Make A Movie With Your Children

Straying away from the typical home movie, a fictional movie with your children can help expand their imagination.The keys to making a successful children’s movie is keeping things simple, providing plenty of patience and lot of room to work with. Costumes, props and different locations will allow you to make the best movie possible. While it doesn’t have to replicate a million-dollar Hollywood production, it can have a professional feel.

Instructions

1. Plan out the movie with your children. The more involvement they have, the better the experience will be. Pitch ideas for the movie plot. Write down ideas and create a list of different costumes and locations.

2. Write down a basic story outline for the movie. You do not need a full-fledged script, but a detailed outline will help keep the project organized. Use this as a chance to teach your children story structure. Plan out the beginning, middle and end of the movie. Have the children write scenes and ideas. Use simple drawings to convey the story for the children.

3. Choose the settings for the movie. Outdoor settings like your front or back yard will provide the best lighting. Keeping the movie at home will make things easier to change costumes, set up the camera and for organization. Use locations that your children love, like a swing set, tree fort or trampoline.

4. Dress the children up in costumes. Use old clothes, costume jewelry and past Halloween costumes. Let the children be free in their costume selections.

5. Set up the camera on a tripod. A tripod is essential for usable footage. A shaky camera will make the production hard to watch.

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6. Video tape the scenes and keep the camera rolling as long as possible to capture any unscripted moments. When the children are in costumes and interacting, you can capture a lot of great unplanned moments or scenes for a “blooper reel.”

7. Use props to help create scenes. This can be anything from toy weapons, cheerleader accessories or random things around the house. Come up with new scenes and ideas as you tape planned scenes. Ask for children’s input whenever possible.

8. Tape adventurous scenes or mini-stunts that you can play with effects later. For example, have a child run and jump over a large object. It may look like nothing at first, but if you slow it down in post-processing, it will create a dramatic jump effect.

9. Upload the footage to a computer using whatever method your video camera provides. Use simple editing software like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie to organize the footage.

10. Choose your children’s favorite songs to add to the movie. They will love being in scenes featuring their favorite band or singer.

11. Add special effects and keep them hidden until your children sees the final product. For example, you can speed up shots, slow down shots or add color effects like black and white or neon glow. Use the built-in effects in the video editor you chose.