Filming a happy birthday video message with friends is easy with these tips and is sure to succeed

15. April 2017 - Alexander Schmidt

Happy Birthday Video Message – It's Really Easy! | Instructions & Tips


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Outlandish and creative: congratulate your friend on his birthday with a funny video message! All you need for an original video message is a camera, time and imagination. With these tips and suggestions, it is guaranteed to succeed.

Whether you’re celebrating your friend’s special day or congratulating them from afar, a video message for their birthday is an unusual, personalized gift that will make for the perfect birthday surprise.

A short time ago, we already presented you ourscript template for a video message for wedding. So this time, our best tips and suggestions for….

The Perfect Video Message for a Birthday

The perfect happy birthday video message is entertaining, fun for all guests and personal

Stage the congratulations with a poster

This Is What You Should Think About When Making a Video Message for Your Birthday

Shooting a video message is easy as pie, right? Just press the record button on your smartphone, smile and off you go. Sure, a video message can be that simple. But if you put some thought into it before you start filming, the result will show and the surprise will be even bigger!

It’s worth looking into these essential tips for shooting videos and editing videos to make sure you don’t forget anything!

Have You Answered These Questions?

  • Are you shooting the birthday video message alone or with other friends? → Round up everyone you think has the time and inclination to join in!
  • What do you or you actually want to wish the birthday boy or girl? → Collect the congratulations and write them down as if it were the text for a classic greeting card.
  • How long should your birthday video message be approximately? → We advise you to limit yourselves to about 0:30-2:00 minutes. Short and crisp is usually best received.
  • How much time do you plan or have for preparation, shooting and editing of the video message, if necessary? → This question is extremely important, because from it depends on what is feasible at all in the available time. Will your film be an improvised one-take or rather the little brother of a Hollywood production? 😉
  • What equipment do you have? With which camera do you shoot? Do you have a tripod and extra lighting? What about an editing program? → If there are several of you, you should also distribute tasks from the outset: Does everyone want to be in front of the camera? Who will operate the camera(s)? Who makes the final cut?
  • Where do you shoot at all? And do you need good original sound there? → Depending on whether you are shooting in your own four walls, in the city park or under a busy railroad bridge, the requirements for lighting and sound will of course change.

From Congratulatory Text to the Script for Your Birthday Video Message

A happy birthday video message is a special, personal gift that the recipient will remember for years to come

Original happy birthday video message with staged congratulations

What you wish your birthday friend, you know best yourself. So here you will find mainly suggestions on how best to visually design your congratulations.

Our first tip: Write down your congratulations (see above) and work them into a short script. Think about how you can best implement the congratulations: you could, for example, take turns reciting them, sing in a choir (if you can agree on a melody ;-)) or write the congratulations on self-made cardboard signs and hold them in the camera.

You can also make music, include objects in your presentation, perform a little skit, or convey your congratulations in the form of a pantomime or an expressive dance.

Of course, if you have the opportunity to edit, you can also change the location in between, to match the message you are trying to convey.

Moving away from theory and towards practice, below you’ll find one of our scripts for our latest congratulatory film, shot by four of us.

Our Script for a Birthday Video Message

A happy birthday birthday video message should be personal and entertainingly convey what you want to say

Cheers! Final image of the video message

Preparation and Brainstorming for the Birthday Video Message

At the beginning of our script was a collection of congratulations. According to the birthday boy’s preferences and hobbies: Cooking / good food, music, mountain hiking / adventure and travel, we noted our congratulations and finally put them into shape:

Delicious moments and enjoyment in abundance.

Harmonies, melodies and fanfare for the soundtrack of your life.

Break neck and neck in exciting adventures.

The orchestra plays up for your future music.

Good luck on your continued journey through life.

We decided to write our congratulations on large posters we designed ourselves. In doing so, we designed each poster differently, according to the congratulations. For example, we decorated the musical posters with sheet music.

The Finished Script for Our Birthday Video Message

4 performers: hereafter called A, J, M and P 😉

2 cameras: GoPro HERO4 + Nikon DSLR camera*

Editing program: Adobe Premiere Pro CC (Here’s a super comprehensive Aguide to this!)

Locations: Public park + private balcony.

Equipment: 8 self-designed posters, apples and oranges, a hat and coins, a record player / gramophone, Giant notes printed on paper and cut out, a ladle and an egg slicer from the kitchen

1.) A stands in front of a fountain and holds up a poster on which Delicious Moments… can be read. Then he crumples it up into a ball and bites into it as if it were an apple.

In the cut, we let the scene play backwards: so it looks like A bites into the paper apple, takes it out of his mouth, and then it unfolds into the poster.

2.) J stands on a meadow with his back to the camera. This is directed at the beginning on his legs at those the second poster leans with the inscription: …und Genuss im Überfluss. He turns around, the poster falls down and the camera pans up. J is juggling fruit (apples and oranges).

3.) In front of the entrance to a subway station: a hat with a few coins in it is lying on the ground. Next to it is a poster with the inscription Harmonies, Melodies and Fanfares…. M jumps into the picture from the side and plays an air trumpet.

In the cut we underlay this part with trumpet music, of course!

4.) P stands on the balcony, next to him an old gramophone (alternatively record player/music system), he has headphones on. The camera pans to the turntable, there is the poster with the inscription …for the soundtrack of your life stuck on an old record. P flips the switch and the turntable starts spinning.

In the edit, we insert the birthday boy’s favorite music at this point.


5.) A and M hold a poster with the inscription Break a leg… picture-filling into the camera. Then they stumble and stagger backwards, revealing that they are on a lawn in the park, and let themselves fall onto the grass.

We put a funny effect on top of this in the edit, so that the image appears to be superimposed several times, and add a funny sound effect.

6.) J and M balance on a wall in the park while holding up the next poster that reads …on exciting adventures.

7.) J and P are sitting on the grass. The camera films from diagonally above. Between them is a poster with the inscription: The orchestra plays on… They throw alternately previously cut out by us large notes on the poster, so that visually a melody is created.

8.) A and P sit in front of a hedge and ”make music” with kitchen utensils. P plucks on an egg slicer as if it were a harp and A strokes one ladle over another as if it were a violin (alternatively, of course, real instruments can be used). The camera pans down from the two to the poster with the message: …for your future music.

9.) All four well-wishers sit in a semicircle on a lawn in the park and toast the birthday boy with champagne. At the moment when the glasses touch, the image freezes.

We add the last part of our message later in the cut as a written panel in the sky of the final image: Good luck on your further journey through life!.

10.) The film ends with a closing pinhole

Let’s Go! – Shoot Your Own Birthday Video Message

Shooting an original, offbeat video message for your birthday is faster than you think with this template! Convert the congratulations and images to your liking – it only took us about 4 hours to shoot and edit.  Shoot your own video message for your friend’s birthday and let your imagination run wild! You don’t have to be great actors or trained camera operators to make a cool happy birthday movie.

Tip: In a team, the work is the most fun and it is much easier for you to concoct and implement funny ideas!

At Abenteuer Freundschaft, you can find inspiration for personal gifts and lots of creative ideas for activities with friends, your partner and family!

Image source Cover photo: Observer by daveoratox at CC BY 2.0

*This post contains affiliate links: If you order products through them, we receive a small commission without changing anything in price.


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