YouTube Video Creation
The simplest way to create an adoption video is to create a slideshow of images and add music and text. There are many ways to do this; some are free and some cost money. Windows users should check out Windows Movie Maker or Microsoft PowerPoint; Mac users check out iMovie and Keynote. YouTube itself is a great resource for finding tutorials and step-by-step instructions on using the software mentioned above. There is also a sea of paid web-based applications like Animoto.com and Slideroll.com that allow you to create high quality video slideshows compatible with YouTube.
Another way to create an adoption video is to shoot actual video footage of you and your family. This is difficult since capturing good footage usually requires professional video equipment and feeling very comfortable in front of the camera. If, however, you are confident in your ability to accurately portray yourselves on camera without sounding too rehearsed or contrived, then give it a shot!
You can also combine video clips with still photos as part of a slideshow. If you have home videos, you may want to pick a few short clips to include in the photo slideshow. This can be done using any of the software solutions mentioned above.
When choosing software keep in mind that YouTube supports the following file types: WebM, MPEG4, 3GPP, MOV, AVI, MPEGPS, WMV, and FLV files.
We recommend browsing YouTube for other adoption videos to get ideas — there are tons!! You can start your research by visiting IAC’s YouTube Channel.
- Set the mood with music. Choose music that appeals to a wide audience with lyrics that are meaningful to you or that might connect with a birthmother.
- Make it snazzy. Add transition effects to the slideshow. This adds visual interest and creates the illusion of a motion video.
- Capture your audience. Introduce yourself and state the purpose of the video at the beginning of the video. This is also a good time to explain or illustrate why you want to become parents through open adoption.
- Text adds context. Use text to help tell your story and deliver your message. Text will also help the viewer identify time, place, and people. For example, if you show a photo of your wedding day, provide the date or text like, “We’ve been married for 8 years.”
- Let your personalities shine. Incorporate themes that are fitting of your personality. If you are funny, add humor. If you are outdoorsy, include references to nature. If you are racially/ethnically diverse be sure to incorporate this as well.
- Name and tag your video correctly. After uploading your video to YouTube, you will be prompted to provide a name, a description, and a list of tags (identifying keywords) that pertain to your video. All of these are crucial in making your video searchable and relevant. Phrases like “Seeking an Open Adoption”, “Hoping to Adopt”, and “So & So’s Adoption Profile” are examples of good titles. To tag your video correctly, list all words and phrases that you think someone searching for your video would use. Think broad and specific when listing tags.
- Share and promote. Add your video to your Facebook page and post it to twitter on a regular basis. Email it to friends & family and ask them to send it on. YouTube also allows you to promote your video so that when a relevant search is made, your video appears at the top of the search as a featured video.
This information is also available for download in the Winter 2011 Issue of Open Adoption Magazine.