Chapter 3. Special Event Filming

If all you intend to do with your camcorder is to capture random events of childhood charmingness around the house, you can skip this chapter. Just keep your camcorder lying handy, its battery charged and its tape compartment occupied, and you’ll be all set.

Chances are, however, that once you’ve got the iMovie bug, you may become more inspired. It may occur to you to take your camcorder out of the house—to shoot the school play, your kid’s sports game, your cousin’s wedding, and so on. Maybe you’ll decide to use the camcorder for more serious work, such as transferring your old photos to DV to preserve them forever, creating a family history by interviewing relatives, shooting a documentary, or even making a scripted movie.

Each of these situations can benefit from a little forethought, plus a few tips, tricks, and professional techniques. This chapter is designed as a handbook to help you make the most of these common camcorder-catchable events.


What’s great about an interview is that you know it’s coming. You’ve got time to set up your tripod, arrange the lighting, and connect an external microphone, as described in Chapter 2. (Do all of this before your subject arrives, by the way, since nothing makes an interview subject more nervous than having to sit around beforehand, just growing apprehensive.) Because you’ve got this extra time to plan ahead, there’s no reason your interview footage can’t look almost identical in quality to the ...

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