The 411 on Mitzvah Montages
"The slide show thing who does that?"
"I wouldn't know where to begin with making a montage"
"Who handles showing it?"
These are all quotes I have heard recently in regards to Bar/Bat Mitzvah Montages.
With apologies to any non-pre-internet individuals reading this, by "411" I mean "information on". The purpose of this post is to address the basics of the coveted Bar Mitzvah Montage, now a staple at most of the parties we do.
Who makes the montage?
As of this writing in December of 2017 I am finding that most of the time a computer savvy family member will make the montage. At its most basic, a montage is simply a collection of photos placed in a desirable order with appropriate accompanying music. Taking a hundred and fifty digital photos and dragging them into a video editor is far from rocket science. Adding some music to go along with it is just as simple too. "What's the big deal then?" you may want to ask? Well locating the photos, cropping them the way you want them, and putting them in order takes time. Also scanning hard copy photos into digital photos also takes time. It is often a labor or love, with emphasis on the labor.
If taking 20 hours out of your life to do the above is not so appealing to you there are other options. Namely hiring someone to do it for you. You will still need to come up with the pictures of course but you can have someone scan the hard copies, put them in order, and deliver a finished montage with music all for a fee. A good montage editor can add creative transitions and little extras to make your montage stand out. Certainly not necessary in this DJ's opinion but it can be nice.
Alas there is one more option I have seen become popular lately! That is where the family brings a flash drive with the photos on it and hands it over to the DJ (or the person in charge of showing the montage) the day of the event and they do an "auto-slide show" with the photos. This takes only a minute (if they have done it before) and the pictures will cycle through in an automatic slide show in alphabetical order. If the pictures are named so that they look good in the default alphabetical order then waalaa a decent slide show in a fraction of the time! The DJ (experienced in Bar Mitzvahs) can then play appropriate music to the slide show while it is playing and it will all come across to the audience very nicely.
Who handles showing the Montage?
If the venue in which you are holding the party has a good audio visual system built in then that is an option.
The DJ Company you hire may have the capability and equipment to show it.
The photographer and/or videographer you hire may have the equipment to show it.
Be advised equipment is only half the battle. When the time comes to show the montage it is imperative that there is a person there who has a vested interest in making sure that montage shows properly. This could be the in house audio visual technician, the DJ, the photographer etc.
Two important questions to ask is "When it comes time to show the montage who will handle it? " and "If something goes wrong is this person an expert in the equipment and can troubleshoot it right then and there?"
The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Montage is most enjoyable time during your celebration. Let it not be a stressful one by making proper planning on the front end and employing capable people. Let this 411 avoid a 911! Happy celebrating!