Movie: Christmas 2001

Around Christmas time, 2001, I decided to use our miniDV camcorder to make a Christmas movie. I shot footage of Sherree & I decorating our Christmas tree, exchanging gifts with my family, exchanging gifts with Sherree's family, and Sherree & I together on Christmas morning.

I shot nearly 5 hours of footage by just setting the camcorder up and letting it run. On the computer I edited the raw footage down to a 9-minute movie, complete with music in the background, fades, a title and all kinds of other nifty effects.

Want to see Christmas 2001? (It now dawns on me that "A Holiday Oddyssey" would have been a great subtitle!) You can download it here: christmas2001.mpg; right-click and "Save As" if you want to download the movie to your computer. This is a 21MB 320x240, 15fps, 300kbps, MPEG-1 file.

Please excuse my poor cinematography skills. I did learn quite a lot about cinematography and my camcorder, though. I used a JVC DVR-90u miniDV camcorder to shoot all the footage.

  • Autofocus is easily fooled--much easier than the autofocus of my 35mm or digital cameras. You see several areas where the focus is just wrong or bounces back and forth between subjects.
  • The built-in mic really doesn't work all that well.
  • It's a good thing that I used a tripod for 99% of the footage. The little bit I shot without the tripod is--in comparison--wildly bouncy.

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Hey, the movie was cute. Save it for your kids. Even though I feel like I don't know the two of you or the family anymore, it is nice to see them.
It seems like a lot of your gifts were picture related. Does Dan always take a lot of photos and use them to make gifts? That is a nice idea.
Do you have anything of the Grillo family? I would love to see them if you do. Haven't been home in 5 years.
Talk to you soon.
Love Terri

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