IMAGINE how amazing it would be for our loved ones abroad this Christmas to open a video and see all the family wishing them the season's best.
That's the gift Kerry County Council and The Kerryman are encouraging people to give as part of a new video competition sponsored by both to bring families split by emigration together through the power of new media for Christmas.
With so many people now owning handheld devices capable of recording high-quality videos, the job is easily done and Kerry film maker-in-residence Michael Kelly is on hand with some top tips for recording a video from home.
"You might want to think about just a few things. One, wipe the lens. This may seem quite obvious but you keep your smartphone in your pocket, and more often than not there is a little dirt or grease on the lens which can lead to dull or out-of-focus shots.
"Two, hold steady. Think more Godfather than Bourne Identity in terms of camera movement.
"Try and lean against something or sit down when shooting and hold the shot for at least five seconds, it makes the image a lot more watchable and the viewer less seasick!"
Michael also advises to get the eye-level right so if filming children, hunker down.
Also vital is audio quality. "People won't watch something with bad sound, so get somewhere quiet and calm for the talky bits. Banna Beach looks nice, but it's not exactly the ideal spot to deliver a heartfelt Christmas message," Michael said.
After that, simply get the videos up online and email them to email@example.com.
The best Christmas video will receive a prize of €200, sponsored by Kerry County Council and The Kerryman.