How to immortalise a house-warming party, a New Year’s Eve, a round birthday, an anniversary or a carnival party to thank your guests? How to make a one-of-a-kind souvenir for the hosts? Create a music video of the party!
At the very beginning of the carnival, I presented various creative gifts for hosts and guests, which may enrich the party. Shortly before the Shrovetide, I decided to revive the party gifts theme and tell you about a way to round off a superb party.
How to record a music video?
Obviously, you need to record the footage during the party. Several aspects are worth considering here.
I strongly advise you not to leave your video camera on a tripod and record the entire party from one spot. The editing of such a footage will take you much longer than the party itself, and one of the guests may knock the tripod and break down your equipment. Instead, it is much safer to operate the camera yourself or to announce in the beginning that guests are welcome to take over the camera and record whatever they find suitable. If you are concerned about the safety of your equipment, designate a non-drinker, yet one that other guests feel comfortable with. If you let your guests operate your camera, it is advisable to finish the recording before the party picks up too much steam.
A dynamic music video should be composed of dancing and other animated scenes. More static celebrations, e.g. 50th wedding anniversary, may contain longer takes of the table and guests enjoying the meal. You may also experiment with a special gift for the hosts and ask the guests to say something to the camera: best wishes, words of gratitude for a great party, etc. Our camera operator prepared such a surprise at our wedding reception, leaving us a beautiful keepsake at the end of our wedding video. The only difficulty is to choose the right moment when the guests are relaxed enough to feel comfortable in front of a camera.
You may use anything from a professional video camera or a photo camera to a mobile device. My only advice is to pick just one device. This way you will ensure a consistent quality and aspect ratio of your recordings, and you won’t have to wait for the guests to submit their material.
How to edit a music video?
To date, I have edited all of my music videos in a free computer program: Windows Movie Maker. In my opinion, it is very user-friendly and intuitive (I learnt how to use it simply by trying it out). Nevertheless, if you want to read a guide before you begin, you may start with either one of these two links:
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/easily-create-stunning-video-using-windows-movie-maker/ – a clear and simple guide with screenshots
or http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-use-windows-movie-maker/ – a detailed guide discussing most of the features the program provides.
Both of them tell you how to create a video with music in the background. Most of my video gifts (for the newlyweds, for a football fan and others) are, however, music videos, in which I adjust the video to the audio track and not the other way round.
What difference does it make? First of all, it affects the sequence of actions, which may have a significant impact on the amount of additional, unnecessary work on your part. Since I am planning to recommend some more video-clip gifts on the blog in the future, I will now briefly describe the process of creating a music video in Windows Movie Maker to help you avoid common pitfalls.
How to create a music video in Windows Movie Maker:
- Upload your videos and photos [Home -> Add videos and photos] – unfortunately you have to start with that to begin the project.
- Upload a song [Home -> Add music] – for the sake of simplicity, pick one song that best represents the whole party or that is the hosts’ favourite melody.
- Decide on the beginning of your video [Home -> Title] – the title card will affect the synchronisation of the audio and the video track, so if you add it at the end of your work, everything will come apart and cause you trouble.
- Synchronise the visual and the audio material:
adjust videos to the music [Video tools] – peaceful takes to calm music and more animated scenes to dynamic music;
adjust music to the videos [Music tools] – decide when the song should begin, when to make it louder, when quieter. You may also want to repeat a verse or a chorus if you have more video material to show.
5. If you want to add transitions between your clips [Animations], do it right away! If you synchronise your videos and music first and add transitions second, everything will come apart because animations make clips overlap.
6. Add title cards between clips [Home -> Title] while you synchronise subsequent fragments of your music video.
7. You may add narration [Home -> Record narration] and captions, which will appear on your video clips, [Home -> Caption] any time you want since this will not affect synchronisation.
I will tell you more about how to record your own voice while I describe another gift – a personalised music video that I have created recently.
Until then, I hope that you will take on the challenge of documenting your parties in this creative way, and that the effects of your work will exceed your expectations.
P.S. Please, let me know if my instructions were helpful or if any part of them is unclear. I will be more than eager to help you!
– You may also create a music video composed just of photos combined with the Animations tool.
– Be careful when combining photos and videos, though. Chaotic transitions between dynamic takes (videos) and static ones (slide shows) put the audience off the rhythm. However, you may ensure that the natural rhythm and flow of your chosen song is preserved by setting a single photo (which will serve as a title card announcing a new scene) before a single video at the start of each change in the music (at the beginning of each verse, chorus or bridge).