Making a Highlight Reel of Your Little Superstar

My son is obsessed with football. When he's not playing it, he's watching it. When he's not watching it, he's playing Madden on the PS4. When he's not gaming, he's pestering kids at the park to play a pick-up game with him. And when he can't do any of the above, he watches YouTube highlight reels of Odell Beckham Jr. and Cam Newton, amongst many others.

Like every other millennial mommy out there, I capture nearly every moment on my phone. Whether that be via picture, video, Instagram story, Snapchat, or Boomerang...I get them all. And then they just sit there... gathering cyber dust, and getting buried beneath 100 pictures of our latest vacation, or my son's 50 picture selfie rampage. There has to be something better do with these rather than just sucking up our iPhone storage, right?! Enter bright idea... why not make a highlight reel video that can live for eternity in cyberspace? (Don't worry, with increased security measures, your video can be just as "safe" as the current pics on your phone). 

Today, everyone and everything lives digitally. Making highlight videos of your little superstar (and uploading them to the cloud or YouTube) gives you a really cool way to capture important moments at a glance. It also ensures that when your dear child decides your phone "needs a bath", not all will be lost forever. And for moms of boys, it gives you major cool points, necessary to compete with far cooler dads (...cool, of course, being measured as being able to burp, fart, play tackle football, spontaneously break into wrestling matches, and selectively listen to mom... just like dad does). 

Here is a recent highlight reel I made of my son's PeeWee football highlights. These videos do not have to be sports related, I simply put this here to serve as inspiration. You can make them of a vacation, a birthday party, or a compilation of highlights throughout the year. And they can be as complicated or as simple as you like.. it's your video. 

If your day job is as a videographer, you will have no use for this article. If you're part of the other 99% of the mommy population, here are some pointers that you may find useful.

Level of Tech Savvy Needed: Medium

I'm not gonna lie. If you have trouble figuring out how email attachments work or don't know how to search a video on YouTube... this probably isn't the project for you.  You need to be somewhat familiar with using a computer, and I mean more than just knowing how to Google search something. You'll need to be able to use video editing software (it's user friendly, no worries), and you of course will need to have all of your videos/pics etc. uploaded to your iCloud/iTunes, or accessible on your computer somehow.

Time Required: 6-10 hours

Making your own video will require some time - this one took me about 8 hours (6 if you take into account bottle feedings, laundry, and snack breaks thrown in there). But if this is your first time using video editing software, it may take a little longer. 

Video Editing Software

There are a few different options you can use. iMovie is what I've used in the past, but for this project I used Filmora. I would very much consider these tools to be for an amateur videographer-wanna-be (like me). Professionals generally use much more complicated (and expensive) software. These types of programs will run you anywhere from $15/year up to $45/year. They are pretty similar and both have pros and cons, but either will get the job done.

Additional Software

To add audio to my videos, I used ClipGrab (it's free) to create mp3 files. It's super easy to use - you just plug in the URL of the YouTube video you want the audio from and it will convert it into a file for you in less than 5 minutes. As if true with all copyrighted content, you are not able to distribute/sell/etc. without the original owner's consent. Using copyrighted video/audio for personal use is generally ok, but it's always a good idea to note who the original owner is and to give credit where credit is due. Basically, don't steal things that aren't yours and claim them as your own. Be respectful (karma is a b**tch, and so are copyright infringement lawsuits). 

Tips

  • These video editing programs can be quite finicky, so save your project OFTEN
  • A mixture of different media types keeps your video interesting (i.e. images + video files)
  • When blending audio files, make sure you use the fade in/fade out selector to seamlessly transition from one song to the next
  • Unless a picture has a ton of detail or is overlaid with words to describe the scene, keep things moving at a moderate pace (5 seconds on a static image is too long... in my humble opinion)
  • Use transitions between pictures and videos to add pizzazz (i.e. like having a pic slide in from the left, or using the zoom in/zoom out option)
  • Like a powerpoint, too much animation is not always better. Less is more. Do not overdo it
  • When using a video clip containing audio that you want to hear (like your child singing a song), you can temporarily mute the background audio file so that your video clip audio has the chance to shine
  • Don't get so caught up in the details and in trying to make things perfect that you never finish
  • The easiest way (I have found) to share these large audio files with family/friends is either through a shared Dropbox link, or by uploading the video to YouTube and sending the link out that way (if you like to keep things private, YouTube has that option)
  • Play around and have fun! 

Any other mommy-videographers out there who have tips/tricks they would like to share? I'm always looking to improve my processes. Thanks for reading!

Looking for more/non-sports-related video inspiration? Here are a couple others I did a few years ago