It’s Day 9 of my Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Ideas! My Day 9 pick is to make your own video. I’ve personally done all of my home movies on iMovie which is a fun and easy to use video slideshow program that comes free on the Mac. I haven’t used any PC software, but I’ve heard about Windows Movie Maker (comes free on the PC) as well as Adobe Premiere Elements and Wondershare’s DVD Slideshow Builder Deluxe. This post is not intended to be a review of any particular software, but if you have any personal experience with any of these programs please feel free to comment below.
Making a video is a great gift idea. Several years back I scanned a bunch of our family’s old photos and transferred our old family videos digitally onto my computer. I then commandeered my then-boyfriend (now husband’s) new Macbook and went to work. When it was all finished, I burned the video onto a DVD and made copies for everyone in my family. I even designed the DVD’s cover with a ticket stub maker.
I invited everyone over for a screening of the video so we could relive the memories together. It was fun to see everyone laugh at the ill-advised perms and retro clothes as well as the touching moments which included clips of loved ones who had passed away. These are memories that were buried in dusty adhesive photo albums and locked in old video cassettes for decades. They needed to be revived and experienced once again. After the screening, I gave everyone their own copy of the DVD. While it was a very affordable gift (just the cost of the blank DVDs which is minimal), it was a time-consuming project to take on. However, the results were well worth it and it was a labor of love. I enjoyed creating it for my family and I hope they will pass on to their kids and grandchildren one day. Ever since I made the video, I have been thinking of making a photo book to go along with it at some point. I’m also thinking of doing another installment to the video – basically covering the years since I did the first video (it’s been almost five years!)
If you haven’t done this type of project before, try your hand at something easier. Just use the photos and videos that are already in digital form. Now that most folks have high quality video accessible on their digital cameras and phones, you should have plenty of material. To make the project more manageable, try making a video of a recent vacation, or of the last few holiday get togethers. Make it last the duration of one song – just like a music video. Just a couple days ago, I quickly threw together a 15-minute video of the Disney cruise we just came back from by using a ready-made template in iMovie. I selected some photos and some video clips taken with my digital camera and let the program slurp the photos and automatically create the transitions for me. I then went in and did some tweaking and added a few songs to go along with the video. After I showed it to my mother-in-law she thought I’d spent a lot of time on it because it looked so professional, but in actuality it only took me a few hours and that’s only because I got particular about doing some post processing on the photos.
In this same vein, if you want to do something fun, customized and even quicker, make your own cartoon or animation at JibJab. You may have seen some of their hilarious videos shared on Facebook before. JibJab has these fun animated videos/e-cards where you upload a few photos and the program puts your face on the cartoon characters. Some of their videos are free and some are fee-based, but there’s something on there for everyone. Last year my mom loved the video I did featuring Photo Book Baby, the hubs and me. The animation was to the song “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”. Seeing our little guy’s face on a walking and dancing figure was a bit surreal to us since he could barely crawl, but that’s what made it so much fun to watch.
For those of you who found yourself strangely attracted to the catchy viral Korean phenomenon of “Gangnam Style“, you can now star in the actual video (yes it’s the real video!) It’s free to do and it’s hilarious. Click on the link below to check it out! You can share it on Facebook or email it to your recipient. How’s that for homemade, cheap and easy?
DAY 10 COMING SOON!
Ah, we’re finally in the homestretch. I had hoped to get these all 12 gift ideas out sooner, but I’ll do my best to knock out the rest as quickly as possible. Be sure not to miss any of my gift ideas! I’ll be archiving all of them on the main Photo Book Girl gift page as we go through all 12 days so be sure to check back! I’d love to hear if you’re planning on making any of my picks for someone on your list, or if you’ve had experience with any of the products or companies listed. Comment below!