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Family Videos 101: How to Make Movies With Your Kids

You don’t need to be a techie to make a family video with your children, just pull out your phone … or theirs. “Smartphones are by far the easiest and most practical way to record video, especially considering how much technology has advanced in camera functionality, quality, and accessibility,” said Michael Pugliese, president and co-founder of Game Builders Academy.

There’s so much you can record: vacations, special events and family outings. Consider narrating your experiences on camera or having conversations that explain what you’re doing in that moment. “Watching back years later, this will remind you of the details you may have forgotten, and will allow others to feel like they are part of the experience, too,” said Pugliese.

Use your imagination. You can video anything — a trip to the park, a day at the beach or planting a backyard garden. Try making movies with your family, too. Write a script, assign roles, gather some simple props and film it. Then hold a viewing party with popcorn and boxes of movie candy.

Before filming, prepare your equipment. “I think everyone has been in the position where they are ready to take their next picture or video, only to find that they are out of storage space or battery,” said Pugliese. He also suggests backing up photos and videos using cloud services such as Amazon Photos.

For editing, he says you can do much with free software and services such as the built-in Windows Movie Maker and iMovie in your PC or Mac, and web applications that automate the editing process for you like Animoto. “A crucial step in the editing process is to cut out any unwanted or unnecessary footage,” said Pugliese. “This could be mistakes while recording or just long stretches of time that may be uneventful.”

Creating a professional video is not the goal here. “Having a great experience with loved ones should always take priority over preserving that moment in time,” said Pugliese. “Be sure to make the recording process part of the fun … and not to get too caught up with making every recording perfect.” 

However, if you want to take your photo or video skills to the next level check out these programs offered by Hofstra Continuing Education: