Tara Bone
contributing writer

If you were lucky enough to live during the 1980s, most families had one — you remember, the enthusiastic uncle, aunt, or parent who’d pull out the five-pound video recorder with all its cords and tapes. They’d lug the machine on their shoulder and work the room, capturing all the family fun.

We’re grateful they captured all those memories, but even more grateful for today’s ease of recording events with a few quick taps on a smart phone. *For details about preserving VHS tapes, visit last summer’s “Family Matters” article at cachevalleyfamilymagazine.com.

Scan the crowd at almost any event and you’ll see a sea of smart phones recording all the moments. Phones have made it almost too easy to record, so often we’re left drowning in videos featuring once-in-a-lifetime memories and day-to-day happenings. But what happens to all those videos? If your videos are trapped on your phone or hard drive, read on for tips to bring them to life again.

First, before you keep recording endless minutes of footage, ask yourself “What’s the end goal of each video?” Do you want to post on social media, upload on a home video streaming service such as Projector, a family video streaming app that streams family videos onto TV like Netflix (discussed in the summer issue at cachevalleyfamilymagazine.com), or have you considered creating a yearly highlight video?

Krista White, owner of Memory Lane Productions says their company created a highlight video package to easily solve the question of what to do with all the videos taking up phone space and that customers love the finished product.

“Memory Lane will take all the video clips you submit and create two different videos for you. The first video is the full uncut version … the second video is a “highlight” video where our editors find the heart of each clip and put them together in a shorter version of your year,” Krista said.

But if you choose to tackle compiling a highlight video on your own, Krista says there’s plenty of online information available to teach you how. Some of the top-rated video editing apps for 2023 are Splice, Quik, or Apple’s iMovie — an app specifically recommended for beginners.

HOW TO CREATE A YEARLY HIGHLIGHT VIDEO FOR 2023:

1. Start with basic video and photo organization if you don’t already have a system in place.
• Create folders on your computer hard drive.
• Create a folder for each year and within each year the month. Important Use the month number (1 for January, 2 for February) instead of the month name to avoid automated alphabetical organization.

2. Declutter and organize photos and videos on your phone so it’s easy to import to your hard drive. Go month by month, starting with THIS month and work backward to January. This will ensure that you don’t get overwhelmed. When the 2023 highlight video is complete, move on to 2022.

3. Import memories from your phone onto the hard drive (Image Capture is an easy-to-use app for this).

4. Back up the computer; consider using an external hard drive, Dropbox or iCloud (see cachevalleyfamilymagazine.com spring issue for details and tips).

5. Choose to send videos to Memory Lane using a device they send to you that directly plugs into your device (Apple or Android) OR use a video editing app as previously mentioned to compile a yearly highlight video on your own.

Whichever route you choose, start now to organize your videos and photos month by month on your phone. Take it in small steps so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Krista recommends setting a timer on your phone the first day of the month to remind you to organize last month’s memories. Think of a yearly highlight video as a priceless gift your family can enjoy repeatedly during the ups and downs of the years to come.