August 25, 2011

Have home movies gone the way of the dinosaur?

Day 337 of Vintage 365


A few days ago my husband and I were flicking through the channels (nothing - and I do mean nothing of interest - was on), when we stopped on America's Funniest Home Videos for a second. Though the episode was relatively new (I'd guess about five years old), I was struck by the fact the nearly all the footage shown had been taken ten to twenty-plus years ago.

This lead me to remark to Tony that I don't think people take as many home movies as they used to.

Now, of course, we take snap tons of videos - one need only be acquainted with Youtube to know that - but they're often short clips (very commonly captured, these days, with our cell phones), or they're of events (concerts, parades, sports games, parties, etc) that we want to remember, instead of the commonplace going-ons of day-to-day life.

I don't have any hard and fast statistics to back this thought up, it's merely a observation that came about from my own life. Though we have phones and cameras that can record video, my husband and I don't own a video camera. When I was growing up my parents have a big black camcorder that came out on birthdays, holidays and often just if one of us kids was doing something charming or funny.

Always on the shy side, I wasn't a fan of having the lens in my face, but today I'm very grateful for those home movies that still exist (on their chunky black video tapes). They show a version of me that seems a million miles away and yet is so easy to relate to and remember clearly.

I know that if I'm ever blessed with children one day, I'll definitely get a video camera so that they too can look back on both the ordinary and extraordinary moments in their young lives exactly as they were really lived.

I think that it's very important to capture home movies. A still photograph is a remarkable - and priceless - thing, but ultimately it can only ever represent one moment, one frame from a person's life. Moving video nabs seconds, minutes, even hours sometimes and allows you to relive those moments again and again whenever you like. They're a fascinating glimpse of history that becomes a gift for future generations.

And what a gift today's video clip is! Shot on classic 8mm film that was converted to a DVD and then uploaded to Youtube, this vintage home movie shows the wedding day (and a few snippets of their life in the years afterwards) of a lovely young couple.

On their faces we see emotions and smiles that could have come from our own most special times, yet live forever in the era of that this black and white footage hails from.


I adore the happiness, the excitement, the fashions, the moment, and the fact that this invaluable piece of the past still exists. Though no further information is provided about the couple (not even their names) beyond what you see here, I think that there is a volume of knowledge to gain from this video.

Though there may never be anyway to know, I like to think that this couple and their children went on to live a happy, purposeful, terrific life together and that they took many, many more home movies over the years.

What are your thoughts on this topic, my dears, for all of the instant-video-capturing technology at our disposal, do we still take as many home movies as we used to?


  1. Oh my thank you so much Jessica for sharing that video. It makes you take a second and think...

  2. I definitely afraid that home movies are going by the wayside. It seems like people are more interested in making films of themselves doing silly things. I try to have my important events filmed - even though I can't stand seeing myself on film. If not for myself, perhaps someone in my family will want the films in the future.

    Best Wishes,

  3. I absolutely loved this video clip. What a wonderful glimpse of how my parents must have looked all those years ago on the day they got married. Thank you so much for sharing!


  4. I hadn't thought about home videos in ages - which is a sign that you're probably right! And it is a great shame! I saw video footage of my mother when she was a little girl just recently, when her brother converted it to a medium we could easily share and watch. It was absolutely amazing and touching to see her as a girl and my grandparents as young adults.

    But you're right, I certainly don't own a video camera and can't imagine anyone pulling one out at a party or event these days, other than a wedding. But videos capture so much more of people than still cameras ever can - they're voice, laugh, gestures, everything. What a sad loss!

  5. What a great video! Wasn't her dress incredibly elegant? I laughed at how dour her father looked -- maybe he didn't like the groom!

    I hardly ever take home movies, but this inspires me to do a little more of that.

    Ciao dear!