Modern Montages: Pros Talk Trends

You’ve seen one Mitzvah montage, you’ve seen ’em all, right? NO WAY, say the pros. We asked three professional video montage producers to share how your kid’s vid can stand out and preview some of their coming attractions.

Pam Vexler, Spotlight Productions

Trends:The chronological format (instead of grouping by category) is becoming hot because it’s more entertaining for guests. You never know who might show up in the next photo rather than knowing you’ll be in the family section, for example. Selfies are also gaining in popularity as a contemporary way to fit in a lot of friends. We’ve done them in “blooper” reel style at the end, which is fun! Of course each one is custom-designed, but we know parents love movement in still pictures. We can make it look like a kid sledding in a photo is actually moving downhill. Pop culture elements are very popular, too. For example, a Mitzvah kid singing in a video can appear to be on the TV show The Voice, or a kid’s game could appear to be described by Fox Sports commentators. One of my signature features is a mosaic, in which hundreds of photos are shown as making up one large photo of the Mitzvah kid. Before the end of 2015, we’ll have additional new features to introduce!

Advice for Parents: It’s important to plan ahead! Professionals have capacity for just a few montages at a time so that we can give our dedicated attention to each one. Select your montage provider early and begin the picture selection process soon after. Even the second time around, you may think it’ll be easier, but you’ll be starting all over except for some sibling photos you selected the first time.

Linda Worth, Worth Remembering

Trends: I get to know each client’s preferences, so each one is individualized. That being said, this year we’ve seen montages moving more toward real-life backgrounds that complement the photos (avoiding clip art), and including more animation to make video of still pics more dynamic. I use motion to accentuate whatever activity is being shown – swimming, running, etc. – and can deconstruct a standard picture to make it come to life. We can use textures, partial coloring, and 3D text for emphasis, and I can make montage screen shots into items like puzzles, magazine covers, etc. for non-digital keepsakes.

Advice for Parents: I often get calls from parents who thought they’d do it themselves, and realize they need a professional very close to their Mitzvah date! Unless you’ve had experience doing videos before, this isn’t the time to experiment. Start as far out as you can in gathering your photos. Pull unique shots that have intuitive value. Each photo should have a reason to be there. It takes a long time, but this digital record is the ultimate memento. Pull unique photos that have intuitive value – each picture should have a specific reason to be in there.

Ella Szczupak, Blue Orchid Productions


Trends: Ideally, the montage should be between 7 1/2 to 9 minutes long; however, we’re finding most productions averaging 10-12 minutes in length. It’s hard to narrow down the pictures! A popular element we offer is a grand entrance video or concept shoot to kick off the montage. For example, a UGA football fan can be shot running through the stadium “on his way” to the party as the opening sequence. Parents get excited about our ability to same-day edit. We add clips from the morning’s service to the montage and it gets a huge reaction from guests! It’s a great way to bring the party full circle by showing the significance of the day.

Advice for Parents: While many parents are able to provide almost all images and video digitally these days, a lot of images are from smart phones. Phone pictures aren’t always good enough quality to blow up in a montage, so remember to take a real camera on vacations, to the ball games, school plays, etc. Start going through photos early, and pick the candid shots that put a smile on your face or bring back a great memory. And finally, once you’ve got your pictures selected, let your montage producer be creative and you’ll end up with an amazing keepsake.

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