Movie: Christmas 2002 with Sherree & Dan

Continuing the tradition started with Christmas 2001, we've created a new movie to keep the memory of 2002's Christmas fresh. The title of this year's film--Christmas 2002 with Sherree & Dan--is only slightly more creative than last year's. The movie itself, though, is significantly more creative and well-done than 2001's. To make it better I had two goals in mind:

  1. Make the movie about all of Christmas, specifically including the preparation that goes into all of the gifts and other fun leading up to Christmas day. For Sherree and I this part is, in many ways, the best part of Christmas.
  2. Record more interesting footage. In Christmas 2001 the camera was a static observer, which, in some ways, made the footage very boring. By bringing the camera closer to the action the footage would be much more exciting. That also meant I wanted to include more voice audio than in 2001, which I did.

This 12-minute movie was edited from 4 hours of raw footage including a lot of footage about the excitement of getting ready for Christmas day. To record more interesting footage, Christmas 2002 frequently had somebody behind the camera. In addition to recording more creatively, post-production was much more involved and exciting: the flipping calendar counting the days to Christmas almost became a little movie unto itself, and creating the title sequence proved a challenge to execute. In the end it was a lot more work, but I think the result is much more impressive.

It's worth noting that I did not plan the amazing synchronization between The Nutcracker background music and the video. It all just fit together that smoothly.

You can download Christmas 2002 with Sherree & Dan here; right-click and "Save As" if you want to download the movie to your computer. This is a 29MB 320x240, 15fps, 300kbps, MPEG-1 file.

As before, I'm still not a good cinematographer. I did learn some more stuff about using our JVC DVR-90u camcorder, though:

  • Just like autofocus, automatic white balance is fooled pretty easily. In a fair bit of the footage you can see how the white balance shifts from being a bit cold (blue) to warm (red).
  • I'm not using any additional lighting, which results in grainy footage. That's not too bad but the low light levels necessitate a large aperture, resulting in a pretty small depth of field. The result is that some stuff that should be in focus isn't.
  • Audio from the built-in mic is still bad.

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Older Comments (4)

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loved the opening graphics, the music and the concept of weaving in the calendar, but this year you'll really have to make sure you catch Santa!

Very nice and sweet Dan and Sherree!

Somehow, for 2003, you need to work-in a couple of explosions, and maybe a car chase through downtown Bozrah.

Glad to see your brother's story at the end too!

Sherree and Dan, I was very impressed with the video, have a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

I'm actually researching to a book entitled "1000 places to see beore you die" at the end of the research theres your website.

I was so amazed on how you take your pictures. Actually my husband loves photography but I don't have the courage to have a website like this I just compile all his works.

My husband and I really love to travel a lot, and we always fell in love with the beauty of the places that we're going.

Now that we have two kids, I really bring them to whatever place we're going and they really enjoy and love it.

This will be the start of visiting your website so that I can book ahead of time for the future plans of our family.... in travelling abroad!!!


rose, philippines

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