I think I found a way to share family history without people knowing they're learning family history.
(Heads up at work: there's music involved. Also, enlarging the video to full-screen makes it blurry. Blame Blogger.)
What do you think?
I love this process. It lets me tell stories with words, pictures and music. In 3 minutes, I shared with you (and my family members who are reading this blog) about my great-great grandparents, and your eyes didn't glaze over nor did you fall asleep at the table.
Genealogy purists will probably get their ahnentafels in a bunch because this piece lacks sources, but you know what? I don't care. My mission is to share about the lives of my ancestors and help others do the same. With this nifty storytelling avenue, I'm well on my way.
The process of developing a personal genealogy video isn't too hard. You just have to have the patience and confidence to experiment with whatever software program you choose. I used Roxio Creator 2011 (affiliate link). You can also use programs that came with your computer, such as Windows Movie Maker or Mac equivalent.
Once you have that sorted, here are the basic steps to creating a narrative slideshow:
1. Gather photos. Make sure you own them or have permission to use them. Finding pictures on the Internet or someone else's Ancestry tree doesn't count. Allow time for cropping and editing if necessary.
2. Upload and sort. Upload the photos you want to use in your slideshow. All the video programs I've used have a place where you can drag images around the screen and put them in the order of your preference.
3. Add text. Depending on the story you want to tell, you can interject slides between photos or put words directly on the images. Keep the narration simple. Limit the amount of words per slide and use a big font.
4. Add audio if desired. If you choose this option, I recommend making the selection of music "Step 0" in this process. Finding music for this slideshow was the first thing I did. Why? Because once I found the right piece, it set the tone and guided my story. There are plenty of places to get legal music for videos. If you want to get all fancy, you can also use audio clips from your own digital recordings.
Hopefully this little video gets your own creative gears grinding. Telling the story of my great-great grandparents was a fun process. I fully intend on making another narrative slideshow. In fact, I already have an idea....
[Note part 1: This video is also on You Tube. I tried to upload it here via that site, but Blogger was having a fit. Perhaps their ahnentafels are in a bunch. --Amy]
[Note part 2: Grandpa, if you're reading this, I hope you liked it! --Amy]