Anyone here old enough to remember groaning when grandpa dragged out the projector and screen with the announcement, “Let me show you some movies of our vacation”? The new home video isn’t your dad’s old home movies. There have been revolutions in home movies — well, home video.

Home video hasn’t necessarily improved over the years, but it has likely been digitally transferred onto DVD. The process can still be expensive but the service is more affordable than it once was. In many cases, the “groan factor” has been significantly reduced because you, perhaps your son or daughter, has managed to edit out the boring stuff, perhaps even enhance what’s left, creating something everyone might enjoy watching … occasionally.

Editing options from fee to free provide virtually anyone with the interest, a way to get creative with digitized home movies, incorporate video from older VHS and Hi-8 or digital tape and memory card resources. Today’s home videos are enhanced with new interviews from family or narrative about the location or event … interviews are recorded on audio recorders, and camcorders that range from simple to sophisticated, even smartphones, tablets and other portable devices.

Projectors are portable and affordable, offering opportunity for the return of groans while setting up a screen or clearing a wall and plugging in devices that may or may not work as expected. More than likely, with connectivity between today’s digital devices, instant upload ability, and streaming, small groups can simply gather around any TV, monitor or small screen. Audio has moved from a single speaker or stereo separation to surround sound, further enhancing the home video experience.

The new home video, for those who want to use the bounty of available tools, is nothing like before. The home movie enthusiast with cutters, splicers, tape, viewers and more, faced the challenge of making sure the selected sections were not backward or upside down. Pieces that fell to the cutting room floor often proved to be the desired segments, irretrievably lost in a pile of celluloid.

Today’s video enthusiast, and really, who isn’t one, not only has options to record HD footage to portable devices, but just as easily reaches for a smartphone instead. Within these nifty devices are software options that even allow removal of unwanted elements as well as virtually instant uploading to Web-based video repositories. The dedicated enthusiast can enhance color, boost audio levels and include special effects via basic editing options in-phone or ingest footage on a laptop or desktop system and get totally serious about production quality.

Options today eliminate the impulse of granddad’s home movie film days to “keep rolling” and forcing the audience to sit and watch for the segments worth a look. Most impromptu video creators can now instinctively or intelligently adjust, edit and share what they shoot nearly instantly. Home video and instant gratification are synonymous today, nothing like when you had to wait weeks for the return of processed film. Now, all you have to do is figure out which device to view those home videos on, when and who with.


Matthew York is Videomaker's Publisher/Editor.

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