We’ve transferred tons of film and videos over the last 12 years. One of the common things we have found is that men are often behind the scenes as the videographer. It’s rare to find fathers in front of the camera and when you do, it’s special and touching indeed. So, we present some of the fun Dad moments we’ve discovered doing film transfer.
Tips for getting Dads (And Moms) in front of the camera:
Today of course, the videographer role doesn’t fall on gender lines as sharply as it did in the past. What happens now is more a matter of human behavior; someone is always more comfortable behind the camera and tends to stick to that role. The problem is that videos start to get a little one-sided and in years to come, when you look back, you’ll want the kids (or grandkids) to know that you were actually there enjoying the same events. So the question becomes: how do you put the Dads (and Moms) out front every now and then?
Selfies to the Rescue
If you are the primary videographer in your family, sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to be in front of the camera. For example, if you are the only parent at an event, you may not be able to share the filming duties. In this case you’ll need an extra hand. If your smartphone is your video camera of choice, consider taking some selfie video of the event. We recommend using a selfie stick. The collapsible kind doesn’t take much room and allows you to hold the phone far enough away for you to comfortably get into the action.
For those of you that use DSLRs or camcorders, consider investing in a tripod. They are relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and will keep the camera steady (you’ll thank us later for that). One of the models that we like is this. It can be set up in a snap and is extremely portable. Even if you just jump in front of the camera for a quick commentary or enthusiastic thumbs up, your video memory of the event will be that much richer.
Perfection not Required
Videos can also get one-sided if either parent is uncomfortable with operating the camera or camcorder. Many folks are tech averse and would prefer not to switch roles. If that’s you, not to worry. As you can see from our Dads tribute, imperfection adds to the charm of the final video. Yes, certain shots are a little shaky and out of frame, but the result is spontaneous and engaging. Take a chance and you will be surprised at the outcome. If you need some tips on creating good smartphone video, check out this post .
One goof proof camera to try is the GoPro. With its light weight, built in stabilizers, and wide angled lens, it is almost impossible to take a bad shot. Just press record and go; you’ll be adding fresh perspective to your family archives.
Get the Multi-Cam shot
Do like the professionals do and rely on multiple cameras to tell your story. I wouldn’t think of shooting an important event without at least two cameras. The different angles add interest and there’s less chance that something important will be missed. I’m not suggesting hiring a film crew for your next vacation (Of course if you’re interested in that sort of thing click here), but consider pressing the kids into service. Many children have smart phones. In between status updates, encourage them to take video of the entire family on an outing. You can make a game of it, like a scavenger hunt of events and locations including the parent of choice. Again, the video won’t be perfect, but you can “Fix it in Post” like the professionals say. Nowadays, there are great editing applications for video that are either free or low cost. For example, the iPhone 6 comes with the iMovie editing app built in.
Finally, don’t feel shy about asking a stranger to take your picture or a quick video. Most people are happy help if asked. Nine times out of 10 they’re having the same awesome experience you are, whether it’s vacation time or a special event. They get the chance to do something nice and feel good about themselves and in return, you won’t need to ask “Where was I?” years later.
So there you have it. If you’re the behind the scenes person, take opportunities to get into the action. If you’re out front, don’t be afraid to trade places and add your personal touch to your family projects. Enlist the help of the kids or sometimes a third party to make sure everyone’s included.
If you liked our Dad’s tribute or you have more tips on family video projects, please leave us a comment.