Use a Tripod
Put your camcorder on a tripod for any longer event you plan on recording. Things like breathing and slight body movements are exaggerated on your camcorder. The result can be video that looks more like a roller coaster ride than a home movie. A tripod can make your video look more professional, and can take the burden of holding the camcorder off of you. Tripods are great for things like: Holiday concerts, Christmas plays, opening gifts, and filming the snow.
Set the Scene: Film Good B-Roll
Try to film a few set-up shots of an event before you film the actual event. For instance, film the tree sitting by itself before you film people opening presents, or film people filing into an auditorium for a concert before the actual concert. Years from now you will really appreciate the footage of your holiday decorations, or the holiday meal. Think of B-roll like taking pictures of the event. Look for camera shots tat catch the feeling of where you are and set the scene for your holiday home movie.
Do Some Holiday Interviews
Talk to people in your video and get their thoughts on whats going on around them. If your daughter just performed in the Christmas play, asks her how she thought the performance was. Try to get some shots beforehand while shes getting ready. If youre opening gift, do some interviews beforehand with children asking them what they hope to receive, and afterwards about their gifts. Years from now, chances are you wont ever watch the actual opening of gifts, or the whole Christmas play, but youll love to go back to the interviews.
Edit Your Video
Chances are you will shoot tons of boring video that no one, not even you will want to watch again. Try to trim out sections of the video that dont have much going on. If your video looks choppy, a fun idea can be to make a holiday music video. Select your favorite holiday song, and the set clips of your holiday celebration to the music.
Be Part of the Holiday
Dont let your camcorder keep you from celebrating the holiday with your family and friends. A home video can give you great memories, but none will be as good as the memory of participating in the holiday events yourself. Record some events, but try to keep the camcorder out of some family events such as eating, and visiting time with family and friends. many people will not appreciate the intrusion of a camcorder, so its important to keep a good balance between the two at your event.