Smitten Films founder Lisa Ridd believes that family memories are everything. When she was growing up, her dad made beloved annual photo collages every Christmas, detailing the family’s adventures and achievements during the year. Today, the walls of her childhood home are filled with these amazing creations. They are part of the inspiration that led her to create her innovative company, Smitten Films, which tells family’s stories – with a modern twist.  Smitten Films takes the videos and photos stuck on their client’s various devices (phones, computers, and back-up hard drives), edits them down to the best bits, and weaves it all together into  an engaging and poignant custom family film.
With the holidays coming up, we asked Lisa to share three tips that will help our Greenwich moms take amazing family videos during this special time of year. We were so pleased to receive these suggestions from Lisa!
(1) Shoot the unexpected moments. Lisa and the editors at Smitten strongly believe in filming not just the posed moments when everyone looks beautiful and dressed up, but also the moments that are candid, true and indicative of everyday life for your family. Over the holidays, this could include cleaning up the mess after baking together, wrapping presents (or trying to), setting the table for a big meal, or brushing teeth before Santa comes. In these moments we find a kind of everyday beauty that you will be so glad you can look back on years later!

(2) Ask questions. The great thing about video, of course, is that it is not static and that you can hear the little voices of your kids telling you their thoughts and feelings! This is so precious and something that most families don’t spend enough time recording. Lisa and her editors believe in asking your kids questions on video, including things like what they are looking forward to doing as a family together over the holidays, what they think the holidays are all about, and what their hopes and dreams are for the year ahead. Kids say the sweetest (or craziest) things sometimes! Try to capture some of them. If you need any helping thinking of questions, Smitten recommends pulling some out of the book Q&A a Day for Kids. And, as author Catherine M Wallace said, “If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.”

(3) Take “establishing” shots. Directors will tell you that a great film needs both close ups of the principal actors and scene-setting shots that remind the viewers of when and where the narrative is taking place. This is true for your family films as well! Take a variety of shots, not just close ups of your kiddos. Pictures of your home, your street, the weather, your travels, and your adventures will complement your subjects and round out the complete story of your life together as a family.

We hope this help you take some great footage over the holiday season and have special  memories to look back on in the years to come. As our dear friend Dr. Seuss told us, ““Sometimes you will never know the value of something,until it becomes a memory.”
Read more about Smitten Films on their website at www.smittenfilms.com, and check out all the examples of all the different kinds of family films they make! Annual Highlight films are the company’s biggest hits, but Lisa and her editors also make Summer Highlight films, Anniversary and Birthday films, as well as films recapping special family trips and reunions. Redundant? Mention Rye & Rye Brook Moms and you will receive 10% off your bespoke family film.

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