Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Dos and Don'ts of Home Videos

Ok, internet.  It's time to have a conversation about home movies.

I have recently been converting tapes of my family, friends, and neighbors from VHS to DVD.  This has been a great learning process for me because I get to play their tapes in real time, edit them, watch them etc.  I have noticed a few things about home movies that the first generation home-movie-ers didn't know about what makes a good home movie.  I have seen the good, bad, and horribly shaky and I think I need to share this with the world.  I have compiled a list of "dos and don'ts" for when YOU are taking home videos so you might avoid the pitfalls of your parents and/or grandparents.

Lets start with the DON'TS.  Some of these will seem obvious or snarky.  I apologize for nothing.

DON'T TAPE THE SCENERY.  I know, the ocean/canyon/jungle/mountains are sobeautifulandyouneverwanttoforgetthisviewinyourentirelife! So take a picture, because frankly video with no people and no talking is BORING. No one wants to watch the ocean waves for 20 minutes, I promise.  And in the future if you find yourself regretting that you didn't take video of those ocean waves, I will fly you to Mexico.  Seriously. Or just look it up on youtube and realize how boring it is. If you must tape the scenery, have someone in the frame tell where you are at the very least.

DON'T TAPE PEOPLE IF YOU CAN'T SEE THEIR FACE/RECOGNIZE WHO IT IS.  In the moment, it seems like a good idea to film someone water skiing, or rock climbing, or parasailing.  However, twenty years later you will not know who you are watching and will fast forward through this precious memory you worked so hard to capture.  So, use that zoom button or skip the long distance filming.

Which reminds me..

DON'T TAPE WATER SPORTS FOR MORE THAN 1 MINUTE.  Again, it is really boring to watch someone cross the wake back and forth for 5 minutes.  But we all want to see how awesome we look on that glassy water, or remember grandpa beach starting, or little sister's first time up on the wakeboard- so just be reasonable when taking these shots.  Take one clip (we don't need to see the same person water skiing five or six times throughout the trip) for one minute and move on, no matter how skilled the person is.  Have you ever been to a wedding and watched the Bride and Groom during their first dance?  Its precious for about a minute and then you get really tired of seeing two people sway back and forth.  Same concept.  Short and sweet.  

DON'T WORRY ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK OR SOUND ON CAMERA.  I can't tell you how many shots we have of my mom ducking her head, covering her face, running out of the frame, or rolling her eyes and holding up a hand to the lens.  And it makes me sad because one day my mom is not going to be here anymore and the only footage we have of her is her trying to avoid being filmed. This past week, I found some video footage of an uncle that passed away.  I posted the video on facebook for his family to see, and my little heart broke when they told me it was the first time they had heard their Dad's voice since he died.  Pretty much all he said on the video was "not yet" and "look at this."  So let yourself be a part of the video, even if you feel fat and ugly and have an annoying voice just like everyone else.

DON'T TAPE THE SAME EVENT MULTIPLE TIMES.  This really applies to babies.  Now I am not a parent, so take this with a grain of salt.  We don't need to see a kid splashing in the bath at the age of 6 months for five minutes more than once, no matter how cute it is.  Once will suffice, I promise.  I know your two-year-old's dance moves are adorable.  Catch them dancing on film once or twice, but not multiple times for 30 minutes at a time.  It can be a bit excessive.  However, if the video is for your own personal enjoyment-I can understand why you would tape it.  But think about twenty years down the road when you pull out the home movies to watch on Christmas Eve and everyone is bored out of their mind watching your first born dance for hours.  A few minutes will suffice, and just once.

Ok, now that that is out of the way lets get some Dos out in the open.

DO HAVE SOMEONE STATE THE DATE AND PLACE OF WHERE YOU ARE TAPING.  My dad was really good at this.  Here is how he did it..."Ok, Patty!  Tell us where we are!"..."We are at grandma and grampa's house in MEXICO!"  "That's right!  and its June 18, 1997!"....and the video continues.   Its a really simple way to keep track of events.  Not everyone rocked at writing down the date and content of their tapes on that little white label, and I am glad my dad did this so I can keep things organized AND its easy to figure out how old everyone is!

DO CONDUCT INTERVIEWS.  Remember how I said not to tape people when they are far away or doing sports?  A great way to document the trip without recording every activity is to interview!  So, at the end of the day you would get everyone together and say something like this "Ok everyone, what did we do today? .....What was your favorite thing, Michael?"  This is great, because videos of people talking ROCK.  When we watch home videos, we want to see what Mikey was like when he was 5, or what kind of teenager John was.  Little interviews like this give everyone a chance to talk on the tape and you get a little snippet of everyone's personality. 

DO NARRATE WHAT IS HAPPENING.  This is similar to the date/place suggestion.  If you are filming all your kids going down a slide at the park, say who is going down the slide, who is waiting in line, who just face planted in the mud.  This is a bit of my own personal preference.  I think it makes the video more interesting and fun.  Of course, you shouldn't state every single thing that is happening.  Just the occasional commentary is nice to liven things up and help the flow of the video. 

DO LET YOUR TEENAGERS HAVE OCCASIONAL ACCESS TO THE CAMCORDER.  This is a little different now a days, since pretty much every cell phone has a camera on it.  But I include this because we have some great footage of us kids as teenagers recording ourselves in a monologue.  Although it is embarrassing, it is also hilarious!  We have footage of my brother at 13-14 begging my parents for a go-ped, myself talking about how there is not enough footage of me, etc.  This suggestion comes with a caution.  I have seen tapes that are dominated by teenagers, and they are ridiculous and not fun to watch.  Like when they take it on a scout camp and record their friends doing blue darts.  Maybe you are into that, but I was not amused. Or multiple clay-mation stop motion movies.

DO TAPE REACTIONS TO EVENTS, AND NOT THE ACTUAL EVENT.  The best example is the Fourth of July fireworks shows.  I know you probably spent hundreds of dollars on those fireworks, but it' guessed it... boring to watch on video.  It is more fun to see your five year old son so excited to hold a sparkler, or your ten year old light a firework for the first time.  When at Sea World, tape your kids watching the dolphin show and not the actual dolphin show.  Zoom in on your kid in their school program, and don't feel like you have to tape the entire program!  You can have video of them singing the songs or performing their part in your living room, and I bet you will enjoy watching that way more than trying to find your kids pin head in a sea of pin heads wearing santa hats.

That's it for now!  Hope these help you!         



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This is how we fight

Back in March I went snowmobiling with my phone in my pocket, and by the end of the day it was no longer in my pocket.  Last week someone found it, charged it, and returned it to me!  This is a little treasure I found in my videos that I had been meaning to post.  I accidentally took video of Eric and I "fighting" about him doing a backflip on our slackline.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Carry on

This is really the best song to me right now. And we all love fun., right? Right. Carry on. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

From your favorite pack

Happy conference weekend from your favorite pack.  Is it just me, or does anyone else get baby hungry semi-annually around April and October?  ;)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Good day!  Professor Grover here, and according to my calculations:  If you eat a five gallon bucket of compost you will most certainly throw it all up on your masters favorite rug from target and make her cry.

BUT...according to the very-thankful-wife theory, your other master will take pity and clean it up.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Right now.

Right now I'm thinking of the list of things I needed to do by today, and so far I have 14/20 completed.  That's great! Thanks to all who came to the pity party- especially Miranda because she brought me cup cakes to celebrate.  Anyways, there are lots of ups and downs as far as school goes-it all depends on what happens in the delayed preschool I work in.  This week was much better.  If all else fails, bring an air popper to preschool and pop some pop corn.  Always a hit.  I'm also trying to distract myself from the sounds of drilling and hammering and clanking one wall away.  Sometimes, Eric's projects scare me.  Because they are "house changing."  My projects generally do not have an effect on the structural integrity of our home.  I'm resisting the urge to ask him not to accidentally drill a fist sized hole through our entry way wall (Love you  babe!).  Thats ok though.  They usually turn out, and if it doesn't- well I need him to owe me one so I can make one of these:

I love it.  He hates it.  But he loves me, so he already brought me home a cable spool from work and shortened it to coffee table height.  Although thinking about it now, he probably brought one home because I told him I was thinking of stealing one from the front runner station by our house. He usually tries to keep me from committing crimes.  What a guy!

It was his birthday on the 19th.  We went up to Heber and he went snowmobiling with his dad while I shopped with his lovely mother.  We got him some new church clothes and he looks FLY.  I also got him a sweet jacket from Colorado Free Skier, and took him to FloRider in Ogden with some friends.  Shout out to Quin- you're the man.  It was way fun.  And I even talked my friend Molly into giving it a try!  My husband and his friends are lucky because all their lady folk like each other.  Anywho.. Here is Eric being awesome at everything, as usual (except for ice skating.  don't let your head get big there, honey.)

Also, my dad took us skiing to Deer Valley.  It was really fun for me, but I always feel bad for Eric.  I'm still learning to ski because I pretty much had to send my snowboard through a wood chipper if I wanted to be in with the Hroneks.  So he sticks to the easier runs all day in order to teach me.  But, I am getting a little more confident so maybe in a few more seasons I'll be able to see him go off some cliffs and show me that back flip in real life.  (no joke.  I'm pretty sure.)  Anyways, just to prove that we are STILL just darling, I give you this:

Also, if you are still reading this, I wanted to just post the after pictures of my kitchen because I can't find my camera and I took the after pics on my phone.  SO- just imagine all these cupboards without bead board, plus wood/brass handles and dark grainy 80's wood.  And yes, that lovely blue counter top came with the house! (insert sarcastic tone here)  Also-do you spy my christmas present? My hubby knows best.  

Well, I don't know about you but my bum hurts from sitting here so long.  BYE!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You're invited!!..... to my pity party

Geeze this school stuff is hard.  Every morning I wake up and think "oh no."  My body is punishing me with a spray of canker sores, infections, and exhaustion.  If this is what the working world of Speech Therapy is like, I want none of it.  But I guess I won't find out till I have spent two years and 30 grand on an education.  I'm just trying to take it one day at a time, but I'm still behind a week on SOAP notes, reports, goals/methods, self evaluations, etc, etc.... Needless to say, the flood gates are about to let loose any day now.  If anyone has a remote control to my life, please push the fast forward button to about a year from right now.    

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fast forward five months.

Wowie wow wow, look here.  Its 2012 and I'm still kickin.  Thats right, people.  Graduate school has not, in fact, killed me like I thought it would.  Although I was ready to rip out my hair during finals week, I am proud to say that my grades were good enough to stay in the program and even apply for a few scholarships.  And here are my true feelings about graduate school:  This was on of my greatest decisions.   Even though I may complain all the time, I have learned so much.  I feel like I am finally learning what I need to know to be successful.  I am learning how to be a more critical thinker.  Which means when you say, "There is a study that shows that watching sponge bob square pants makes your brain rot" I say, who did the study? Who participated?  What were the methods?  Show me show me show me, data, data, data!!! Which is liberating.  I'm actually doing therapy on real live people.  Haven't killed anyone yet, so thats great!

Christmas break was like a dream.  I worked a few days a week and started a huge project.  I painted my kitchen cabinets.  It was not as easy as all the blogs say it is.  It took three weekends to finish.  And at first I thought I loved them but now I am not sure if they look country and cute or just messy.  So if you feel like calming my nerves, come by and tell me how fabulous they look.  I'll post some before and after pics soon.  We spent Christmas eve with my family, and Christmas day with Eric's.  We got to talk to our brothers on their missions.  SOO proud of Mikey and Chris.  And we shot guns!  because Eric got an over and under for Christmas.  So we are officially protected from intruders.  And he got me the most beautiful kitchen aid mixer.  And I have been baking bread like a mad woman.  Also brownies.

I went pheasant hunting for my first time.  It was really fun and I even killed a bird.  Then I stashed it in my pocket, which was weird.  And Grover kept trying to chew on the feet that were sticking out.  It was Grover's first hunt too.  He did pretty well.  He was shy at first, but warmed up near the end.  He stuck pretty close to me and Eric, but I think with some more exposure that he will be a great hunting dog.  Then maybe we can rent him out and pay for all the things he has chewed up in the past few months.

Most recently, he ripped up the carpet in my parents house.  As in chewed a two foot square of carpet and pulled back about a 1x8 foot piece.  and also clawed the door from top to bottom.  And I could have killed him that night.  For the record, lets make a list of things Grover has chewed/eaten/destroyed.

1. My favorite red shoes
2. Eric's leather belt
3. our bar stools
4. my coffee table
5. a box of cereal
6. two boxes of crackers
7. a loaf of home made bread
8. Five doors-scratched
9. door frame in the garage
10. 3 feet of paper towel-which he could not pass and tried to drag into the house half finished.
12. our garden
13. our compost pile (most disgusting rotten belches)
14. My vacuum attachments
15. Eric's shoes
17. Garbage, garbage, garbage
18. Carpet
19. Horse poop
20. a plate of Christmas cookies.

....and lets just stop there for now.  My mom says I could write my own version of "Marley and Me."  She is probably right.  Lucky for him, I think he is the best looking dog ever and he cracks me up on a daily basis.  This dog hugs me.  Puts his gigantic paws around me and his head on my shoulder.  He gets so excited about food that he starts drooling when I cook.  He loves fruit and Wendy's.  And also, dryer lint.  He can run for miles, and my father in law clocked him at about 30 miles an hour once.  Hopefully this puppy stage passes soon.

Other than that, life is the same.  And I don't mind that.