Friday, October 21, 2011

Tips for fun and creative video this Halloween!

It’s that time of year again, when our little ghouls, goblins, vampires, pirates and princesses take to the neighborhood in search of pounds of candy! If you’re like other parents, you’re quick with your camera to snap still photos of your trick-or-treaters all dressed up, but why not turn to video this year for a little more creative twist?

Try this -- get your children to act out their character or whatever they’re dressed as this year, and record some quick 30-60 second video clips. You’ll be amazed at what they do and just how creative their little minds can be!

Here are some easy to follow tips that you can use to capture this great video, all with just using your smartphone:

1. Smudges aren’t fun
Since you’re always holding your smartphone in your hand and putting it up to your ear, it’s natural that its lens will have smudges. A quick wipe with a soft cloth before you start to record is the first step you should take. This will give you the clearest shot possible.

2. Think “H” for Halloween and for horizontal!
Be aware of which way you’re holding your smartphone! It may feel natural to hold it vertically and then press record; however, that will give you a video that’s vertical when viewing. Your best bet is to hold your smartphone horizontally. This will allow you to fully enjoy your final product on a widescreen HDTV or computer.

3. Stay just off center!
If you’re lining up your child right in the middle of the shot, STOP! Instead, place them just off center. This is an easy trick that will add an interesting feel and context to your video and really capture your viewers’ attention and keep it on your trick-or-treater!

4. Shake no more!
A shaky video can be just as scary as your kids’ costumes! No one wants to watch a shaky video, so keep the following in mind when you’re about to hit record: hold with both hands and spread your pinkies; take a nice wide stance and spread your feet apart; brace your elbows against your chest for added support; or lean against a surface, such as a wall or tree, to steady yourself.

5. Let’s hear them
Your friends and family want to hear your little ones give their best rendition of a pirate or ghost, so keep in mind how far you are from your subject when recording. The mics found in today’s smartphones aren’t the most sensitive, so try to be as close to your kids as possible to ensure you pick up their voices – being in a quiet environment helps too!

6. Share and scare!
Once you’re happy with the video you’ve captured, take advantage of free software, such as Vimeo’s free iPhone app, which you can use to quickly edit, trim and add effects. You can then share and scare with your friends and family by uploading safely and securely to Vimeo - all without having to go to the computer!

For additional tips, lessons and tutorials on how to capture better video, head over to the Video Vimeo School at


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