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Make a video time capsule with your family and friends

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Inspired by our 1999 video time capsule? Get started on your own for a fun, future surprise.

We’re amazed by the response to our 1999 video time capsule. Creating one of your own is a great way to make memories and be creative with your family and friends. If you’re feeling inspired, here are some ways to get started.

Decide what your time capsule will be about.

What will the people in your video time capsule talk about? This is the most important part!

The Tech Interactive has a mission to inspire the innovator in everyone, so our time capsule asked people to imagine what technology and life would be like in 20 years.

What’s important to you, your family and friends? It could be food, traveling, movies or whatever you are passionate about! If you have a theme in mind, you can start to think of the questions. Imagine 20 years from now if you were able to hear members of your family — young and old — all describe their favorite meal and how to cook it, how fun would that be? What’s another activity you all enjoy doing together?

This could also be a good way to close 2020! Imagine the time capsule like an artifact that gives folks in the future just a little taste of what life was like in this strange time. Experts suggest relieving anxiety about a certain moment by writing a letter to a future you. It provides you with a sense of hope and optimism. Why not do that in video form? Think about the joy of watching this with your friends and family in 10 or 20 years and seeing how things have changed and if predictions about the future come true!

Here are some questions to get you started thinking.

In 20 years:

  • How will the world look different?

  • How will an activity you love doing change?

  • What wild invention will make the world better?

How will your family change? What kind of career might you or your kids have?

  • What’s your advice to your future self?

Decide when will you open your time capsule.

We were very lucky to have found anything from our 1999 time capsule. The original time capsule was lost. Only the video survived because a single copy was kept as a backup by the original filmmaker. We were just one ill-fated spring cleaning away from losing those predictions to a dumpster.

The longer you wait to open your time capsule, the higher the chances that it might get lost. But it also makes the content really interesting!

Keep your time capsule safe.

Save your creation in multiple ways. Keep a copy on the computer, on your phone, on a thumb drive, or saved to the cloud. Try to think about how the technology might change. If our only copy was on VHS tapes, it would’ve been much more difficult to discover.

Also, make sure multiple people have copies of the time capsule, and that they know what it is. A simple label like: “2020 Time Capsule: Don’t open until 2030!” will be very useful when your time capsule is discovered.

Make a list of everyone on the video.

Trust us, future you will be very grateful if you make sure to include the names of everyone who participated. If you can add text or graphics of the names directly to the video, that’s even better!

Don’t get too creative … yet.

When you film people talking, make sure that the picture is clear, their face is visible and the audio is high-quality. You want to make sure their expressions and answers are easy to understand.

Our 1999 time capsule was filmed with cutting-edge cameras at the time, but today the footage looks a little blurry as technology has evolved. But there are some ways to help keep their messages clear.

When you’re recording, keep the focus on your interview subject. No distracting backgrounds or additional noise. Don’t get too caught up in adding filters or stickers or graphical elements, and you might want to resist the urge to add music. You’ll care more about seeing their faces and hearing what they have to say.

And lastly, think of all the ways you might unveil the time capsule for future you and your friends — and maybe millions of people, like our 1999 time capsule!


Looking for more ways to have fun as a family? Check out our free STEM activities at The Tech Interactive at Home and En Casa.

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