Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just in case they become famous

As I mentioned, it's that time of year again - school performances. This week alone we have the Little Guy's piano recital and the Man-Child's jazz performance. The following week there's a Japanese Tea Ceremony (2nd grade/Year 3) followed by a Nirvana song performance at the School of Rock.

And the big question is - How much of this do I record?

We have years and years of ballet recitals on VHS tape (some have even been tranferred onto DVDs) which we never watch. Every violin screech has been lovingly recorded (we're talking over ten years here folks.) Just what constitutes reasonable parental behaviour when it comes to taping your child's every performance?

I don't mind doing it, even though I'd never win an award for "independent short movie"; it's just that I'm wondering what or who, I'm doing it for. What motivates fervent child recorders? There's a family at school who video tape (do we still use that term) their kids' every move, to the point where other parents roll their eyes when they turn up with their expensive equipment and demand a space in the very front the better to capture their prodigies. Are they hoping one of the kids will become famous and they can roll out the two year old genius footage a la Justin Bieber or Micheal Jackson? Or are they planning to present a two hour montage at one of the weddings?

Still, since I taped so much of the Queenager, I feel somewhat obliged to do the same for the boys, even though they will probably never see the footage.

What about you?

17 comments:

  1. Not good on the action footage, I'm afraid. Much better on photos, but like you I wonder; how long to keep them for?

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  2. Hmm, we've never looked at any of the stuff we taped, but I guess it'll be good for when they get married; become famous or are on the America's most wanted list

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  3. Well does the Little Guy want you to record it? He shd decide for you. That wd be then yr reason for doing it, if you're not bothered either way I mean...

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  4. Most schools don't allow you to video children's performances these days. I'm also doing little videos of Amy because they're a great momentum for future years. Tape on; the more the merrier, I say!

    CJ xx

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  5. When my first arrives, I of course will record every moment I can. I would think after every child the amount of footage decreases proportionately.

    Old footage is always good for causing maximum embarrassment at opportune moments.

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  6. I have hours of footage of things like band and orchestra concerts, but you're right: what to do with it? It's unthinkable that I could ever get rid of it. Perhaps when they're both out in the world on their own, I'll feel like sitting around and watching old school orchestra concerts and feeling nostalgic...but I doubt it.

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  7. I never tape anything. I don't take many pictures either. In fact, I have this theory that as long as you're taping or photographing, you're not really in the moment, so it spoils the moment in a way.

    Of course now you've started you must continue, because otherwise (as you said) your younger children will think you love them less, AND they will all think you've all of a sudden stopped loving them quite so much. (Yes, I know I'm evil. ;-) )

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  8. This may not apply to recordings of school activities, but I do know that my sisters watched our home movies (from when they were little) quite a bit as they grew up. They lost their mother (unexpectedly) when they were 2 & 4 years old, so it gave them a chance to see who she was as a person, not just stories we all told, when they got older and more curious. Somewhat morbid reasoning but I know it really helped them to see what kind of person she was (wonderful of course).

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  9. We don't tape school events, but for years I taped random bits of everyday family life. Then the camcorder got so old that the battery wouldn't charge, and I couldn't replace the battery because it was obsolete. So now we don't tape anything, and no doubt my daughter will be saying to her therapist "but there's loads of stuff about my brothers and then nothing about me" in years to come.

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  10. Surely if they become famous the last thing they're going to want is the "before they were famous" expose in Heat/National Enquirer...

    But no, we don't tape anything. We don't have a machine for doing so. But I do take pictures. Lots of them. So when they do become famous I can still blackmail them with pictures of potty training, or fashion disasters.

    I'm rather looking forward to it.

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  11. I'm with Mwa. No tapes, not all that many photos when they were children. My dad was a photographer and I spent all my childhood being photographed. It took me until my children were grown to get over it and learn to like the camera again so all my photos now are of plants and the garden with the occasional cake, loaf of bread or jar of cinnamon jelly. Just let it go I say!

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  12. I vote to record all you can. Someday you will probably be glad you have the memories. :)

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  13. I have barely got a photo of my third and last child, let alone any video footage - massive guilt Lx

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  14. I know I won't stop. I mean, I don't do them sitting around playing anymore, but I think I will continue to record Xmases and performances etc. Occasionally I even remember to make a CD and send it to England.
    I have to record the Man-Child's school jazz performance tomorrow night as another mother has asked me to get some footage of her son and make a CD.
    And the kids don't seem to mind, so that's OK too. If they were screaming at me to get the camera out of their faces it would be another thing. I must get into the habit of watching them once they're recorded though.

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  15. We recently put the old cine films from my husband's family growing up onto DVD and watched them all in one sitting. What oddly came out of was that our generation (the 40 somethings) and the next generation (the kids) all wished there was more film of the older ones (who have since died). So my advice to you is: you probably don't need to film much more of your kids - when they are older they would rather see some of you on film. So put on some lippy, brush your hair and give them the camera for a change.

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  16. My dad was an early adopter of video, in fact he even had a super 8 film camera that came on every vacation before he got an enormous video camera in about 1980. He even carried the thing on his shoulder for an 8 mile pony trek through the Welsh mountans. I have to say that the pleasure we get as a family now from watching ourselves falling off horses, murdering musical numbers, opening christmas presents and jumping into swimming pools 30+ years ago is absolutely priceless. Keep filming!

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The more the merrier....

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