Make Great Home Movies: Equipment

Home movies are a fun, ideal way to record your important life events. Family and friends represent the characters and you are the director, cinematographer, editor, and sound specialist all rolled into one. Here are some basic tips to produce entertaining home movies that won’t have you hitting the fast forward button.

Steady as she goes

Get a tripod so your audience enjoys seeing your hard work. The steadiness of your camera remains the most important aspect of filming home movies.

Tripods range in price between $10 to tens of thousands of dollars depending for the ones movie makers use. You’ll want to find one that’s not too heavy to carry, or you’ll hesitate to bring it out. You’ll also want stability and a model that adjusts to a height you find comfortable.    Click here to read more about what to look for in a tripod.

Keep your body frame stable, supportive and relaxed and hold the camera with both hands. Wear comfortable clothing and use stabilizers and tripods to keep the camera steady.

Wrong Way to hold the camera

Right way to hold the camera

Click here for more tips on steady photography.

Newer cameras with built-in stabilization and an open video screen on the side of the camera help take the pressure of the camera operator too. Experiment with your camera’s focus and sound capabilities and inspect your camera closely so that loose items like a lens cap don’t make unwanted sounds.  If you’re planning on hitting the great outdoors you can look into special lightweight waterproof cameras. You might even want to think about getting a Go-Pro.  These cameras are designed for actions and can be mouthed to helmets or bicycles or even drones for unique pints of view.


Now that we’ve covered equipment, in part 2 of this article we’ll look at shooting strategies that make better movies.

~ Mike Siebenaler


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