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Home Video Example #1:
The Lawns

This self-contained three-minute clip centers around the mowing of the lawns. It showcases three things:

  1. Using an eveyday activity as the feature. It is important to do this from time to time in home video—these are the things which describe your life.
  2. Time lapse. This compresses a long activity into a watchable time frame, as well as creating a humorous effect.
  3. Speech bubbles. As well as creating humor, speech bubbles can be used when the original audio is not usable.

How It Was Done

The camera was a cheap Panasonic palmcorder. A tripod was used for every shot. Audio was from the camera's built-in microphone. Editing was done in Adobe Premiere Pro.

There was no separate camera operator—each shot was set up by me, the person in the video.

The camera iris was set to automatic. This is not normally recommended but in this case there was no operator to manually adjust the iris. Since the cloud cover was constantly changing, a manual iris setting would not have worked. As you can see, the results are far from perfect—a day with more consistent lighting would have been better.

The time-lapse sequences were shot at normal speed and sped up when editing (see Adobe Premiere time/speed). This is much better than using the camera's built-in time-lapse feature. I increased the clip's speed by 3000%, which reduced the length from about 30 minutes to 40 seconds.

The time-lapse sequences move between fast-motion (when I'm mowing) and normal motion (when I'm talking). To achieve this I simply razored the clip at the desired transition point and sped up the sections I wanted to be fast-motion. Later versions of Premiere Pro include time remapping which makes this easier.

The speech bubbles were made in Adobe Photoshop and imported as images.

Author: ,  Originally published: 2004,  Last updated: 2012-10-15