Thursday, January 5, 2012

Memory Maker: Video Interviews with Your Kids!

Aren't we fortunate to live in the age of Flip cams and iPhones and the ability to instantly capture the cuteness of our kids on video for forever memories?! All the sweet little stages and firsts and special events.

One thing I have done with my children from time to time is get one alone where he/she is not distracted, and ask some questions...just to capture their thoughts on video. The other day I took my oldest two outside and asked them each about 10 questions on the topic of Money. From some recent dialog, I knew my daughter did not have much financial understanding yet, and some of her answers proved to be pretty entertaining. They will both get a kick out of this a few years down the road!

You can have a lot of fun with this simple format...and provide some wonderful videos for long-distance family! I plan to interview my kids about growing up, goals, Daddy (Father's Day!), grandparents, siblings, work/jobs, family, and vacations. 

For kids who are a little camera-shy, try sitting a few feet to the side of the camera as you talk to them. If they are looking at you, that may help them forget the video and more freely answer your questions. A few other quick tips:
1) Use a tripod! You can get one at Walmart for as little as $20, and it's well worth the investment for nice, steady video.
2) Set the camera at their eye level. Don't "shoot down" at them.
3) Sit or kneel as you interview them so that you are on their eye level as well.
4) Frame your shot fairly tight--usually waist or chest-up is good.
5) Try shooting outdoors for better lighting and more scenic setting (the trade-off is background noise if you live on a busy street).
6) Ask open-ended questions--have 10-12 ready since they may pass on a few of them.

It's not hard to edit their answers together and make them fun to watch--if you don't already have an editing program, you may find Windows MovieMaker is easy to learn. It is a blast editing--and later watching--these priceless videos starring your favorite little actors!

I plan to do these videos on a more regular basis this year, so my goal is to interview my kids each month on one topic. Look for our February edition..."Kids on...Love!!"

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