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How to Record a Home Movie Using a Webcam

written by: Avionne Akanbi•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 10/7/2010

Have you dreamed of creating your own home movie or movie trailer and then posting it online? Why not learn how to record a home movie using a webcam?

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    If you are new to creating short films, you may be interested in the concept of making short home movies for the web. You may want to make a grassroots commercial to advertise your product or service on YouTube or even your website. You may be working on trying to create a short, funny movie to build an audience online. Whatever your purpose, you can be versatile in the way you go about shooting your film. Your webcam can be an instrument to do just that.

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    Writing Your Simple Script

    When you are writing a script for a webcam movie you will need to keep it simple and limit the subject matter to whatever you have in your room or studio. The webcam is usually attached or built into the computer, which will limit its movement, but you can create an interesting short film with only a few subjects.

    In this tutorial, we will write a script for a movie trailer for a horror film. The film trailer will start out with you as the narrator and one actor. The narrator will say the following: “Have you ever been afraid to go to sleep at night? Well, now it's time for you to face your fears.” At this point, you will hear screams, see a shot of someone's hand grabbing a rope and a final shot of feet running. Next, the title of the film “Fearless” will come up. Seems pretty simple so far, right? Let's look at how to shoot all the scenes we need for our movie trailer using a webcam.

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    How to Record a Home Movie with a Webcam

    Now that we have our script, you want to shoot several scenes and capture them with your video editing software. You can use Adobe Premiere to do this. Open your video editing software before you begin to shoot and go to capture video. It will be a different command, depending on which software you are using. Once you have done this, you should see your webcam video in the video software. You will shoot the following scenes, along with storyboard pics.

    1. Someone sleeping.

    girl sleeping 

    2. Close up of eye opening.

    eye opening 

    3. Medium shot of someone's hand grabbing a rope.

    grab rope 

    4. Medium shot of feet running against a blue screen.

    legs running 

    These are all the shots you will need to complete with your actor. Make sure to take multiple versions of the same shot, so that you have plenty to work with. All of the audio and titles will be done in post production with you editing software.

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    Putting It Together


    Now that your webcam has captured the scenes, you must edit everything together. In Premiere, import the video into the timeline. The audio should be created with separate audio software, such as Sound Forge. Record all of the narration and sound FX with the audio software, then proceed to import it into Premiere. Drag and drop the video segments where you want it to start and end sequentially. The final step would be to add your opening and closing title. The easiest custom way to do this is to create image titles using a program like Photoshop, and import them into Premiere's timeline. There you have it. You now know how to record a home movie using a webcam. Enjoy!