Archive for the ‘my films’ Category


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As much as I love the challenge of telling a story by creating a film that’s 15 seconds long, it was great to hear news that the ability to share films that are up to 60 seconds, has arrived on Instagram.

This means a little more freedom for film making and the opportunity to get really creative on this platform.

It’s taking a while for me to get used to it… I’ve not shared anything longer 30 seconds so far… just edging myself slowly into it.

I’ve had a lot of questions about it from people taking my online courses and the community on Instagram. So I thought I’d share a little look at how it works and how to know if the update has arrived yet for you. Plus, how to use the multi clips editing feature, which is much more useable now there’s more time to edit clips together.

As mentioned in here, the new function for longer video is rolling out slowly to everyone over the next few weeks. So if it’s not working for you yet, stay patient… it’s coming soon!

Let me know if you’re enjoying the new feature and what stories you’re telling with all this extra time!

P.s For those that have been asking… registration for the next sessions of my online film making courses opens FRIDAY 15TH APRIL.


Written by xanthe

April 14th, 2016 at 2:29 pm


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I love this time of year… with springtime, my birthday and the Easter four day weekend on the horizon.

So when Anthropologie here in UK asked me if I’d like to create a film, sharing how I would lay the table & cook up a special lunch for a family Easter weekend lunch… I jumped at the chance!

Take a look…

Lately I find weekends are full of work, chores and social engagements… well, it’s mostly the boys who do all the socialising! But we’re always out & about doing something, so taking time to hang out at home was pretty lovely.

The boys helped lay the table, although that might have had something to do with chocolate eggs…

The brilliant Clare of Achillea provided colourful blooms in vintage stone jars, to compliment the duck egg blue plates and pink glassware…

I was so excited at how pretty the table looked. I’m totally in love with all the tableware, especially the table cloth and napkins… they will be wonderful for future summer parties!

So if you’re looking for some menu inspiration for your Easter weekend… I decided to keep it really simple… so we could focus on more time sat around the table, rather than slaving over a hot stove.

To start – Butternut squash soup with warmed baguette. 

Then – A simple roast chicken and potatoes… 

and a garden salad, both colourful and delicious. 

Then dessert – Pavlova with fresh berries… please don’t notice that it’s a shop bought pavlova, I would’ve made a real one, but laying the table was way more fun than spending even more time in the kitchen!

Still tasted amazing… especially on the stunning plates by Lou Rota, those colours make me so happy!.

One last highlight… these glasses are beautiful and the boys loved them…

They’ve never used such fancy glassware, it was so cute to watch them enjoying them.

And naturally Luke had some bubbles…

What a lovely day… hope it inspires you to cook up something delicious, lay the table with some prettiness and celebrate springtime finally arriving.

Note about the collaboration – I was commissioned to create the photos & film for the Anthropologie blog – pop over there to see the post – it’s rather lovely! but I was so excited by the photos, film and all the prettiness, I wanted to share it here too… hope you enjoy it!

Written by xanthe

March 20th, 2016 at 6:00 am


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MAKE FILMS is back! The online course starts next week… I’m so excited to offer it again.

You can see all the films made as part of the current course here - #makefilmscourse… literally bursting with creativity. I will do a more detailed post next week sharing some of the films made. They have blown my mind!

Let me tell you more about the course -


With weekly prompts and inspiration, this 10 week course will look at different shooting & editing techniques, and the various stories you can tell through making 15 second films for Instagram or one minute films to share online. MAKE FILMS is packed with tips and tricks of how to make all my favourite films! We’ll focus on making a different type of film each week – see some of the examples below…

Even though the focus will be on mini Instagram films, you can share these films anywhere and make them longer than 15 secs.

This course isn’t just about family or personal films. You can use the films to promote your business or brand e.g. make stop motions of your stationery products or time lapses of your surroundings or mini films of your events. There is so much scope for telling stories through film.

All the details are HERE. The course starts Tues 22nd March. Hope you’ll join us!

Here are some one of the films you can make -







ONE MORE STOP MOTION (Coz I love this one!)



Written by xanthe

March 18th, 2016 at 5:00 pm


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My favourite film to look back on is the one packed with the everyday details.

As the years seems to whizz by faster and faster… these films are full of reminders of our daily life.

Creating a Day In The Life film gives you the opportunity to notice the details of your routine and the ordinary things… and then capture those mundane things, to make them beautiful.

These are the little things I notice, the things I want to remember. I’m telling a story for my future self.

And I know I’m going to love what ever details I put in the frame because they are fleeting. I know this to be true by watching back Day In The Life films I’ve made over the years.

Each film is a gift. A gift to my future self.

Last week in the MAKE FILMS course I encouraged people to create a Day In The Life film… even one mini film like these. In my current Bloom Forum course… people are documenting their lives so beautifully… and tomorrow my Creating Time Capsules course starts and the DITL film is one of the best Time Capsules films you can ever make.

These films take effort. I don’t promise it’s quick & easy, but I do promise you will love what ever you create.

Hope these mini ones have inspired you to have a go at creating your own Day In The Life film…

If you’d like any help, inspiration or guidance… consider taking one of my online courses - Creating Time Capsules starts on Friday or MAKE FILMS on 22nd March.

Check out this blog post to hear about both courses.

These films are shot on Canon 5D3, Canon G7x and iPhone 6s



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Currently I have two online courses, both sharing how you can make your own little films -

MAKE FILMS & Creating Time Capsules.

I’ve had a few emails asking the difference between the courses… so let me share some details here.

Both courses are suitable for all levels… from beginners who have never shot any video and want to get started… to people who are already making films confidently, but would like some encouragement and project ideas to continue on the path.

You can use any camera you like on either course – DSLR, mobile or compact… whatever you are familiar with. For the editing software – I share techniques in iMovie, but you can use other editing programs… some of the editing tips can be transferred easily. Additional equipment for MAKE FILMS – tripod & remote (but not essential).

A lot of the course materials cross over on both courses, but they’re delivered in different ways, depending on the film being made. I’ll be covering shooting, editing and sharing lots of film inspiration.

Let’s break down each course…


A Time Capsule film is a memory evoking film. Your unique moments, packaged up in a movie; using a mix of photos or video, for you to share and enjoy… forever.

Creating Time Capsules is a course for those people who want to make regular films of their life and family times… The six week course will guide you through shooting tips, tons of project ideas for inspiration and bite sized tutorials showing you the editing process in iMovie. You’ll also be part of community sharing their films and connecting with each other on Vimeo.

The course schedule recommends creating three films (one every two weeks) – the first will be photo based – stop motion or slideshow. The second film focuses on just video to hone your skills and the final film can combine both mediums.

All the details are HERE. The course starts Friday 6th May.

Some examples of films you could create – One Minute Memories, Random Happenings or Day In The Life films.



MAKE FILMS is a new course for 2016, based on all the films I’ve been sharing on Instagram.

With weekly prompts and inspiration, this 10 week course will look at different shooting & editing techniques, and the various stories you can tell through making 15 second films for Instagram or one minute films to share online. It’s packed with tips and tricks of how to make all my favourite films! We’ll concentrate a different type of film each week, from stop motions, time lapses, slow mo stories, scenes from the weekend films… to simply shooting interesting footage to edit into little films.

Even though the focus will be on mini Instagram films, you can share these films anywhere and make them longer than 15 secs.

There is a schedule – The new project or weekly inspiration will be shared in my online learning space every Tuesday… you then have all week to create your project and share it on a Monday with the course community on Instagram – check out the #makefilmscourse tag to see what’s being made.

This course isn’t just about family or personal films. You can use the films to promote your business or brand e.g. make stop motions of your stationery products or time lapses of your surroundings or mini films of your events. There is so much scope for telling stories through film.

All the details are HERE. The course starts Tues 17th May.

Some examples of films you could create - Stop motions, Time lapses, Scenes From The Weekend films, Slow mo stories & Mini Day In The Life films.

So which course DO I recommend?

Both courses offer a similar outline with what’s available to learn – especially the shooting tips and editing guidance. The project ideas are slightly different as you can see from the examples.

So really it’s a personal preference…

Ask yourself… how much time do you have to devote to creating films? What kind of films would you like to make? How would you like to share them? Do you have something specific you’d like to learn? What stories or content is available for you to capture?

I think by answering these questions the right course will reveal itself to you… Come and join in the fun!

If you’ve got any more questions… leave a comment here or contact me.



Written by xanthe

March 6th, 2016 at 8:00 pm


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One year ago, on this very Monday, I started the #MiniMondayMovies hashtag on Instagram by sharing the film above.

The idea of creating a 15 second film intrigued me, I wondered if it was possible to tell a story in such a short space of time.

So I started the hashtag to get into the habit of sharing a film every Monday, using footage I’d collected over the weekend. “Scenes from the weekend” was born and I loved the memories I was collecting each week… little snippets that told the story of what we, as a family, had been up to.

Some of the mini films became part of longer films… Here is the longer version of that first film -

The year-long project just flowed. The challenge of it soon diminished, when I saw the joy that each film brought me at the time and realising these were mini time capsules, just shorted versions of the films I’d been making anyway. But these were more frequent films, full of the everyday details and the ordinary adventures…. All the things I’ll really enjoy watching back in years to come.

I share more about my love of these films in this post and you can see more of my Mini Monday Movies HERE.

To celebrate the one year anniversary! and the achievement of consistently creating a mini film every week, I thought I would recreate the film that started it all. Shoot it in a similar way and in the same locations but include the subtle changes that have happened over the year.

It was a fun project to work on… There’s a longer version too…

With all the hundreds of films I’ve made, I’ve never recreated something so closely… it’s an interesting process and one I’d like to explore more of, as the concept of the Time Capsule and the changes over time, could be documented so well by doing this.

As I’m in this celebratory mood! – I’d love to give away a few places on each of my online courses – you can choose between MAKE FILMS or Creating Time Capsules starting in March.

One person for each course, chosen from here on the blog and one from Instagram (this film).

Just leave a comment letting me know your favourite part of this weekend and which course you would prefer… I’ll announce the random winners next Monday 15th…

All the best!


On the blog – The winners are Amanda Saoud Griffin for MAKE FILMS & Kathy Hutton for Creating Time Capsules

On Instagram - The winners are @bozcacda.nisos for MAKE FILMS & @cs_monaghan Creating Time Capsules

THANK YOU to everyone who entered! I will do another giveaway in March…



Written by xanthe

February 8th, 2016 at 10:06 am


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There’s a lot of excitement about Christmas coming soon… especially from this one. I have a feeling it might be the last one with this level of anticipation.

Our weekend looked like this…

Let me announce the winners for this giveaway winners for a spot on MAKE FILMS starting in January.

Picked randomly…

On the blog – Marian Needham & on my Instagram post – @littlejampotlife

I’ll be in touch later today with the details you need.

For more information about my online courses… head over HERE.


Written by xanthe

December 21st, 2015 at 6:57 am


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All year I’ve been meaning to make a film using just one second clips… I kinda do it with my Mini Monday Movies as most of the clips are between 1-3 seconds. But I wanted to cut a whole film together with that one second pace… although there are some fabulous apps that do it all for you.

I’ve filmed tons this year… what with making weekly weekend films, adventures here and there and a couple of Day In The Life weeks… there’s a lot of footage that goes unseen.

Then there’s the footage that’s goes unloved, because it’s out of focus, not quite enough “action”, or is pushed aside because another bit of footage tells the story better…

These pieces are still beautiful in my eyes… they’re almost like the in-between moments, the pause to look at the scenery… the smile I missed at the end of the clip.

So I thought these unseen clips would be great for the one second concept. I gathered the snippets together… yes, it’s time consuming… but worth it. And the editing is easy peasy… grab a one second section, then another, and another… and keep going till you’re up to two minutes (ish).

Putting it together was a bit like making a slideshow of photos, except these photos were moving. They reminded me of postcards – look at this beach, hilltop or field of grass and they were packed with memories, even in a one second burst. That smile in the sunshine, the wind in my hair, a cup of tea or another beautiful spoon carved.

So this film became an album of memory postcards… blurred and bit tattered on the edges, but full to the brim with goodness.

I love it. This initially unloved footage would’ve been left on the cutting room floor, but here it can shine and evoke the memories of our year.

This will be my December film for 2015 as part of my year long course A Year of Creating Time Capsules. There’s a bumper post coming up with all the films this year… stay tuned.

A Year of Creating Time Capsules has started today and registration will remain open till mid January for those wanting to start after the holidays… although I’m going to show how to make this film during December as either an archive film like mine… or something to collect festive memories.

It’s a great course to really explore all the different types of family films you can create and start making them regularly… so you’ll have some wonderful stories to look back on at the end of 2016.

All the details are over HERE. Will you join us?



Written by xanthe

December 16th, 2015 at 3:11 pm


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Creating Mini Time Capsule films to share on my Instagram feed, began in February this year.

Previously, I’d been sharing video clips on Instagram of slow mo walking and time lapse fun. But I wanted a way of sharing the kinda films I’d been making of my family and maybe encourage people taking my courses to join in.

It all started as I gathered some footage for a Random Happenings film, but I wasn’t that happy with all the footage. But there were a few clips I liked. So I experimented with putting together a 15 sec mini film of my favourite clips. Surprisingly I really liked it, as you could actually tell a story in that short amount of time.

Also, I realised this kinda film was quicker to shoot and edit… but still contained all of the feelings to transport me back to that time.

I was in love!

So the #MiniMondayMovies hashtag was born.

The idea was simple – Gather snippets of footage over the weekend… Clips that represent the things I/we did. Then string together between 5 to 8 clips into a 15 second film. Voila!

I usually edit it on a Sunday evening when I’d possibly be just slumped on the sofa… it doesn’t take long if I already have the music chosen.

So I now have nearly a years worth of weekend films saved to look back on. Which makes me really happy…

Rather wonderfully, through my #minimondaymovies hashtag other brilliant people have been joining in. So many interesting lives all around the world.

If you’re inspired to make your own mini weekend films, it will be one of the projects we’ll be making during my MAKE FILMS course. The course starts in January… Maybe you’d like to join in? or enter the giveaway above…

Happy Monday.


How about a giveaway? Two places to take part in MAKE FILMS… One person chosen from here on the blog and one from Instagram (this film).

Just leave a comment letting me know your favourite part of this weekend… I’ll announce the random winners to join MAKE FILMS next Monday 21st…

Written by xanthe

December 14th, 2015 at 7:15 am


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I’ve been reminiscing again…

This time looking at 12.12.12… it’s the 12th tomorrow!! these films were made only three years ago… but feels like WAY longer…

I literally just finished watching all of these, as I’m putting them into my new course space for the 2016 round of A YEAR OF CREATING TIME CAPSULES starting next week.

These films are a complete joy to me… those boys, I remember them like this of course, but they’re SO different now… not just the teeth and size of them, but also the little people they were… is so different to who they are now. I doubt I’d be able to get them to dance in front of the camera now!.

What a blessing to have this record of life on that day. I can’t stop smiling!

In fact, so much is different… the little things in the background that made up our life then, have changed… our home, our routine, our sofa, our car, our work, our activities… the list goes on. But they are preserved here.

I had another post scheduled to announce the winners of my giveaway… but I had to share these instead because they represent everything that a Time Capsule film should be.

A gift for the future.

What a pleasure it’s been transporting myself back to 2012.

Now… on to the winners… Picked randomly…

On the blog – Mel Whibley & on my Instagram post – themonsterandme

I’ll be in touch with the details you need.


If you didn’t get picked, don’t fret yet… I’ll be doing another giveaway on Monday for a couple of places on MAKE FILMS starting in January… stay tuned.

But there’s still time to join A YEAR OF CREATING TIME CAPSULES if you’d like to create some films to be your gift for the future…

The course starts on Wednesday 16th Dec… with registration remaining open till mid January for those wanting to start in the new year. I hope you’ll join us.

Written by xanthe

December 11th, 2015 at 1:33 pm