One very special way to celebrate 50 years of marriage is to create a commemorative video. Whether you’re creating it yourself or for your parents or friends, this is a gift full of years of memories and good times. There are countless ways to create a video; you can include current interviews, include old footage or simply do a photo montage. You can do it yourself, hire a professional or combine the two. The style you chose will depend on your time, budget, technical expertise and source material available.
Decide what kind of video presentation you want to make. If you want to include current video interviews, you will need to have a video camera. A simple approach is to use the video function of your point-and-shoot digital camera. The AVI, or Audio Video Interleaved, it produces is an easy medium to manipulate.
Select photos and old video footage you want to include in the montage. This might be the most time consuming part. Collecting old photos and finding old footage from friends and family takes time and prodding. Try and collect photos from all eras of the couple’s marriage.
Scan all photos and digitize old film or video footage. If you don’t have a photo scanner at home, you can find a company to do it for your. FedEx is one such company. If you have old film footage, you must have it digitized into a usable format such as AVI, MPEG, QuickTime or Windows Media Video.
Download software to create a video montage yourself. From the very basic, such as Windows Movie Maker or the slideshow function in iPhoto on an Apple computer, to professional video editing software, such as Final Cut Pro, if you have the time and technical prowess, the possibilities are endless. You can intersperse photo montages, interviews, old footage, favorite songs and more.
Find an online company that allows you to create a video yourself. Companies, such as One True Media or Smile Box, allow you to upload video, music and photos to their sites. Then, you simply create a video from their templates. You can burn the project to a DVD once you’re happy with the final project.
Hire a videographer. If you want someone else to do it all, from scanning all the way to shooting interviews, there are countless professional videographers that will do as much or as little of the project as you would like. This is the most expensive option, but it is the most hassle-free and generally will yield the best result.
Cut the video to a manageable length, especially if you are having party guests sit down and view as a group; in that case, less than 10 minutes is a good rule of thumb. If you’re using a photo montage as background entertainment, go nuts with the length, as guests can wander back and forth and view at will.
Keep the couple in mind for the type of video you make. Choose music they love, photos that make them happy and in which they look good, and a style of presentation that will make them comfortable.