Making Home Movies with Digital Cameras

Dick De Jong, May 23, 2012

Home Movies in the Digital Age

So you want to make a home movie.

Perhaps not like that schmaltzy family vacation Super 8 footage that your dad shot, though be honest, you still loving watching it after all these years.

Maybe you are looking to launch your child's career, à la Justin Bieber, with a video posted on YouTube. Or simply, you want to email a moving moment to family and friends.

The concept of a home movie has definitely morphed over the years. Even more so, the tools used to make one have changed radically.

Now with cameras of all types - even those in smartphones - being able to shoot high definition video, which can be edited on a laptop with inexpensive software, the entry into the world of movie/video making has opened up dramatically.

Home Movie Sony Vegas Screen

Perhaps the most significant divergence from the past is in how these movies/videos are viewed and distributed. Last century, you were lucky to coax an audience of more than ten to huddle around a TV or a portable movie screen to watch your latest creation.

Now with 70" TVs and expansive home theaters, your production can shine in its full high definition glory.

Home Movie YouTube and Vimeo Logos

And with sites like YouTube and Vimeo, with a touch of a button, you can upload your video to a possible audience of thousands or millions around the world.

Before visions of fame and fortune start dancing in your imagination, let's discuss some of the essential tools for making a home movie/video.

To begin, let's set some boundaries because the topic of movie making is vast.

"Essentials" is the operative word for this article, which is focusing on the basic tools for creating a short film (no longer than 10 minutes) with a minimal budget and a non-professional cast and crew (often only you) - in other words, a "home movie."

Of course, your ambitions may vary. You may simply want to post a clip on YouTube of your new cute kitten sitting on your adorable daughter's shoulder as you read them "Cat in the Hat."

Or you may wish to produce an Avengers mini-movie starring all the kids in the neighborhood as their favorite costumed superheros that you will premiere at your Fourth of July picnic. (If so, then for inspiration, rent the Jack Black/Mos Def movie, Be Kind Rewind.)

Whatever your aspirations and budgets, they will guide you in choosing the appropriate tools for your project.

  1. Making Home Movies
  2. Digital Video Cameras
  3. Choosing a Digital Video Camera