Two gifts 3 years in the making: Part 1

Anyone in my family can tell you , that whenever there is a family get-together (big or small) there is a very good chance that I will have my camera with me.  And after an upgrade to my camera a little over three years ago, this meant that I now had video capability J.  Thankfully most people can’t tell the difference if it is video or pictures that are taking place so some of the video footage is priceless.  So with my new camera, initially there were little video clips here and there…not very many though.  Since at the time I didn’t know how to edit video, I didn’t take as much as I do now.  But, I did intend to learn, so I would take video here and there with the intention that someday I would learn what to do with the footage.  For whatever reason, I thought that learning Premiere (the Adobe program I use to edit video) would be a difficult task, so I put it off for a time.  Then one day I tuned in to a class taught by a lady from Australia: Hailey Bartholomew.  My video world was changed.  Mind you, she didn’t teach a lick about how to use any specific editing software, she taught about the concepts of what makes a good short video.  Things like, storyboarding, shooting a tight middle and wide of the subject, seeing things from a different angle, stop-motion, slow-motion, and all of the fun that it can be to document the life around you.  My eyes were wide open, and I am sure that I did a lot of nodding and smiling while watching her class.  Her bigger-concept ideas about video were so compelling, that it prompted me to buckle down and learn the nuts and bolts of the video software program Premiere…..and so the videos began.

In a mind-bogglingly short amount of time I have made 44 videos.  Some certainly are better than others, but I am proud of all of them.  Each one of them captures a special moment in time.  Moments that now you can go back to again and again.  Moments that might have been forgotten, blurred with time, or lost altogether might now be even better than you remember with music and editing.  In one of my most recent videos, a mother can hear her baby’s very first cry again.  How precious is that?

So, with my video editing skills growing, it was time to go back to the 3+ years of footage and see what gems were there, because I had the idea to make a movie that captured the highlights of the last three with the family.  One video would be for in-laws and the other video would be for my side of the family.  I worked on both projects simultaneously, but I will elaborate on the in-law side first. 

When I pulled out thumb drives, external hard drives, and combed through the archived files I was floored at how much video footage there actually was.  There were so many priceless snippets of life and I was PUMPED.  I new that even if the family didn’t like the videos, that Brenton and I would absolutely cherish them.  When I completed the Driscoll (in-law) family video it was more than a month before Christmas and Christmas Eve was the intended movie premiere date.  There is an annual family gathering at Grandma’s house that would be the perfect time for most all of the family to see the movie together.  Being that I am miserable with keeping surprises, the movie may have been shown to one or two members of the family prior to the premier.  My excuse was that I needed help making sure there was a big screen tv set up at Grandma’s house… 

Now comes Christmas Eve and everyone is gathered around the big screen at Grandma’s waiting to see the movie.  Mind you, they really had no idea what to expect.  I regularly come to gatherings and my ipad gets passed around with the latest video and pictures on it for sharing… but I have never done a big movie premiere like this one.  I was nervous.  I know sometimes people don’t like seeing themselves in pictures, let alone video… and who knows if I left someone out of the movie.  I had made a concerted effort to get a snippet of everyone in the video, but there are over 90 people on that side of the family and we see some more than others…  I know some were probably left out, but I had made sure that grandma and her children (Brenton’s aunts and uncles) were all in it---they all also received a copy as their Christmas gift.

I sort of set the standard for myself that if after one of my movies is done---if there are tears, or if I get a hug, then it was a movie well done.  It may be a high bar to set, but since it has been attained in the past, I know its not impossible.  Well, there were hugs and tears when the movie was finished… and a few emails and messages with kind words.  J  Yay.  All the hard work, and years of footage are now out there in a movie for the people in it to enjoy---and for the next generation to see as well.

Enjoy a look into the Driscoll family J

And Merry Christmas!

Driscoll Family Video 2013 from Peer Canvas on Vimeo.