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Home-made video effects:
The never-ending backyard

Last updated 5-19-03

One of the limitations of home-made movies is the size of your set. Often, you're filming in your backyard, and there is only so much room to work with. Fortunately, we can use the power of home-video editing to make that yard stretch on forever.

One scene that you might want to try, is having your kung-fu fighters run at each other in fury. Most kids can run across a backyard in 4 seconds, so to make this running last longer, you can need repeat the scene … over and over and over.

Set up your tripod and instruct your kids to run toward you, yelling at the top of their lungs. When you edit the film, simply repeat the clips over and over. If you want this to look more realistic, you can cut the clips so that they move a little closer with each cut.

You can see this special effect in many slapstick comedies. For example, in the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” there is a similar scene where Sir Lancelot, played by John Cleese, runs toward Swamp Castle to save the “damsel” in distress. To make this running scene last longer, the director shows the same shot of Lancelot running out of the forest, and alternates these with face-shots of the castle guards who are observing him.

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