The thing about home movies is, you gotta hook 'em at the beginning. You can't just dive right into your Cancun vacation; you need an introduction that will get viewers' attention and say, "This J.J. Abrams wanna-be knows what he's doing!"
Of course, you may not know what you're doing, especially when it comes to creating fancy titles and all that. It takes time, skill, and often some major software. Hassle city.
Here's how I add serious style to my movies with little time, zero skill, and no software: iVipID, a site that lets you create custom intro videos that look just like splashy movie-studio intros. It's really, really cool.
To get started, choose a theme, then fill in the desired text. Geek that I am, I started with a "Star Wars" intro, complete with my "company" name in place of Lucasfilm, a custom "A long time ago" splash screen, a custom title in place of "Star Wars," and even my own text crawl. (Here's the sample, which took me all of five minutes to build. Neat, huh?)
If that's not your cup of tea, how about the jumping Pixar lamp, with your name in place of Pixar's? iVipID currently offers more than 30 intros, including 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., Universal, and various generic and holiday themes.
What's especially neat is that they include the same sound effects and/or music used in their studio counterparts. It's the kind of thing you'd expect to pay thousands of dollars for.
Thankfully, iVipID doesn't charge nearly that much. New users can create one free low-resolution, online-only video per day. For as little as $1.99, you can buy a video with a resolution of up to 480 x 270--fine for mobile and Web viewing. If you want 1,280 x 720, which is more suitable for home movies, that'll run you $4.99. And so on. iVipID sells bundles of "creation points" you can apply to the various resolutions (which top out at 1,920 x 1,080, the equivalent of 1080p).
When you're done, you can share, embed, and download your intro in FLV or MP4 format.
I really dig this thing. iVipID is a fast, easy, and effective way to make your video stand out from the crowd.
This story, "Add Hollywood-Style Intros to Your Home Movies" was originally published by PCWorld.