It seems that each year, less and less people are sending out traditional paper holiday cards. Even businesses are slowly moving away from their typical year end greetings. If you’re one of those people who is dreading addressing all those cards (and yes, I admit to being a procrastinator on this!), or if you’ve given up altogether on getting them out and would like to do something, how about a holiday video card? It will probably take less time than finding a pen, a quiet spot, a solitary three hours, the stamps and signing, sealing and addressing all those cards. And there’s still time, if you work fast! Although a lot of holiday cards are done with animation, there’s no reason you can’t create an amazing card using, well, the people, projects, pets and places around you.
So what are some of the keys to success?
- Whether you’re creating a family video card or a corporate/non-profit version, keep it short! Vimeo recommends about 10 seconds for a family and up to 25 seconds for a larger company, although I’ve seen successful ones that run quite a bit longer. Judge by the content.
- Keep it moving! Be sure to include multiple images or clips for a more successful, professional look. Part of the secret is in the editing.
- Add music! Even if you’re including a voiceover or people speaking, music adds ambience. Some sites where you can find free music for use in videos are: Youtube’s Free Music, Free Music Archive, Incompetech. For more options, check out this list of ten sites that offer free music.
- Whether your doing it for your family or your organization, make sure it represents who YOU are!
So have I piqued your interest? If so, and you want to get started, check out Vimeo’s weekend challenge of making a video holiday greeting card to give you some ideas.
This is one of my favorite-ever video cards, created by Bruton Stroube, who leveraged this kid’s precociousness to create a truly memorable card (which went viral, by the way). Give you any ideas?
So you’re a photography buff and are wondering what to do with all those photos clogging the hard drive of your computer. How about a short video showing family, vacation, landscapes or pets (really, don’t forget the pets! People love pets.), as Ron Nehrig has done.
Oh, the joy of a little time lapse photography and unsuspecting victims, er, subjects!
Follow your fellow workers around the office for a day and you might, with the right editing, have a fun corporate holiday video. Notice how the short shots add to the anticipation, leaving you wanting to know what the heck this crew is making?
So really, with a camera or cell phone, a little ingenuity and some creative editing, you can have a really great. fun video to send family, friends or clients!