I have no idea why it took me so long to finally download and try the Video Star app, but now that I did, I’m so in love. Mostly with how creative my kids are getting with it. Aw, and just when I thought nothing would tear them away from Minecraft.
This is seriously the world’s easiest video making app: let it grab a song from your music library, give it a moment to buffer, then you’re ready to start shooting. The filters and 80’s era MTV style effects are lined up along the bottom, and you select one before you start shooting (a la Hipstamatic). At any point, you can pause, pick a new filter if you want and a new location for your next scene, then continue on. Whether your kids are lip synching or just dancing and goofing around, the results can be awesome.
If you’re serious about your YouTube star dreams, there are some additional effect packs you can purchase and some pretty impressive features like still photo incorporation that I bet teens will love–but for now, my grade-schoolers are happy with all that is basic and free.
In fact, I tried it out by making a video of my own kids and their friends to Kim Wilde’s Kids in America that’s turned out to be the best terrible video ever, and mark my words, I am totally going to pull it out to embarrass them when they’re older.
One tip I learned: When you are paused and ready to shoot a new scene, you get a 3-2-1 countdown. Try to time it so that your cuts are clean and on the beat, unlike mine, until I figured this part out. Also, if you’re handing your iPhone to the kids, just check your settings because it has very easy share to Facebook and YouTube setting. That could be good–or a little dangerous if your kids end up dancing to Blurred Lines. In fact, if you do want to share with friends or family, consider making a private YouTube link because emailing the video compresses it too much. Or send to your camera roll, then manually sync and upload it to your PC for sharing.
Also know that while you can use the free tunes they offer you (Parry Gripp! Up-and-comers I’m not cool enough to know!) or the songs right from your iTunes or iCloud/iTunes match, you’ll notice that there are tons of Digital Rights Management protected songs which yield an error message. You may have to delete and upload it again from iTunes. or upgrade to a non-DRM version to use it. In other words stick with the Madonna and U2 songs you actually own and can sync directly from your computer.
I want to tell you that the Video Star app is so fun and easy, my seven-year-old figured it out in a second. But that’s to be expected. What’s more amazing is that it didn’t take me much longer.
Find the Video Star app as a free download for iOS devices on iTunes. Additional editing features and effects packages can be purchased for $.99 and up. Ignore the 12+ rating on the iTunes store; that has more to do with the songs and the social sharing than anything in the video making.
[top image via]