Tuesday, 27 August 2013

NOT coming to a cinema near you — Emmett Family Movie Trailers.

I mentioned in my last post that I love making home movies with family and friends. Thanks to advances in home computing, editing techniques and special effects that were the preserve of film and TV studios a few years ago can now be found on laptops or even mobile phones. 

Most of our family’s home movies were made using Apple’s very user-friendly iMovie software. Recent versions of iMovie include movie trailer templates, which you can customise with your own film clips and titles. When my daughter had a movie-themed birthday party last year, we used a couple of these templates to make some silly movie trailers to show to her friends.

Carrots are Forever

My kids and I filmed this against a pop-up green screen so that I could add in the backgrounds later when I edited it. Although we only needed to shoot some short clips to make the trailer, we got a bit carried away and ended up coming up with an entire plot and filming most of it.

Quackula Rising

We couldn’t resist making another trailer and this time my wife got in on the act. Rather than shoot on the floor again, we hung the green screen up so that we could manipulate the toys from below. "Manipulate" may be too fancy a word — basically we just shook each toy a bit to show it was talking! As you watch the toys file past in the opening shots, try to imagine my whole family shuffling along underneath them, stifling giggles and desperately trying to keep our heads out of shot – it took a lot of takes before we got it right.

An invisible Nessie (left) makes
a brief, enigmatic appearance
in the trailer.
My daughter cast most of the characters from her cuddly toy collection and it wasn’t until I was editing the trailer on the computer that I realised that the Loch Ness Monster toy she’d chosen to be one of the tourists at the end was the exact same shade of green as the green screen we had filmed against. As a consequence, the only bits of the monster that are visible are his eyes, his tartan bow tie and beret and the name "Nessie" across his belly. Although his invisibility was unintentional, it seems appropriate for such an enigmatic beast.

My daughter and one of her friends used one of the templates that comes with the iPad version of iMovie to make the trailer below. My wife helped a little with the costumes and I held the iPad for them during the filming, but the girls put the rest of the trailer together on their own.

Jolly Good Bollywood