How to Create a Life Story in a Short Video

By 3 August 2020

Turn Your Life Story into a Video

Back in the day, our parents would make family home videos using camcorders and then transfer them on to VHS tapes. You can gather those family movies and digitise videotapes using cables that can be purchased cheaply online. These simple pieces of equipment will allow you to smoothly transfer those charming home videos into your computer or external hard drive.

You can then upload those videos on your favourite hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo. Likewise, you can share these timeless videos on your Memories Timeline, so that your friends and loved ones can reminisce with you no matter where they are. This will add a multimedia layer to your Memories Timeline.

In this article, we'll look at how you can edit old footage and even new ones to create a life story.

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1. Choose

First things first, choose which video clips you want to include in your life story. More often than not, we record video in bite-size scenes. Thankfully, almost all smartphones, apps, DSLRs, and video cameras automatically save video clips in chronological order, with the time and date included in the file name. This will allow you to select certain clips in a folder without having to reorganise them manually when you transfer them in a separate folder. Remember, to select multiple files that are in different areas of a folder, you press and hold the Ctrl key while selecting. For Macbook, press and hold the Command key while selecting. Don't stop holding the Ctrl/Command key until you're finished selecting the files you need. Afterwards, do not click on anything other than any of the files you selected. For instance, if you click on a file you didn't select, or the white space (background) in the folder, then you might have to start the selection process all over again.

2. Gather

After selecting the files you want to use, right-click one of the files you selected. After that, choose Copy. Now, create a new folder in any parent folder or drive you prefer. Title it something like "Life Story" or "Family Memories" or whatever you choose. Just be sure that it's easily identifiable so you don't confuse yourself in the future when you have to look for it.

Now, paste the files you copied into the new folder. These will be the copies you will use for your project. This will prevent you from accidentally deleting, editing, or corrupting the original files. It's kind of like making a Xerox copy of your social security card or birth certificate when applying for a job or when applying for a visa, respectively. The originals are just too important to risk losing or damaging.

In this project folder, you can now re-arrange the clips if you want, but since you're creating a life story, you should probably stick to its original chronological order. This is the folder where you can gather more files from other folders in other flash drives or cloud drive.

3. Use Editing Software or App

There are a lot of video editing software that you can download for free. In fact, if you have a Windows laptop or desktop, chances are you already have a program pre-installed for video editing. If you'd rather use your smartphone to edit the video files, there are numerous free apps in the Apple Store and Google Play (Android). However, keep in mind that some of the free video editing apps have in-app purchases. For example, you can download an app for free, but you will have to pay for a "premium" version to take off the app's logo in the watermark.

Memories4. Trim and Transitions

Now that you've uploaded all of the video files into your editing program, this is where the fun (and hard work) begins. You can use the trim tool or function to cut out parts of the video clips that you don't want to include, which are usually found in the beginning. For instance, a video clip might contain someone singing in front of the camera, but the beginning parts are filled with chatter and background noise from the audience. You can trim this beginning part, so that the video clip will start at the point when the main subject begins.

After trimming each video clip (if necessary or desired), you can also apply transition effects in between scenes or video clips. This will make your movie seem smoother the way a dreamy memory looks in your mind. My favourite effect is cross-fade, and depending on the look and feel of the film, I also sometimes use fade-out to black at the end of each scene.

5. Add Music and Sync

You can add music files to create a soundtrack for your movie. However, be sure to either mute the audio of the video files. You can also just minimise the volume if you want to include the original audio of the video clips. Syncing the music to your video reel (they will be separate layers on top of each other, with the music usually as the bottom track). You just have to make sure the music track starts when the video track begins. You can even add a fade-in and fade-out effect to the start and end of your video track.

6. Add Graphics and FX

You can add text to your movie, such as a title card at the beginning of the movie and a credit roll at the end, just like professional film! You can also add text within the scenes that will overlay on top of the visuals. This is a good technique to use when you want to label the location or date of each scene. Some video editing programs have free graphics and special effects available for you to use.

7. Save

Make sure to save not only the finished movie itself (usually termed an "export"), but to also save the project file itself. That way, if you want to revise or re-edit the movie, you won't have to start from scratch all over again. When you save your movie, make two versions: one exported in high definition that you can watch on a TV screen or through a projector. Then, export a smaller sized video file meant for smartphones and tablets. The second version is important. Read the next step to find out why.

8. Upload and Share

The reason why you want a small sized file of your movie is because the larger high-def version might have issues being uploaded online. Many social media sites, blogs, and websites have size limitations on video uploads except for YouTube. If you're planning to upload on your YouTube channel, then you can use the high-definition version. Whichever you choose, what's important is that you share your life story and with the world, or simply with close friends and loved ones. You can also upload the video on a dedicated website designed for storing and sharing our memories with a digital scrapbook.

Scrapbooks are about creatively preserving your memories so you can revisit them at a later date.

Just as technology has enhanced how we capture these memories, digital scrapbooks have improved how we design and present a story from our lives by offering more customisation and accessibility.

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Memories can preserve special moments

Memories provides dedicated pages, which create the perfect space for your online scrapbooking. Our private and secure Memories Timeline act as a vault, visual timeline and digital memories box for all of life's precious moments.

Get started on your own digital scrapbook in three easy steps:

  1. Create your Memories Page - You can create a Memories Timeline for free with some basic information.

  2. Fill your Memories Timeline - Once the page is created, simply upload photos, videos and stories.

  3. Publish your Memories Timeline - Share the page with others and invite them to contribute once published.

Memories strengths are in helping you to create and manage your memories online. They partner with complimentary services to help convert these digital memories into printed photobooks.

To get you started with your online scrapbooking, we have pulled together everything you need to know below.

What are the benefits to digital scrapbooking?

Scrapbooking traditionally combines photos, documents, craft materials and other physical elements for design.

While you can get creative with physical copies of assets, going digital gives you more options for easily customising your look.

Download graphic design programs and explore the extensive libraries filled with various easy-to-use themes and templates. If you’re more tech savvy, you could design your own page templates from scratch.

In addition to including your digital images, consider digitising physical assets such as photos, posters, plane tickets, school reports and birthday cards - this will allow you to easily tweak the image size to whatever works best for the template you are using.

As digital scrapbooks allow you to undo mistakes, play around with different graphics and fonts to see what fits best with your chosen template. You could also go back and change something at a later date.

The final benefit is the lack of mess when making an online scrapbook. No glue, paper cuttings or glitter.

What do I need to start digital scrapbooking?

These are three things you are going to need if you’re serious about scrapbooking:

  1. Computer: Tablets and mobile devices allow for basic editing, but computers offer the highest quality of control and come with better software for design work.

  2. Photographs and imagery: Consider scanning your old photographs and documents to make sure you include all the important memories from your past.

  3. Photo editing software: While not necessary, downloading photo editing software can help you resize images, improve layouts, add filters and change fonts.

Share your digital scrapbook

Printing your digital scrapbook will allow you to share physical copies, with the online version also easily shared digitally.

It's always wise to save and distribute the scrapbook at smaller sizes, unless the recipient is going to have it printed.

Slightly lowering the image quality of your digital scrapbook will create a smaller file size, which is easier to send and download on different devices.A Memories Timeline could also be the perfect host for your digital scrapbooks, with simple privacy features allowing you to easily share it with your friends and family.


Memories Page example

Can I combine physical and digital scrapbooking?

Creating an online scrapbook allows for customisation and future-proofing, but this doesn’t mean you can’t also have a physical copy to put on the coffee table.So-called “hybrid scrapbooks” are pages created using digital assets and design templates, which are then printed and enhanced using traditional craft supplies and techniques.If printing the scrapbook yourself, it’s worth investing in a printer capable of printing high-resolution images on thick, glossy photo paper. Also, take note of the page sizes your printer can deliver. Outsourcing the job to a professional is another good option as you know it will be of the highest quality, with these companies also helping with binding all the pages together. Add physical elements to your digital scrapbook

What photo editing program should I use?

There's no need to get a photo editing program if you just want to store your images on a visual timeline, but there are a few affordable options if you want to get creative and manipulate your images.

To get you started we suggest you take a look at the following programs: Canva

If video killed the radio star, Canva killed the graphic designer.

Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts allow you to design consistently stunning graphics.

The program includes photo filters, free icons, shapes and hundreds of fonts.

A free version of the software gives you more than 100 design templates and hundreds and thousands of free photos and graphic.

A premium subscription, charged monthly, gives access to an expanisive library of templates, photos and graphics, plus the ability to resize images with one click.Canva is one of the most easy-to-use design programs on the market, with the premium subscription very affordable compared to other software.

Canva is another great option.

Photoshop Elements

Adobe Photoshop Elements is going to offer more of a challenge, but is one of the world's most popular products. There are fewer features than premium Adobe’s Photoshop CC, but the average scrapbooker wouldn’t need most of the additional features anyway.

Elements allows you to create and manipulate high-resolution work, with features including automatic colorisation for older photos and user-friendly collage tools.

It’s worth noting that Photoshop could take some time to understand - YouTube tutorials are a great way to learn.

Elements has a one-time subscription fee.

Adobe Photoshop is good for digital scrapbooking


Organise the memories you want to include: You’re not going use every picture, concert ticket or map you have in your memories box, so there’s no rush to digitise them all. Sort through your memories and pick the ones you want. You can also group them together to create a themed page.

Enhance old photos: You have photo editing software at your fingertips, it’s not just for cropping and saving digital copies. Watch some tutorials and get creative.

Save your work frequently: You don’t want to lose all the work you have done to get that layout looking perfect. Save, save and then save again.

Don’t be afraid to Google: If you are stuck with a certain technique or understanding a file format, Google can be a great resource. Chances are there is a forum answering the exact question you are asking. It’s all about learning.