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Film Your Christmas

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 10 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Videoing Christmas Videotaping Christmas

Christmas is such a big deal with so much going on that it is impossible to film every event associated with it. Therefore you should consider the different events which you associate with your Christmas holiday season and choose 3 or 4 which you can cover thoroughly.

Alternatively, you can film all of the events you’re planning to be a part of and create a kind of videolog with just the briefest highlights of each. But with so many different things you could film over Christmas, you will have to be selective in either what you cover or how long you’ll allocate to each event or else you’re going to end up with loads of editing to do and, if you’re not careful, you could still be doing that by the time the following Christmas rolls around!

Events You Can Film At Christmas
Here is just a selection of events you can film to capture the essence of Christmas:
  • Choosing a Christmas tree, putting it up and decorating it
  • Christmas Dinner
  • Attending Midnight Mass
  • Children and adults opening presents
  • Carol singing, children’s nativity plays
  • Games in the snow (if you’re lucky enough to get any - snow, that is!)
  • Young child leaving out food for Santa and Rudolph before going to bed on Christmas Eve
  • Child visiting Santa’s grotto
Camcorder Lights
Unless you’re visiting the Southern Hemisphere where it’s summer, your Christmas takes place at a time when the majority of the filming you want to do takes place when it’s dark outside or inside where lighting a video can be notoriously tricky so, you should use or buy a cameral light. Remember things like windows which will reflect you and your camera if you are pointing at objects with the window behind them, ideally, you should be looking to shoot from a position where any windows are behind you. Panning around interior locations whilst your camera is in standby mode and finding a light level whereby you can still clearly see people’s faces and then locking in that exposure ensures that all of the people in your video don’t appear as silhouettes.

Filming Children
Nothing quite captures the spirit of Christmas more than the face of a young child. It’s their innocence and sense of magical wonder that’s going to make your film stand out. To capture these memories perfectly, you need to get down on your knees and film at their eye level. You’ll not need to prod them at this time of year to give you the reactions you want but by following any of the filming suggestions contained in the bullet points in this article, you’ll witness laughter, joy, amazement and wonder and good close up filming of their faces will bring a touch of ‘magic’ to your Christmas video.

Using Effects
Using cutaway techniques helps to capture people’s reactions which, with so much surprise and happiness being a part of Christmas, it’s important to include in your video. You could, for example, cut back and forth to two family members as one or both of them is unwrapping a present. Shots which establish the right atmosphere are also easy to create at this time of year as you’ll have Christmas tree lights twinkling and maybe even snow falling or a resident robin might suddenly appear in your garden. Keep shooting from different angles and combine people scenes with traditional shots of a Christmas scene. Using Christmas themed background music – like the sound of sleigh bells jingling – will also enhance your video.

The important thing is to capture a sense of joy and happiness throughout your Christmas video which should be reflected throughout the entire film both by relatives and friends appearing in it and by the inanimate objects – e.g. the tree, the Christmas cracker, the decorations, the snowman etc. you choose to shoot. And, don’t forget it’s your Christmas too so be sure to hand over filming duties now and again so that you appear in the video also.

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