How to make a video recording of your autograph album

Further to yesterday’s post, Bringing an 1880s autograph book to life, Patricia (Dever) Greber told me how she put the video of the autograph book together. She did admit, however, that the entire project took a bit of time, trial and error, and a bit of pestering.

Patricia used the iMovie app on a Mac, and could also have used an iPod or iPhone. She said that it is not hard to navigate the program, but “you have to be willing to play with it.” On a PC, you can use Movie Maker, which can be downloaded for free. To learn more, watch the iMovie tutorial or Movie Maker tutorial on YouTube. (There are several tutorials on YouTube. Simply search “iMovie tutorial” or “Movie Maker tutorial.”)

Autograph book01_Patricia Greber

Here are the steps:

1. Scan the cover and each page in the autograph book in jpg format.

2. Transcribe the text, including names and dates, to make it easier for your talent to read it.

3. Ask (or gently pester) as many people as required to read the text. Choose women and/or girls to read women’s autographs and men and/or boys to read men’s autographs. A variety of voices and ages adds variety and interest to the audio.

4. Use the Voice app on the iPhone to record each page. In some cases, Patricia’s daughter asked her friends to record their voices, and then they texted the voice clips to her, which she then sent to her computer and uploaded to iMovie.

5. Determine on iMovie (or Movie Maker) how you want to treat the photos. Do you want static shots or do you want to pan from left to right or zoom in or out?

6. Add the title, text and graphics. This is a feature in iMovie and Movie Maker.

7. Choose music through iTunes. The music has a copyright, so once Patricia loaded it to her YouTube account, a message appeared, saying the music “looks like it is…” and that it had found the same title. After she acknowledged that it was the correct music, it downloaded. Patricia said, “As long as credit is given, it appears the music is free to use via iTunes to YouTube.”

8. Mix the voice clips with the music. Patricia said it took her a while to learn how to increase the volume of the voice clips and reduce the sound level of the music.

9. Upload to YouTube. YouTube will ask to convert the file for upload. Click on Yes, and YouTube does the work for you.

10. Send the YouTube link to your family and friends. You can also post the link on Facebook.

Patricia said creating the video takes a bit of practice. “I have done a couple of these (videos) and it is getting easier to navigate the program as I use it more.” 


About Gail Dever

Gail Dever is a Montreal-based genealogist and blogger and a webmaster for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.
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