What's the 2018 version of the photo slide show set to music?
July 13, 2018 12:24 PM   Subscribe

So, my father's 80th Bday is around the corner, and I have a pile of digital and digitized photos ready. I know I could do a typical photo/transition/photo slide show with music in any number of ways, but I'd like to get a little more creative, with the help of MeFi. Does anyone know or have seen a show-stopping display in tribute to someone, using still photos as a resource?

Assume that I have moderate to advanced technical skills, advanced amateur design skills (I know why NOT to use Papyrus and Comic Sans), decent photoshop skills, access to a variety of software with a willingness to buy more if required, and significantly powerful PC and Mac hardware.

My timeframe is finished product in two weeks. To be displayed on a large TV via HDMI cable, if that's relevant to your solution for me.
posted by cameradv to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Photo slideshow set to music is still lovely. If you have video you could intersperse the video clips (shorten them and keep the music running under, maybe soften the music or soften the video audio).

IMovie will make a really nice photo / video / music slideshow.
posted by kellygrape at 1:18 PM on July 13, 2018

Maybe a touch of sizzle on top of the usual slide show could be to borrow a bunch of old smartphones and tablets and mount them in a constellation around the TV running different complementary or subtextual slide shows simultaneously. A bit of artistry and synchronization could make a cartoon character or other sprite appear to move around the different screens and draw attention on cue or tell an additional interwoven story.
posted by XMLicious at 1:37 PM on July 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah I've actually seen a number of photo- and video-editing apps touting this sort of capability just recently, so apparently it's still pretty current. Google "Ken Burns effect." That's the one where the camera slowly pans and zooms on a series of still photos, to give them some of the dynamism associated with video. It's associated with historical documentaries focusing on time periods where video footage is limited or unavailable.

It's easily automated now and a number of inexpensive video editing apps can do it for you right on your phone or tablet, complete with soundtrack. I'd probably try something like that and see how I liked it.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 1:56 PM on July 13, 2018

I'm pretty sure the iOS Photos app will do the Ken Burns effect thing. Every month my iPhone presents me with a "new memory" slide show where half of the memories are slowly scrolling pictures of network jacks.
posted by lagomorphius at 2:25 PM on July 13, 2018 [9 favorites]

Response by poster: well, OK, thanks everyone, but the question was what to do instead of a slideshow, not how to make a good slideshow.
posted by cameradv at 4:20 PM on July 13, 2018

You want to do something made from still photos and displayed on a television but panning over still photos doesn't fit in the direction you want to go in? Could you maybe give an example of the sort of thing you're imagining?

All I'm coming up with that's divergent from the basic thrust of slideshows given those parameters are Monty-Python-type crude animations or some sort of psychedelic rotating-color-palette series of photo-derived artwork made with video filters, neither of which is what I'd expect you were thinking of.
posted by XMLicious at 6:03 PM on July 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

What you're looking for is context. In addition to the still photos, add chapter-like breaks that indicate the year or decade, add photos of the places where these things happened, old maps, for instance. Add images of world events. Add slides with quotes from your dad, people who know him, major personalities of the times. This helps position the honoree not just as Long Lived Dude, but as a prism of his times. Going even farther, I'd say the 2018 version of the photo slide show is a book. Consider printing a bound version of the slide show and having people sign it.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:19 PM on July 13, 2018 [4 favorites]

iMovie has a really easy to use “movie trailer” template that my kids have used to hilarious effect. Explore the movie tropes as they relate to your dad’s life (romcom for meeting his wife, action hero for parenting, bonus points if you can make him appear to be his favourite “character” like James Boand)?

Instead of a slide show do a documentary. Have your dad narrate his life on-camera and intersperse photos.

Combine maps and photos (on example)

Display the physicial photographs around the room with AR added (I assume you would have to provide smartphones/tablets with updated software).
posted by saucysault at 8:49 PM on July 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Get people to record personal tributes and send them in, and use them instead of music?
posted by Heloise9 at 2:21 AM on July 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

A “mockumentary”? Get funny relatives to do interiviews and add in funny clips & pics.
posted by photoexplorer at 8:55 PM on July 14, 2018

Do you want this to be a thing that is shown once to an audience, like a film, or something that will loop in the back of the room while a party goes on?

For the former, yes, a mockumentary would be best: either funny interviews with family & friends, or at least a faux-serious treatment of his life that included primary sources and a "Frontline"-style voiceover.

For the latter it would be cool to offer an online gallery where people at the party could add notes, and which would then loop steadily through the photos but updating the comments constantly. I don't know how to do this, but it would be awesome.

The simplest would be a slideshow but interspersed with title cards and pictures of newspaper headlines to provide context to the photos, and with popular songs (or his favorite tunes) from the year of the photos.

These projects aren't always the flashiest part of the event, but they really are fun. Make sure to share the finished product after the event, because lots of folks might want to download it or burn it to a DVD.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:53 AM on July 16, 2018

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