Home Video Tips

We love home video and we love filming. Being able to tell a story with a camera, and capture all of the precious – and so often transient – moments, is great fun! We're glad you like to, too!

We know you're already a keen camera-person, but check out the checklist below for a few more hints and tips to take your footage to the next level.


Mr Hollywood

So you’ve discovered how much fun this can be. Welcome to the club. You’re probably getting good enough where you’re past the generic tips we can list on a page. So if you’d like more help, contact us, and get us to advise on your next idea. But here’s a few little morsels to stir into the broth.

Creative tips

  • The three keys of film-making are story, story, and story. A story should have a beginning, middle, and end. For home video, this often translates to the variety of shots previously mentioned.
  • It helps to add a bit of suspense where you can. Pose some questions that the footage will answer – “who will win the pool splash wars”, “how many outfits can my infant soil in one day”, or “will my spouse be asleep when I open this door?” (for the R-rated version try, “will my spouse be asleep when I turn on this light and open this curtain?”)
  • There are a host of great ideas on youtube and FB that can be fun to mimic as a family. Add a little Rockstar or Where’s Matt into your next vacation.
  • Let the kids do a Video Diary. Sometimes a challenge gets them going: “go and film ten High-5s” or “get a bunch of people to say ‘you’re maaaarvelous’ to camera” for the younger ones. For older kids, get them to do fake news reports, reenact their favourite movie scenes (like in Dirty Dancing, where they run-up to the swan hold, not where they…), or send them off to make a stop motion from Lego.
  • Just tell the story, and have fun with it. The biggest secret is awareness, a simple plan can help.

Technical tips

  • As for filming, you want to start thinking of the camera as your eye. You don’t scan across a panorama slowly – your eye darts from focal point to focal point and then holds very steadily for a few moments. So change camera angles quickly and confidently, like eye movement. That’s how you should film.
  • As for zooming, pick your frame and feel free to focus on it with bravura, and focus with the time and duration your eye would then relax it slowly – don’t zoom out quickly.
  • Try using this spinning shot, where you circle the subject while keeping your camera on them. It edits really well.
  • Don’t expect much/anything when filming on the beach, other than wind.
  • Don’t have a conversation with someone 12 ft+ away from you – we’ll only hear half of it.
  • If you’d like to film a chat between two people, go in a quiet room, with no background noise at all, and place an external microphone between the subjects. Consider using two cameras, too. It’s really best to chat to us about these shoots, so we can find that balance between how much effort/expense you’re willing to endure, versus what piece you’re trying to produce.