This blog post is the second part of “Making a Video Montage of Baby’s First Year”. In the first blog post, we talked about choosing content and music. To read more about these topics, you can access that post here.
To quickly review, a baby’s first year is an important thing to document. It is a year that has many details that are easy to forget, and there is a massive amount of growth that takes place during this time. A video montage is a great way to document your baby’s first year because it allows you to combine videos, music, and pictures into one place.
These video montages are intricate and take time and effort to get just right. If you are interested in seeing the level of detail that goes into Savor Your Story’s video services, or if you have some video skills and want to try your hand at making your own, this is the post for you! Now that you have selected the right content and music to make your video, in this post, we will dive into video and picture editing tricks to make your video stand out.
How you edit your video clips makes a big difference in the level of enjoyment your montage brings. There are several tools available in a variety of different video editing softwares. I have used just about all of them and they all have many of the below features in common. Try some of these tips out to take your videos to the next level.
If you have a long clip of your baby crawling or eating, spare your audience of making them watch the entire clip at real speed. If you did that with all of your clips you probably wouldn’t be able to fit them all within the 15-20 minutes you want to make your video. An alternative to cropping your videos (which cuts out portions of the clip that you may want to see) is changing the speed that the clip is shown. Showing the clip at double speed can be a great technique to show the same progress in half the time.
The same principle applies to clips that you may want to lengthen because it just isn’t long enough. Showing the clip at half speed can be a great tool to savor a particular moment in slow mo. Be careful when using this feature, however. I’ve found that sometimes it can come across a bit cheesy.
If you do choose to speed or slow a specific video clip for your montage, make sure to detach the audio of the clip. You don’t want the sound of little chipmunks in the background of your sped up clip, nor do you want the low sounds that you get when you slow a clip down.
This one is simple. If you have a video that can be summed up in a freeze frame, do it. This will save you more time for other more meaningful clips.
Video without music
Try using a video without music behind it to transition between songs. For example, if you have a sweet video of mom singing a lullaby to baby, this won’t work with another song overlaying it. Try putting a video clip like this in between songs without music. This especially works well when the two songs have different moods and tempos. You can use a video clip to “cleanse the palette” of your viewers and prepare them for something different on the second song.
Beware background noise
Some software allows you to remove unwanted ambient sound and focus on what is most important for the audience to hear. For example, on some clips of my son, you could hear the dehumidifier in our house running in the background. I was able to remove this with no issue and focus on the cute laughing instead! This is something that is often overlooked and can make a big difference.
Video with music
You can use music with a video clip in two ways. Either with your clip muted or with music overlaying the sound of your clip. Both work well in different situations.
Muted video. Sometimes video clips are mostly visual in value and the audio behind it can be distracting. If not all sounds are ambient and can’t be removed, sometimes the best way to move forward is to strip the clip of audio. Try disconnecting the audio from the video clip and deleting the audio, leaving a muted video, perfect for music to be playing over.
Music overlay. Other times it’s meaningful to have music overlaying the sound of your video clip. You can adjust the level of volume of the video clip itself or the music during that video to make sure that the balance is appropriate between the two.
Stabilize Video Clips
Use a stabilizing tool on videos with too much motion. You don’t want to make your audience seasick. Have you seen Cloverfield?? Using a stabilizer can usually track the dominant motion of the video clip and cut out unwanted distracting motions. To avoid having to do this during video editing, stabilize your hands when taking the original video. There are also tools like a Gimbal that helps you do this.
Pictures can be a powerful tool to tell your baby’s first year story. After all, every picture that you take is a moment that is gone forever! Here are some tips for how to best utilize photography and pictures in your video montage.
Edit Your Photos
I can’t say this enough! Edit your photos before you bring them into your movie making software. If you bring crappy photos in, you’re likely to produce a crappy video. If you go with Savor Your Story to make your first year video montage, we optimize all of your photos as part of the video service. To learn more see here.
Don’t Use Too Much Animation
This isn’t a PowerPoint from 2001. You don’t want to be distracting to the main point of the video, which is your baby. No need for fancy fonts or thrilling transitions between every picture. Usually a simple fade between songs is appropriate.
Like we said before, you don’t want to make your watchers seasick, so beware the programs that automatically zoom in or out of every single picture. Those features can be useful, but use them with purpose, not on every image. If it lets you choose from where or to where you zoom, keep in mind what the subject of that photo is and adjust based on that.
Include Month by Month Progression Pictures
I love the fad of taking pictures of your baby each month to track growth! If you were this on top of it as a parent, good for you! Use them in your video montage. Try taking one of these pictures from each month and making their length around 1 second. You can put these 12 seconds toward the end of your video to show the culmination of growth. It’s an effective tool to remind everyone just how much they grew in just 12 seconds.
That sums up our two posts on making a video montage for your baby’s first year. It takes a lot of work to make an outstanding video. Your baby deserves the best! Hope you enjoyed reading about the level of detail that we take at Savor Your Story. If you are interested in learning more about this service or others click here.
Did I miss anything? What was your favorite part? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.