Responses by Edward Craft, Little Dream's Creative Director
Typically, how long are the movies you make?
Around thirty minutes, give or take.
Short movies are best when they are meant to be shown at a special event. It's hard to hold the attention of a large group of people for more than five or ten minutes.
Similarly, even when your movie is meant to tell a family story from videos shot over a long period of time, it's best not to go too far beyond thirty minutes.
How do you decide what to use and what not to use?
We don't come in with preconceptions. The first thing we do is watch every minute of everything you give us. By doing that, it usually isn't very hard to tell what is special to you and what isn't. The story reveals itself. We really only have to decide how to pace various parts of the movie, because that's what drives the editing. Even the pacing is often driven by the music, and the right music usually reveals itself, too.
Keep in mind also that some decisions are easy. For example, if you have footage of your child's first steps — even if it isn't very good — I guarantee you it will be in your movie.
Does my video have to be in any particular format?
No. We can work with any format.
What about old videotapes?
We can work with every videotape format ever made. If your tapes are old — and let's face it, they are — as long as we have them anyway, you should consider having us archive
them for you.
What about film? I have some old Super-8mm movies I would love to have included in my movie. Can you use them?
Yes. They have to be digitized, of course, so there is a reasonably modest additional cost. But that's a good thing to do anyway, for preservation purposes. They should be archived
Can we include still pictures to be used in our movie?
Yes. But consider this advice: less is more. Sometimes including a few photos adds a nice touch to a movie. But a long montage of still shots — even if they are animated to move around the screen — can get boring. The best place to view photos is in a photo album.
Can I select the music for my movie?
Yes, and you would probably want to for a short movie — five minutes or so — which probably only has one song. For longer movies we definitely want to know if you have any specific songs in mind. And we want to know, in general, what kind of music you like. But it's also a good idea to give us room to be creative. What we come up with may surprise you. We don't start a project with a plan for what music to use. To a large extent, we let inspiration have its way with us. That helps make each movie unique.
I have seen the sample of your own family movie. I'm afraid I'm not as good at shooting as you. Can you still make a decent movie out of my video?
Thank you for the compliment, but I'm not nearly as good a videographer as my movies make it appear. The editing makes me look much better than I am. So, the good news is that our editing will do the same for you! Meanwhile, you might find advice on our video tips