How-To Send Your Child to Space || A Brandon Loy Tutorial

Brandon is guest posting today with a special feature for us: How-To Send Your Child to Space Using only Household Items, an iPhone and iMovie. He actually wrote this tutorial for a job interview last August. He was supposed to give detailed instructions for a specific task. Most people wrote about tying shoe laces or saving a Word document. Brandon took a risk and wrote about something he loves; it paid off. 


You are about to learn how to send your child to space using only regular household items, an iPhone and iMovie. My four-month-old son has been on countless adventures, including visits to Tatooine, the Moon and the Mojave Desert. Before sending your child into the Great Unknown, first collect a few items from around your house.

1 lime or neon green sheet, blanket or curtain 
(Hint: Avoid dark green colors and jersey material.)
1 18x18 inch cardboard box
(This size is only a recommendation. Use any size you have on hand.)
Small Desk Lamp

Step 1: Make sure your box has an open top and closed bottom. Take a pen and poke 40-50 holes randomly in the bottom of the box. The dots can be large or small. You have now created stars from outer space.

Step 2: Go to a dark room with your desk lamp, box and iPhone. Place the box on the floor with the opening of the box towards you.  Place the desk lamp on the other side of the box facing the bottom of the box. Turn the lamp on in the dark room and look into the opening of the box. Within the box, you should see the light from the desk lamp shining through the holes creating a star-filled sky. Take your iPhone and record a video of the light shining through the holes. (Be creative and move the camera around in the box to create different types of star patterns and movement.)

Step 3: Lay out the green sheet in a well-lit room. Be sure there are no wrinkles, marks or stains. (It is important that the sheet remain flat and unwrinkled during filming.)

Step 4: Place child in the center of the green sheet. Use your iPhone to film child from above on the green sheet.

Filming Tips:
- Film beside a window on a bright day to be sure your video is neither too shadowed or too harsh from direct sunlight. Since you are using an iPhone, lighting is key to quality videos.
- During filming, make sure your shadow is not seen in the video and that the green sheet takes up the entire screen. Also, have your child make funny faces and movements to make the adventure more exciting.
- Film as much footage of the child and the starry landscape that you want. I have learned that is it better to have more footage when it comes to the editing stage.

Step 5: Open iMovie and create a new project (To do this, click the PLUS sign in the middle of the program or select File > New Project).

Step 6: Plug your iPhone into your computer. Find the Event Library located on the bottom left of iMovie. To import your videos, right click anywhere in the Event Library box. Choose “Import Movies” then Create a New Event to add the videos from your phone.

You have done all of the set up, preparation and organization. Now begins the fun and creative part of the project: editing. Editing is the part of the process that sharpens, tweeks and cleans up the video footage while adding some extra bells and whistles (like outer space!) to your film.

Step 7: Locate the space footage in the Event Library that you recently imported. Use your mouse to highlight the length of the footage you want to enter into your final video. A yellow box will appear around the video indicating the exact amount of time to pull from the raw footage. Once you have allocated the proper amount of footage, drag the footage into the Project in the upper left screen.

You will notice your starry field footage will appear in the upper right hand corner.  Now it is time add your child into the open space.

Step 8: Locate the green sheet footage with your child in the Event Library. Use your mouse to highlight the length of the footage until it matches the length of the footage in Step 7.  Again a yellow box will appear around the video indicating the exact amount of time. Drag the footage on top of the footage present in the upper left screen. (You are dragging the child video on top of the space video.) Another box will appear with options; choose the “Green Screen” option.

The green will disappear and only your child among the stars should remain. You have now created a video of your child soaring through space.

Editing Tip:
-Feel free to play around with the settings to add some visual and sound effects. I personally recommend adding music, which will add some context to your story and production.

Step 9: You need to render your video. Simply locate the Share menu on the top of the screen. Click Share then Export Movie. You can name your movie and pick the export size. I recommend 960x540. Exporting the video should only take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the length of the video.

Congratulations! You have created a video of your child flying through space. Learning green screen enables you to be creative with your family video collection. 


I sure am glad I am married to such a cool guy. If you want some inspiration, watch one of Brandon's green screen films here. Go make a movie with your family and friends this weekend; you won't regret it. If you do, let me know how it goes. Happy Friday!

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