How to Create a Life Story in a Short Video

28 April 2020 • Memories

Turn Your Life Story into a Video

Back in the day, our parents would make family home videos using camcorders and then transfer them on to VHS tapes. You can gather those family movies and digitize videotapes using cables that can be purchased cheaply online. These simple pieces of equipment will allow you to smoothly transfer those charming home videos into your computer or external hard drive.

You can then upload those videos on your favorite hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo. Likewise, you can share these timeless videos on your Memories page, so that your friends and loved ones can reminisce with you no matter where they are. This will add a multimedia layer to your Memories page. 

In this article, we'll look at how you can edit old footage and even new ones to create a life story. 

Memories Page sign up

1. Choose

First thngs first, choose which video clips you want to include in your life story. More often than not, we record video in bite-size scenes. Thankfully, almost all smartphones, apps, DSLRs, and video cameras automatically save video clips in chronological order, with the time and date included in the file name. This will allow you to select certain clips in a folder without having to reorganize them manually when you transfer them in a separate folder. Remember, to select multiple files that are in different areas of a folder, you press and hold the Ctrl key while selecting. For Macbook, press and hold the Command key while selecting. Don't stop holding the Ctrl/Command key until you're finished selecting the files you need. Afterwards, do not click on anything other than any of the files you selected. For instance, if you click on a file you didn't select, or the white space (background) in the folder, then you might have to start the selection process all over again. 

2. Gather

After selecting the files you want to use, right-click one of the files you selected. After that, choose Copy. Now, create a new folder in any parent folder or drive you prefer. Title it something like "Life Story" or "Family Memories" or whatever you choose. Just be sure that it's easily identifiable so you don't confuse yourself in the future when you have to look for it. 

Now, paste the files you copied into the new folder. These wiill be the copies you will use for your project. This will prevent you from accidentally deleting, editing, or ocrrupting the original files. It's kind of like making a Xerox copy of your social security card or birth certificate when applying for a job or when applying for a visa, respectively. The originals are just too important to risk losing or damaging. 

In this project folder, you can now re-arrange the clips if you want, but since you're creating a life story, you should probably stick to its original chronological order. This is the folder where you can gather more files from other folders in other flash drives or cloud drive. 

3. Use Editing Software or App

There are a lot of video editing software that you can download for free. In fact, if you have a Windows laptop or desktop, chances are you already have a program pre-installed for video editing. If you'd rather use your smartphone to edit the video files, there are numerous free apps in the Apple Store and Google Play (Android). However, keep in mind that some of the free video editing apps have in-app purchases. For example, you can download an app for free, but you will have to pay for a "premium" version to take off the app's logo in the watermark. 

Memories4. Trim and Transitions

Now that you've uploaded all of the video files into your editing program, this is where the fun (and hard work) begins. You can use the trim tool or function to cut out parts of the video clips that you don't want to include, which are usually found in the beginning. For instance, a video clip might contain someone singing in front of the camera, but the beginning parts are filled with chatter and background noise from the audience. You can trim this beginning part, so that the video clip will start at the point when the main subject begins.

After trimming each video clip (if necessary or desired), you can also apply transition effects in between scenes or video cips. This will make your movie seem smoother the way a dreamy memory looks in your mind. My favorite effect is cross-fade, and depending on the look and feel of the film, I also sometimes use fade-out to black at the end of each scene. 

5. Add Music and Sync

You can add music files to create a soundtrack for your movie. However, be sure to either mute the audio of the video files. You can also just minimize the volume if you want to include the original audio of the video clips. Syncing the music to your video reel (they will be separate layers on top of each other, with the music usually as the bottom track). You just have to make sure the music track starts when the video track begins. You can even add a fade-in and fade-out effect to the start and end of your video track. 

6. Add Graphics and FX

You can add text to your movie, such as a title card at the beginning of the movie and a credit roll at the end, just like professional film! You can also add text within the scenes that will overlay on top of the visuals. This is a good technique to use when you want to label the location or date of each scene. Some video editing programs have free graphics and special effects available for you to use. 

7. Save

Make sure to save not only the finished movie itself (usually termed an "export"), but to also save the project file itself. That way, if you want to revise or re-edit the movie, you won't have to start from scratch all over again. When you save your movie, make two versions: one exported in high definition that you can watch on a TV screen or through a projector. Then, export a smaller sized video file meant for smartphones and tablets. The second version is important. Read the next step to find out why.

8. Upload and Share

The reason why you want a small sized file of your movie is because the larger high-def version might have issues being uploaded online. Many social media sites, blogs, and websites have size limitations on video uploads except for YouTube. If you're planning to upload on your YouTube channel, then you can use the high-definition version. Whichever you choose, what's important is that you share your life story and with the world, or simply with close friends and loved ones. You can also upload the video on a dedicated website designed for storing and sharing memories. 

Back to list