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Lessons From Our Genie-Inspired Family Movie

To prevent a WWE match from breaking out between my kids, a solution has been working on creative projects together. Our latest masterpiece? A classic genie and a lamp story, reimagined. Watch it below and then read about how this was a fun family exercise, but a technical failure on my part.

Let’s break this one down, shall we?

Wins: My children have the attention spans of butterflies, so I have to keep them engaged before they flutter away. This means I have to act fast. The challenge with this piece was writing and filming something before the sun set that day—a 30 minute window according to the apps. So I grabbed my iPhone, tripod, ND filter, and it was go time. 

Failures: My goal as the family “executive producer” is to make sure my kids are having fun, while also teaching them life lessons in collaboration. In addition, I’m trying to make sure we actually make something and not get distracted by our neighbors dogs (all dogs deserve pets, I agree). However, because of all this chaos-at-once, a technical mishap on my part was overlooking audio. I relied on the iPhone, which is generally good for filming indoors, but exteriors are another game altogether. 

Learnings: Good audio can really make or break a production, and this video is an example of this. I have a bad habit thinking I can get away with scratch audio from the camera, but the reality is, high-quality sound enhances viewer experience and emotional impact, while poor audio can distract and disengage the audience.

Final thoughts: The final outcome makes me laugh, but I really need to make time to invest in a good lav workflow to really capture audio the right way—it can really take a piece from good to great. Any recommendations for small and easy lav mics? Let me know! I need to be able to mic fast and go!

At the end of the day though, the video has some fun vfx which I’m proud of and is another core family memory in the books—without any sibling brawls! More to come soon, but with better audio, I promise! Stay tuned!