Storyteller Productions

Organizing, Preserving, and
Showcasing your Special Photos

Posts Tagged ‘video conversion’

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!

Organize your Photos: 3 simple tips

March 28th, 2014

hands-holding-phoneIf one of your resolutions for 2014 was to “get more organized,” you might look at the endless stream of post-holiday photos and think, “Oh, wow!” followed by “Do I really have time for this?!”

And after about 20 minutes, you turn your attention to a more fun project like planning your family’s summer vacation or making more coffee.

Try not to abandon the project before you get started! You’d be surprised at how 15-20 minutes a month will keep you organized and less stressed with organizing and viewing those cute snapshots of your friends and family.

1. Clean Out your Smart Phone

Delete those blurry photos while you’re waiting in line at the grocery or doctor’s office. You’ll instantly have less photos to download to your computer and won’t have to sift through a ton of bad snapshots.

2. Download Photos on a Monthly Basis

Set a monthly calendar reminder to download the photos on your phone and/or camera into Picasa, iPhoto, or the photo management system of your choice. As soon as they’re downloaded, take 15 to 20 minutes to edit them ruthlessly. Only keep the truly special, funny, and beautiful photos and delete any duplicates.

3. File and Organize

Create Master folders for vacations, holidays, birthdays and every day life. Sort by year, followed by month. Ie: If a birthday was taken on July, 27th, 2011 – Put 2011 (07-27) Birthday. When organized by year, you’ll be able to sort the folders sequentially in any software, which is the best way to find older photos.

Also, make sure you back up your photos. This is a critical step to do, so don’t skip it, or one day, you could find all of those special memories gone. You can manually move photos to an external hard drive or to the cloud via DropBox. Another recommended program is Backblaze, which backs your computer up every time you connect to the internet.

Importance of turning VHS tapes into Digital

October 29th, 2013

How long do VHS tapes last?

Families thinking about preserving their memories currently stored in the VHS format – and are considering transferring them to DVD in order to preserve those memories – often call our customer service line to ask us, “how long do VHS tapes last?”

The short answer is that VHS tapes, properly stored and in good condition, can last up to 10-25 years, and sometimes even longer! But due to VHS tapes being a magnetic storage media, there can be noticeable loss of picture quality in as few as four to five years.

How to store your VHS tapes:

In reality, the durability of VHS tapes is really a function of a number of factors. Properly stored VHS tapes can last a long time, and improperly stored VHS tapes can last a short amount of time. So, the longer answer is, “it depends.” Below are some of the factors that will affect how long your VHS will last and whether the memories stored on them will be able to be converted to DVD.

 

  • Steady temperatures can help VHS tapes last longer

VHS tapes prefer to be stored in an environment where the temperature is steady.  Temperature fluctuations – say, where the VHS tapes are constantly changing from hot to cold – can damage VHS tapes and limit their longevity.

  • A cool and dry environment are better for VHS tapes

However, even if tapes are stored in a place where the temperature is steady, VHS tapes do much better when the temperature in which they are stored is slightly cool.  Our customers from the Philippines and Hawaii typically experience the most issues with their tapes, given their very warm and humid environment.

  • Direct sunlight can harm VHS tapes

One of the most damaging environmental conditions that can degrade the longevity of a VHS tape is if it has been stored in direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight dramatically reduces how long a VHS tape can last.

  • Don’t store VHS tapes near toxins

Finally, VHS tapes can be negatively affected – and the length of time they last can be significantly reduced – if they are stored in areas where they are exposed to environmental toxins.  Your VHS tapes will last longer if they have not been stored in a garage (or a storage space above a garage) where they were exposed to paint or gasoline fumes or other airborne toxins.

Can old VHS tapes still be transferred?

The good news is that most tapes – even those from the early 80′s – can still be transferred to DVD…although time may be running out. Storyteller employs a number of production processes to maximize the quality of the remaining video signal on your VHS tape to ensure the highest-quality possible playback from your tape prior to converting your VHS to DVD.

These processes include adjusting tracking issues with playback, and boosting and stabilizing the video signal through the use of Time-based correction.

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.