Making Your Own Movie

Have you ever wondered what you could do with a $250 digital camera, a $100 video editing program and no training or talent whatsoever. Let me show you!

Click on the play button below and you can see the results of my first foray into amateur, low-budget digital video production. The innocent victim: the fountains at The Bellagio in Las Vegas.

I took the video using my Canon PowerShot SD450 Digital Elph, a tiny 5-megapixel  camera that I bought primarily for taking still photographs. This thing is small. You could hide it behind a deck of cards.

The video consists of four extended scenes from three separate clips – one shot on the ground during the day, another shot on the ground at night and another shot from the top of the replica Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas at night. I edited them together using Adobe Premiere Elements – and without really reading the manual. (I’m working on that now. Really.)

So I have no doubt that you, too can make low-quality videos for posting on blogs or YouTube. For torturing your relatives, I highly recommend burning them onto DVDs. The smarter ones will run if you try to drag them over to a computer, but if you catch them hanging out on the couch you can slide a DVD into the player and turn it on before they have a chance to flee.

The minimum equipment that you need is pretty much what I’ve got – a camera capable of taking video clips, a computer and editing software. If you want DVDs, you’ll need a DVD burner and software in that computer.

A large memory card – or two – is helpful because videos eat up more space than still photos do.  I have two secure digital cards of 1-gigabyte each.

A tripod is nice, although you can see from the camera shake that I didn’t bother to use one. I got a little one for Christmas, though, so I may try that next.


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