Movie Making 101 & Documenting Your College Years

Twenty years from now, many of us will experience a funny sort of deja vu as pictures from our college days come to light for the viewing pleasure and delight of our children. These won't be the days of old, like the 90's or early 2000's, when children had only the dozen or so fuzzy pictures of parents with fro's, bell bottom jeans, and tie-dye T-shirts to try to recreate their parent's lives circa 1970. Our kids will have a bounty of pictures and videos to choose from as they reflect on the legitimacy of our authority. Along with the awkward questions from the kids, there will moments of pure hilarity as we reassemble with CMC classmates and browse pictures from a trip to Cabo or watch a video of freshman year bloopers. Memories that would have gathered dust and faded ten years ago can now, for better or worse, be easily immortalized. A great way to assemble these memories is through simple video-editing programs.

Now why is a "how to make a movie" post appearing on campus news publication? Because it is fun and important to learn the basics of movie creation. Tufts University thinks so too; their application process now calls for an optional YouTube video supplement. If you need to make a quick movie to promote an event, make a freshman (or senior?) year blooper reel, or put together a travel highlights video, you can. Tools like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are too fun and too easy not to take advantage of.

So I am not actually going to teach you how to use iMovie – it is easy enough to figure out. Your biggest hurdle will be opening the program and taking the time to play around with it. Besides, Apple does a much better job it than I could.

What you need:

  1. Videos or photos on your computer.
  2. iMovie: For Macs – I’ve heard Windows Movie Maker is also easy to use for you PC users out there though.
  3. 29:09 minutes of your time. 25 minutes of playing with the program, 4:09 minutes to watch this iMovie tutorial.

Movie creation is a relatively a new revelation to me. I didn't open iMovie for ages because I had the preconception that video editing takes a lot of tech expertise. You don’t. iMovie is geared for a larger, less tech savvy audience. I love sharing my pictures and videos with others – they tell a story so much better than I can. Sites like Facebook have made sharing photos with friends and family incredibly easy, and now, after 29:09 minutes, you'll have the expertise to share your own full-feature production.

Check out the below video; I made in a little over an hour. Some friends and I got our butts kicked in mud soccer in a rural village in Bangladesh. It is so much easier and fun to share this video with someone who asks me what my summer was like rather than trying to explain it with words or even an album of pictures. And if you only have pictures, no video footage, iMovie has neat features to turn a collection of photos into an entertaining slideshow.

*On a side note, if you are in the market for a digital camera to record those memories, check out Olympus's Stylus Tough line - it is waterproof (read: beerproof), virtually indestructible, and takes great photos. Starting at $229.