a Funeral Video for a Loved One

Last week we received a phone call for a family preparing for a funeral. It’s already stressful ironing out all the logistics but it’s an additional strain trying to put a video together when you never have done one before.

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I shared that we create Celebration of Life Movies (see example at the bottom,) that includes music and narration. We do not provide ‘funeral’ videos since most Funeral Homes now provide this service. This client wanted her ‘funeral’ video to be more customized than the Funeral Home was willing to provide so I walked her through some ideas to consider:

  1. Will you be showing the video before/after the funeral?  If showing before/after, you don’t need to worry about music choice since most people will not hear the video during this time, unless on a professional sound system.
  2. Will you be showing during the funeral?  If yes, consider the size of your audience. If large, keep video under 5 minutes. If more private and family oriented, 5-10 minutes might be appropriate.
  3. What photos to choose?  Choose your favorite photos if showing before/after. If showing during the funeral, you may need to include other photos that help tell the story of the person.
  4. Should the photos be in order?  If video shown before/after, order of pictures is not important because most likely folks will not see the video in its entirety. If shown during the funeral, try to have some order. You’re telling a story and people like to follow the order of events. 
  5. How many photos makes up a 5 minute video? Appx 60-75 pictures

We have found there is an increasing need for Celebration of Life Movies. This do not replace the funeral video but is something typically put together months later and shared with a larger group of family & friends. To view an example, see http://youtu.be/9tyCo0M6jEY.

Converting your Old-Fashioned Photographs into Digital Images

Welcome our new guest blogger, Julie!

I remember as a child, my parents always had a nice camera and took family photos of all our vacations. My mother has spent over a decade going through family photos which were all thrown into a big metal box. She ended up organizing them by time periods and then by year (for the ones she could actually figure out the year for.) It is always fun looking back through family photos and making reprints to surprise family members with. But, what do you do with your boxes and boxes of old photographs?

As a photographer, everything I shoot is digital. I am addicted to taking pictures. My cell phone alone has around 2,500 photos on it just from the last 12 months. The digital era has allowed us to go hog-wild with the photo taking.
In the days where you had to use film, every photo became an issue of cost (cost for film and cost for developing). Now that film cost is gone, we can shoot events and take hundreds or thousands of pictures in a single day and not think twice about it!

With the development of digital photos came the explosion of photo creativity through programs like Adobe Photoshop. When I photograph a wedding, my favorite part is playing with the pictures afterward and putting special effects on my favorite photos from the event.

For all those hundreds or thousands of photos you took with film or slides, you aren’t out of luck when it comes to editing or special effects! Through BigStuf Video and MovieMe, you can take your “old fashioned” photos and turn them into digital images and then play with them on the computer ‘till your hearts content!

Think of all the fun you will have when you get your older images back in a digital format and turn them into collages, make some of them be sepia or black and white. Or how about my favorite… black and white with a splash of color! The memories you made will bring new emotions for you as you allow yourself to take those family photos out of a box and turn them into high resolution digital photos and start being creative with them.

I would suggest making a plan of action for converting your print images to digital jpg pictures.
Step 1: Go through your printed pictures and pick out all the ones you want to make sure you have available to pass down to your children or grand-children. Those are the ones you want to have converted to digital images.
Step 2: Decide if you want to simply convert all your photos at once or convert them on a project-by-project basis.
Step 3: Think of an upcoming birthday or anniversary and go through your photos to figure out which old photos would make the perfect gift.
Step 4: Make a calendar for your photo projects and when they each need to be finished. That way you have a visual to help keep you on track and not let another year go by and those pictures are still sitting in a box.
Step 5: Decide what kind of photo gifts you want to make for the different projects in step 4. (e.g.: collages, photo mugs, digital photo coffee table books, etc.)
Step 6: Once you get your photos converted to digital images, start with your first project and have a blast!

A few years ago, I started converting old family movies into digital movies. I remember giving a DVD to my grandfather and the videos of his mother’s 100th birthday party touched him so much, he couldn’t stop the tears. It made all the time I put into it well worth it. Memories fade over time and converting photos or old movies into digital copies can make those memories come to life again and will mean the world to your family members.
Have fun converting your old-fashioned photos into digital images and then turning them into fun things like blankets or calendars or slide show movies with your favorite songs. There are countless things you can do to your pictures once they are converted.
Of course, those of us with tens of thousands of digital images never end up printing them in the first place! I am working on the massive project of taking the digital photos of my children from the past ten years and deciding which ones to print and which ones to turn into fun gifts and poster sized prints.
Happy converting!

Julie has been a wedding and portrait photographer for the past 9 years. She loves being a mom to her two children and her miniature pom-chi puppy. Julie also has a long-time passion for writing and marketing.

Creative Client Movie Examples

Securing memories is not only limited to birthdays and anniversaries…here are some creative ideas clients have requested in recent months:

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  • Anniversaries are a fun time to pull the memories together on how you met, dating life, marriage and kids. A recent client went a step further and dreamed of what his grandkids future reality might be like. See clip http://vimeo.com/60035885 (music removed)

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  • Another client found several slide carousels of when their family took a trip across the nation in 1964. Fun to see the types of cars, outfits worn and what Disneyland looked like back then.

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  • Recently a client was going to NYC and wanted DVDs of her daughter’s acting/singing/dancing career to hand out to prospective clients. See clip http://vimeo.com/60036103

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  • The storyline for this particular movie was a Mom, who put a movie together of all the special moments between their Dad and their sons. She had her boys introduce each section. A creative idea instead of just using title slides.

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Another client had several Videotapes converted with us and wanted just their son’s football game pulled out and several copies made for family. You don’t have to be extensive and tell a life story, sometimes sharing the weekend moments is a gift in of itself.

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What unique story/moment would you put together?

Keeping Memories Alive

Memories are precious thoughts that we keep in our minds about a particular person or object. A memory is a recollection- or being able to comprehend  and recall a specific event or moment in time. Memories are our history, we are what we have experienced.

These thoughts make up who we love now and whom we once loved.  Recalling or reflecting on a past memory helps keep that particular moment relevant or important. In maintaining your reflections on particular occurrences, you can determine which memories you want to preserve to last a lifetime. Giving yourself constant reminders of certain events from the past will keep that moment alive for the present and future. The best forum to do this is through photographs and video technology.

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Wedding Day Memory idea!

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Memory of a pregnancy..

With the new and upcoming technology, such as turning photographs into video footage, we can simply make any photo or “memory” last forever. So in developing and maintaining healthy relationships, it is imperative to hold onto these precious moments to strengthen and continue our relationships with loved ones.

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Keeping photos around the house and in your phone acts as a constant reminder of happy moments in time you have shared with that particular loved one.  Another great way to keep happy memories in your mind is to hold onto special material things, such as a ticket stub to a baseball game to remember a certain date with your husband.

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Another great idea is to keep your baby’s first picture and his hospital hat and frame both, this will be a constant reminder of when your child was born and the feelings you felt during that beautiful day.

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Adding photos of loved ones to your flowers while you walk down the isle helps you feel the memory of that person more so they can be “present” during your wedding day.

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Going back to a specific place that you once took a picture to reminisce on that memory is always a wonderful idea!

“..in the End, all that really matters isn’t the things you did, but what its effects are today, not the knowledge you have learned, but how you applied it, not the words that were said, but how they made you feel, and most of all, not the moment of occurrence, but how its now just a part of our memory.. Everyday, we make memories.. Let’s paint lives with happy ones..”

Author- Unknown

So now that we have a better understanding of how to keep memories alive we should go out and make great new ones! Keeping the memory of a person alive can be easy as long as you remember. Memories are who we are, dreams are who we want to be. Make sure to capture every SPECIAL moment on film while you still can; so that later you can look back and smile!!

Thank you,

Brittaney Thayer

Our Favorite Feature on iMovie

Have you experimented around with iMovie? There are some fun features to take video and make into something brand new. If you are heavily immersed into Final Cut or in this line of work, this will look like child’s play to you. For the folks who like to tinker with their Mac and want to experiment with iMovie, try out instant replays. We just finished a Graduation Movie for Triplets. What a fun project! We have pulled a couple of examples to give you and idea of how you can showcase your video in a different format. These instant replays also look great to replay your kid’s touchdown, home run, spike, basketball goal, etc…

*** See our Instant Replays example on http://www.fb.com/MovieMe ***

Have you applied any iMovie features with your video clips? Share some ideas with us!

Video ~ Avoid or Embrace?

Do you avoid or embrace video for your business? Does it intimidate you or do you enjoy coming up with ideas? Start small and remember who your audience is. Start with a small select group of friends, who will give you honest feedback, and demo your video with them. Putting your first one out there will challenge you on what to show on your next video. You’ll look at videos differently and I guarantee you will start to emulate what you like.

Check out this demonstration video link below…this is http://www.lyghthousecocktails.com first video. (Shot by http://www.thebigeventteam.com)

Wonderful surroundings help create the atmosphere! Now what may seem simple on the surface, there’s a lot more being communicated here than just a great cocktail. You are getting a feel of the business owner’s personality – she is absolutely charming and she has shared one her prized possessions – a recipe that makes her unique. This video draws me in and makes me want to know her and hire her for our next private party event!

Interested in having your own video? Call MovieMe to help promote your business!

To Trim or Not to Trim?

As projects continue to grow, Apple Customer Support has strongly suggested that we graduate from iMovie to Final Cut. Personally, I wanted to challenge myself to exhaust everything I could learn on iMovie before moving on to Final Cut. One of the immediate advantages we would gain moving over is Final Cut could handle the larger volumes of media we are experiencing now. Projects include more than just photos and music. With the ease of taking video clips with our phones and smaller video recorders, the volume of video clips being added to our projects has jumped significantly. To continue operating at the iMovie level, I will share a couple of work arounds that help extend the life of this wonderful software.

Downloading DVDs into iMovie can prove to be difficult if not transcoded into an .m4v file. There is also Handbrake and Video Monkey to help with transcoding. These are not as dependable…we get about 50/50 success rate using them. The challenge in downloading DVDs can be length of the DVD or memory left on your computer. It can take significant time to download and the drag on the computer can start to affect your software capabilities. A wonderful work around is to not download the entire DVD but instead trim your desired section. Here are the following steps:

  1. Open using Quicktime
  2. Edit ~ Trim
  3. Move the yellow bars to the desired section
  4. Trim
  5. Share to iMovie ~ it will be put into a Dropbox
  6. Restart iMovie and Dropbox will show you have a clip to import
  7. Title the section and it will appear as an Event
  8. Do this individually for each DVD so each section has a title reference

If you have an external hard drive, we actually have a couple, eject them while working because this can put a drag on executing these steps. We recognize this was a bit more technical blog but we hope it helps you in building your own iMovies.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions on our Facebook Wall, http://www.fb.com/MovieMe or reach us on Twitter @MovieMeco. We enjoy hearing from you!