Home videos in the modern age

By Ryan
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Published on

These days most people will just take random vertical videos of their kids and keep them on their phone until maybe they get lost one day. That's not really how it worked when I grew up, there was film or casette tapes that held onto footage for a decent amount of time.

I imagine a future of kids only seeing small random video clips on someone's phone, rather than sitting at the TV watching old home movies like the good ol' days


I film with a Fujifilm X-T5 as much as I can, because the footage looks so much better and I think my family would appreciate this in the future. You can still use whatever you like though, that's not as important here.

But then I have to edit the videos....

This is somewhat true. It turns out my daughter loves our home videos unedited. (Who would have thought with the short attention span.) So what I do is simply join all the footage from the day into a single video:

  • Use Davinci Resolve, it's free and has lots of features. If you prefer something else, that's okay.
  • Make a single project called Home Videos and make everything there from now on.
  • Make new timelines with a date stamp, like one named 2024-01-05 for a specific day.
  • Add all your footage for that day into the timeline.
  • Because I shoot raw log video, I apply LUTs and normalize the audio.
  • Stop here and simply render the video as-is, unless there's something that really needs to be cut out first.

If I'm running behind with this I just do it on my laptop as I watch TV. I casually prepare the videos easily because I don't really have to edit the footage yet. I use Parsec to stream my desktop with high performance to my laptop.

Now that you've done the basic steps, in the future if you find some spare time you can actually edit the videos for time. It will be much easier because you've organized the content already.

But how do they watch the videos?

This is up to you. There are many ways to do this, some are high-tech solutions, some are easy.

  • You can use a Plex server: It makes your home videos look like Netflix. Make a fake TV show folder called YourFamilyName (or something) and organize the "episodes" the same way a daily talk show would. This option is more involved, but is usable by kids.
  • Upload to YouTube as unlisted. This way works the best in terms of streaming, but browsing the episodes you make may not look as cool as Plex.

But where do I store my footage?

This is could be the hardest part, depending on how much of it you have.

  • If you have less data, just storing them on a computer is fine as long as you use something like Backblaze Cloud Backup that has a very small cost for unlimited storage.
  • If you have lots, something like a Synology NAS works well without being extremely complicated. But then you'd need a backup solution, and those are usually expensive on a NAS, so then you may have to invest in a second NAS to run at a friend or family members house to sync the data to.