Making Of: Birthday Surprise For My Boyfriend

First of all - a massive THANK YOU for more than 100,000 views, over 450 thumbs up and more than 140 subscribers! You people are awesome!

Birthday Surprise For My Boyfriend - How to create a video

Since there seems to be quite an interest in how I made the video and what items I used to get this result, here's some sort of tutorial if you wanted to make the exact same thing. I hope you enjoy it. If anything's missing, tell me in the comments below and I'll add any additional information that is requested.

If you don't know what video I'm talking about, this is it: 

(or click here to watch it on YouTube)

If you want to make the exact same thing as I did, you'll need:

  • a sketch block (you can buy the one I used here)
  • a black sharpie or felt pen (I used a felt pen by herlitz and a black stabilo point 88 fine 0.4 but it really doesn't make much of a difference which ones you use)
  • a lot of glittery decoration like stars, coloured glitter or those little plastic diamond things that are ment to be glued to birthday cards
  • a pair of scissors
  • red scrapbook paper
  • golden and silver aluminium foil (the one that is meant for crafting) - I used double-sided foil which is silver on the one and golden on the other side (I didn't find the exact one I have online, but you can buy something similar to mine here)
  • a heart motive puncher
  • crepe paper in yellow, orange and red
  • white printing paper
  • watercolours, brushes and water
  • a calligraphic pen
  • a camera, photo editing software and video editing software (I used my old Canon Digital IXUS 70, Photo Filtre 7 and Windows Movie Maker for Windows Vista and Windows 7, but I'd advice using a better camera)

I started off by cutting out 101 hearts from red scrapbook paper and writing my 101 reasons on them (using my calligraphic pen for #101 and the stabilo/sharpie for all the others). Next, I punched out a couple of small, red and silver/golden hearts out of the red scrapbook paper and the aluminium foil. I also covered my desk in red paper to have a nicer background behind the sketch block.
Next, I put my sketch book onto the red paper and made a photo of that. Then, I drew a weird stripe of water colour in one corner of the paper and took another photo. I then drew another stripe of water colour in the opposite corner and took the next photo. After that I started writing the introductionary text - by simply writing one letter, then taking a photo, and then writing the next letter and so on and so forth. It's really time-consuming, but I liked the effect of it. Whenever I finished one page, I threw on some glittery stars and other glittery paper decoration, as well as the punched-out hearts, and took another photo of that, then moving the pieces slightly around and taking another two to three photos of that. (The orangy paper at 3:40 is just orange transparent paper btw).
After finishing the text-bit, I just started placing the bigger red hearts and the decoration-bits on an empty sheet of my sketch book. I cut out small rectangles of the white printing paper, writing a number for each of the 101 hearts on them an placing them next to or below the hearts on the sketch book. I made the ribbons (eg. at 5:21) from a rectangular piece of crepe paper around which I tied a longer and smaller rectangular piece of crepe paper.
That's basically all I did to get the picture material for the video. I then transferred the photos from my camera to my computer and edited all of them whith Photo Filtre 7. All I did was adjusting the brightness and contrast to try to make all of the photos look like they where taken in the same lighting (which they weren't since I started this project in the afternoon with natural light and I finished taking photos around 10PM, so I had to turn on artificial light in the process which I tried to edit out later).
I then created a new image of the size of the photos, gave it a black background and wrote text on it for the intro (the font I used is called mael, if anyone wanted to know that).
After that, I imported all of the photos (including the intro images) into Windows Movie Maker. In the newest version of WMM, you do that by clicking on "Home" and then "Add videos and photos". You now see all of the added photos on the right, where you can adjust their order if it isn't correct. By clicking on the tab "Animations", you can see different elements you can drag between the photos to create your desired slideshow effect. You can add music by clicking on "Home" and then "Add music". You can drag the music line on the timeline on the right to make the music start and end at the point where you want it to start or to end. Once you're happy with the video you created, you can simply save the project. I'd advise to save the project file which you can edit later again (*.wlmp) and also the video file (high definition) which you can upload to youtube or just watch on your computer.

I hope this was somewhat helpful for you and answered your questions. If you've got problems with the video editing part, there are tons of tutorials online, also for other video editing software if you prefer to use something other than WMM.
Also, all of the software I used can be downloaded for free, the download link for PF7 is in the "what you'll need"-list above. However, I made this video using Windows as the OS, but I'm sure there's similar software for Linux and MacOS/OSX. 
One last note: I didn't have any tripod, so I picked up the camera every time I took a photo, therefore, not all photos are shot from the exact same angle. To make it look a little smoother, you could simply fix your camera to a tripod, if you have one, to shoot all photos from the exact same angle. The final result might look a little better this way. Feel free to learn from my mistakes!