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How to film the family vacation

The Meivakantie (spring break) was coming and going so quickly that before we knew… now it’s almost time for the Summer break! So I hereby pronounce this the perfect time to brush up on some of the basics of film making.

I just know that not even that deep down (in fact, it’ll show pretty much on the surface) you’ll all cherish your bits and pieces you’ve filmed about your family in the coming years. Now imagine: you can have a fun, short, fresh video that summarizes all those adventures… how fun would that be? Here is how to make a Summer Trailer 🙂

With the help of Prezi I created (some time ago) this fun little overview on how to film the family vacation:

You don’t have to film everything, on the contrary! Enjoy your holiday, and when you see something visually appealing, act on it.

Let it all go – have that like a mantra in your mind – not that hard at all after all that Frozen singing and dancing all day… 😉 So, just remember to have fun with it. You don’t have to film everything, on the contrary! Enjoy your holiday, and when you see something visually appealing, act on it. When you are on and about with kids, make sure they are safe, fed, rested and have something interesting to do. That way you can relax and they will leave you to it 😉 You can ask your partner, to give you a little time that you can film in peace. You can swap sometimes, or have a baby-sitter, a family member look to after them, to give you more freedom. It’s also important that you keep filming short. Otherwise you might drown at the “editing table”!

What to shoot:

    • Film that you leave…
      • packing bags
      • collecting keys
      • luggage in the hallway
      • front door closing
      • car doors slamming
      • kids excited!
    • Planes, Trains & Automobiles
      • planes
      • cars, taxis
      • the bus, the coach
      • trains, trams
      • boats, space ships…
    • The holiday itself
      • Landscapes
      • Where you eat, sleep, play, along with your companions
      • Details, food, local colour – signage comes VERY handy!
      • Live music if you come across it
    • Ideas for ending scenes:
      • Opening the door with keys
      • Unpacking luggage
      • Watering plants, treating your pet
      • Children playing with their own toys

Extra tips

  • Don’t have to film it all to have a great highlight video!*
  • You can give a local feel to your films with shooting signs and warnings
  • Beware of the background! Especially when you are around people in bathing suits 🙂 While you are focusing on your children, you might film peoples behinds from the worst angles. It’s a challenge in a vacation park!
  • Remember to write up interesting facts and happenings during your trip – you could use it for a voice-over or subtitles later
  • …and remember to edit!

As a parent I’m pretty sure that a lot of you – dear readers – appreciate a project that’s finished. Oh yes, FINISHED, with capital letters and it’s not just gathering dust in a virtual folder somewhere stashed away on a NAS. That’s why it’s important to have a little idea, what you’d like to remember and show others, film – and keep it short. It is a delicate balance: filming enough that you have enough to edit, but not too much. Not so much, that you don’t see the end of it. Because if you don’t edit it, trust me: you never will.

To end on a more cheerful note, let there be something truly practical (and maybe obvious) stand here: you can film and edit now with your phone (the one below was filmed AND edited on an iPhone 5). Remember to have enough space and battery though.

Time progressed the technology to the point when editing on a smartphone is not just a devastatingly irritating waste of time and energies anymore (I wrote about that a couple of years back, and that was not a fun piece).

There are great apps you can edit with, they save while you work and won’t freeze all the time. You can even play around with the ideas while the kids are asleep or busy in the creative corner. I highly recommend Cameo by Vimeo, because it is intuitive, has a great library of music you’re allowed to use, plus has limited options, so you won’t feel overwhelmed by all the choices.

Remember, a finished project is the best project.

So check out the previous video from 1:57 (created with a Canon Ixus two years back, edited on a PC) – or click here below for a lovely short glimpse one of our previous holiday in the Netherlands.

If you feel like it, you can even give it a whirl on a contest! Cyberlink for instance is having a tradition of travel video contest every summer. You can check out the 2015 contest video’s (and the winners) here, or go ahead and jump right in for the one in 2016!

How to make a Summer Trailer – Family Vacation Video from Ildiko Wooning on Vimeo.

* But you do have to remember: edit you footage!

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Ildikó Wooning is a Hungarian turned half Dutch - living in Delft with her sweet Dutch husband now for over a decade. Mother of two angels in (not much) disguise, organizer at heart, community, video and movie enthusiast -always. She's a businesswoman too, providing her film making talents to families and entrepreneurs by capturing the fleeting beauty on video.

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