Storyteller Productions

Organizing, Preserving, and
Showcasing your Special Photos

Video

Tape video correctly with your smart phone

August 29th, 2016

If you tape video with your Phone, don’t suffer from VVS (Vertical Video Syndrome)! Not sure what VVS is? It’s when people hold the phone vertically instead of horizontally while taping video. And eventually, when those videos are transferred off of the phone to view on a TV screen or internet, they look bad.

View a clip here to understand: Vertically Taped Clips

Hold phone like this while taping video!

The right way to hold a phone while taping video.

 

What’s the lesson?

If you’re catching precious moments of video on your mobile phone, turn the phone horizontally, exactly as you see in the picture above. This will result in the video showing up on the entire space of your TV.

Do you have comments, suggestions or questions about this blog post? Please share your thoughts and join the conversation!

Create a video montage on your Phone

August 15th, 2016

With “Back to School” starting and Labor Day right around the corner, parents and families are taking more pictures and videos. I myself posted a cute pic on Facebook of my kids using the Photofy App (super cool for simple or more complex editing!).

IMG_0520

However, I took a TON of other photos which I wanted to utilize and show off for a little video.

With limited time, I always want something automated and efficient – all of my current media is always available on my phone whether it’s for personal or for business.

Being a video editor, I realize that hours can pass if you’re not careful with time-tracking. Sometimes, I just don’t have time to string photos and videos from scratch on my desktop and labtop computers.
 
What follows are some suggested apps for editing video montages from your phone. I’ve edited the same pics and videos within each different app so you can get an idea of the differences. These can be used for personal videos, classroom or sports videos, and small business owners. Not only are these usable on your phone, but on your desktop computers for larger projects.

1. Magisto App (iPhone and Android)

This app has more bells & whistles with effects. I’ve used one template here called “Film Effect”, but there are other templates to choose from which are really cute. You can create a free video with up to 10 photos (about 30 seconds). For longer videos, you’ll have to purchase the business app for $9.99 per month.

Magisto seems more targeted to the teenagers and young adults. You can also use the Magisto software on any desktop computer for larger projects, by going to www.magisto.com. Internet access is needed.

back-to-school

2. IMovie App (For iPhone only)

This app is for those individuals who want much more control with editing than any other apps. You can purchase the iMovie app for a $5 flat fee, and it also comes with any Apple desktop/labtop computer free. It’s for people who prefer the videos to be simple, with limited bells & whistles in effects. iMovie also has a super cute collection of “trailer” templates, where you can pick a “trailer” theme and intermingle your photos and videos.

back-to-school-imovie-version

3. Animoto App (iPhone and Android)

This app has a TON of templates, and is more automated. Lots of creativity and themes for all age types and special events. Whether you want to create a sports video for your child’s soccer team…or a business video of your product, Animoto offers lots of functionality with a quick turnaround. Cons is that we recommend purchasing the Professional Package at $264 per year. But if you make videos from your phone often (for personal or business), it’s well worth it.

Try a free 14 day trial with no credit card required. You can also use the Animoto software on any desktop computer for larger projects, by going to www.animoto.com. You will need internet access.

back-to-school-animoto

Prepare for your video montage

August 1st, 2016

A video montage intertwines photos, video snippets, titles, graphics and music, making it the perfect time capsule for your Guest of Honor growing up. Whether it’s for a bar or bat mitzvah, wedding, sweet 16, birthday or anniversary party, this video is guaranteed to generate an emotional response.

Here is a short video excerpt of a video montage for a young man’s Bar Mitzvah party, who wanted a family oriented slideshow intertwined with several video clips which included his love of sports. See for yourself how we bring your story alive through the use of photos, videos, music, transitions and 2D effects!
Nathan Bar Mitzvah

Is it worth the money?

Yes, it is worth it! Unlike, the decor, food and flowers…a video montage documenting your special loved one will be an everlasting memory. In addition to enjoying the video during your special event, you’ll also be able to show future generations this video on TVs, smart phones, and tablets forever!

How do I get started?

Creating a fascinating video might seem overwhelming and difficult at first. But with thoughtful preplanning and the use of our tips, you’ll be able to assemble a collection of the best photos, videos and music that will produce an exceptional keepsake to enjoy in the years to come.

 

Tips for creating a good montage:

1. Know your video length and budget

We find that for events, anything around 10 minutes with catchy media, music and graphics is a success. With that in mind, we offer sample packages which range in timing, based on popularity with clients. Of course, we offer videos that may be below or above these guidelines as well, depending on the scope of the project and the amount of media included! For pricing, and more information, contact jenny@storytellerpro.com.

100 photos (6-8 minute video)

  • Up to 100 photosclock_cropped
  • Up to 1 video clips
  • Up to 4 songs

150 photos (8-10 minute video)

  • Up to 150 photos
  • Up to 2 video clips
  • Up to 5 songs

200 photos (10-12 minute video)

  • Up to 200 photos
  • Up to 3 video clips
  • Up to 6 songs

 

2. Create an outline

Bummed out about having this homework? No worries – we’ve got you covered! If you don’t have any ideas of creating an outline, we’ll do it for you. This is included in our consultation process at no extra charge!

Basically, your viewers are expecting to be told a story, through photos and video snippets, documenting an event or theme. We’ll work with you to decide what kind of montage you’d prefer. Whether you want a documentary based style video that echoes the warmth of your family, or a more humorous video with movie or TV snippets – we’ll make the process a breeze, exceeding your expectations!

lady hand writingAs a generality, you can do a chronological order of things. Or you can also have sub themes such as baby birth, family, sports, vacations, etc.

In some of our montages, we’ve incorporated a little bit of both the chronological themes as well as sub themes. IE: a chronological grouping of a child and her dance recitals.

 

3. Photo Selection

Beck-14-2389178709-HAfter you’ve come up with an outline, you can start to choose your photos and videos. Remember, you want quality vs. quantity. No, you don’t have to have sparkling, perfect professional photos…but try to choose pictures that are not too pixelated, light, dark, blurry or low in quality and file size. With today’s 2D and 3D effects, we can make any photo look great (whether it’s horizontal or vertical). Also, don’t worry if your child is in a wide shot. We generally zoom in or out fast with those, so anything works….as long as the subject is in focus.

We take digital and hard copy paper photos, which can be scanned. Each photo is also looked at individually to crop, take out red eye, minor dust and scratches so your photo montage experience can be the best that it can be!

4. Add short video clips

Think about sprinkling in several 10-15 second video clips throughout the slideshow. This is a great way to break up the video montage and keep the audience’s interest. We accept a variety of video formats, including Hi-8, VHS, Mini-DV and digital clips.

5. Choose the music

Music is a very important part to the process, as it will create the mood that you desire for your audience. A great way to start off is to choose songs that have lyrics which compliment your story, and are meaningful to you and your family. You can have a mixture of sentimental songs (slower) with some more upbeat songs (faster and cheerful).

If you are stumped on music and can’t think of any songs, don’t worry – we have a ton of selections that you can choose from…ranging from warm-hearted and sentimental to upbeat and funny!

6. Test your equipment before showing

You find yourself at a family event and the equipment does not work. It is very embarrassing trying to get your prized DVD photo montage to play, all the while losing your viewer’s attention. Always test ALL the equipment prior to the big day if possible. Make sure the projector or television, DVD Player or Laptop, and sound equipment are working properly.

7. Enjoy the show!

Enjoy this video at your event, and enjoy the reactions that arise out of your guests. In addition to enjoying the video during your special event, you’ll also be able to show future generations this video on TVs, smart phones, and tablets forever!

reaction_shot_BW

 

Video Memories are Priceless

November 30th, 2015

“A Minute of Video is worth 1.8 Million Words” – Dr. James McQuivey

Being in the video field and specializing in video montages, I’ve seen Dr. McQuivey’s quote all over the internet. Some people consider it misinformation and for some, it’s just a form of hyperbole. The fact of the matter is that a moving image is powerful. It has the ability to stir our emotions in ways we can’t control, particularly for our own private memories.

This was especially apparent to me, after recently watching a video montage I made of my son’s very first year growing up (5 years ago). After shedding some tears and reminiscing, I asked myself, how many words was this video worth to me?

I then admitted that, in actuality, THERE WERE NO WORDS, (not even 1.8 Million words), which would describe this video. My son’s exact smile, the sound of his baby giggle, and the way his curls bounced as he walked. Words to me, wouldn’t catch the full effect (see what I mean by watching the video below).

 

holiday-video

 

The art of consolidating your video clips and photographs

Truthfully, my son’s first year was a blur as I was dealing with the sleep deprivation many parents go through, along with balancing a family. Had I not made this video montage, my memories would have been lost and forgotten on an external drive in a drawer.

The problem with media in today’s society is that there is too much of it. Without consolidation and organization, photos and videos appear to be unwatched for years. Many people have no idea where their media is (stuck on Facebook, on a camera, in a folder on your desktop). Unfortunately, this is habit which causes those memories to be lost or deleted.

How can you preserve your media?

The trick is to develop a system and keep that system throughout the years. The hardest part is getting started. After recently getting certified as a professional photo/video organizer, I’ve worked with clients’ photo collections and have found that once everything is initially organized, it’s fairly easy to keep organized with the proper guidance.

We basically sum it up in 6 steps.

1.) Consolidate all photos and videos onto 1 Hub
2.) Create Core File/ Folder Structure
3.) Delete all Duplicates
4.) Name those files (year-month-event)
5.) Upload/ Share onto a cloud based photo site
6.) Create Photo Books and Video Montages!

For some tech-savvy people, you might be able to do all of the above steps on your own with a little, errr (A LOT) of time invested. However, for those families and individuals who are too busy to take care of their memories, I recommend contacting us for ways on how we can help you get yourself organized with our photo/video organization packages!

Chromecast – Internet Video and Music in your Living Room

August 21st, 2013

Google’s new tiny digital video Internet receiver is called Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player. It’s the size of a thumb drive. Just plug it into your HDMI input on your HDTV, connect it to WiFi and use your Apple or Win smartphones, tablets or laptops to show videos or music on the big screen.

For now, it can play content from Google Play, YouTube, Netflix and Google Music. Pandora and others are coming soon. Chromecast automatically updates to work with a growing number of apps.

 

Chromecast is $35 and requires no subscription! It comes with 3 free months of Netflix. The nearest competitor is Apple TV which costs $100!

There’s No Remote

Control the playback, and volume using your device. There no remote to learn, which is a big plus. Looks like Google has a winner with this new product. This video shows how it works.

Sandy Aftermath – Back up those photos and videos

November 30th, 2012

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, thousands of families have not only lost power, but they’ve lost some priced possessions as well…including old family heirlooms.

After speaking with several clients, Storyteller thought it important to remind people that accidents do happen. Whether it’s from a fire, flood, or just having a fried computer or phone…backing up those memories are essential. Here’s how to do it.

 

UPLOAD PHOTOS AND VIDEO TO INTERNET, AND STORE ONLINE!

Popular sites include: Flickr, Photobucket, Snapfish, Shutterfly, Picassa, Smugmug, and Cloud Storage Sites. Not sure which one to use? For the Pros and Cons of all these sites, click here.

 

 

STORE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ON EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES!

When storing on external hard drives, the trick is to have more than one external hard drive with the same data. Send the extra drive to a family member, safety deposit box, or your office. There are plenty of external hard drives available at a reasonable price, even with a storage capacity of up to 3 Terabytes. To find out which external drives are the best for you with pricing comparisons, click here.

 

USE DATA DISCS!

When the other options aren’t available, Data Discs will make do. As with the external hard drives, make sure you make copies of the data discs and send them to a family member, safety deposit box, or office.

Best Consumer Camcorders for 2012

July 11th, 2012

Although a good majority of consumers use their iPhone, Android or Blackberry to tape video, there are still limitations for capturing video on a Smartphone. Most are not equipped with a digital zoom, plus picture and audio quality may be sacrificed.

 

If you’re looking for a video camcorder that does a little more than your Smartphone, check out this website for some great options in 2012.

http://www.reviewgist.com/best-consumer-camcorder

Archiving Old Memories

May 11th, 2012

Archiving a Shoebox at a Time

Proof that times have changed: Grandma just friended you on Facebook, and your 1-year-old says “iPad” amongst his first words. Storyteller digitally converts those moments caught on photograph, film, or video…so your family can access and share those memories to their heart’s content (on the internet or at home).

Memories to Archive may include:

– Mom wearing purple bell-bottoms

– Mullet haircuts and yearbook photos

– Your little squirt’s first bicycle ride

– Old 8mm family footage

– Embarrassing baby pictures

– Prom night; Pink dress; Poofy hair

We make it easy to digitally convert, organize and share pictures, slides, negatives, film and video. Using the latest technology, the Storyteller team scans fragile photos, and can convert any film footage – 16mm to High-8 to VHS.

 

Video Creation for Special Events

April 11th, 2012

As you may know, Storyteller’s specialty is creating videos for special events, including Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, etc. By fusing advanced video editing techniques, creativity, and your ideas, Storyteller will create something fun to watch for whatever type of event you’re planning!

This month, we’d like to share a short video excerpt of a video made for Christina and John Dolina’s wedding on March 17th, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

This slideshow features our cutting edge designer software, full of special 3D visual effects that make the photos even more magical! Take a look at the video excerpt below and see for yourselves!

View the couple’s portion of the video below.

Online Videos for Businesses are a necessity!

March 26th, 2012

The internet is not a text-based medium these days. It’s about delivering video. Consumers demand video. We watch video for a number of things, including entertainment and education… but most importantly, because it’s easy!

According to a widely cited study, 93% of web users don’t look beyond the first page of search results.

Highly regarded for its data, Forrester Research found that: “…a properly indexed video is 50 times more likely than a text page on the same topic to appear on Google’s first page of search results.” Better search engine results translate to greater consumer awareness, which results in ringing phones and higher revenue.

If you have a business that’s in need of an online video, give us a call! We can discuss your vision and budget from script to screen.

View one of our online video commercials here: