I’ve had too many projects on my plate lately so this blog has sat by the wayside. One of my projects this weekend is beginning the edit process on four tapes of a life story interview. My subject is a 90-year-old Japanese-American woman who was interned in Arkansas during WWII and returned to Japan as a “foreigner” immediately after the War. Editing something this long is a very tedious chore, and I’ve procrastinated on the project for quite awhile. Fortunately, this woman is a born storyteller so hearing pieces of her story over and over again hasn’t been too mind-numbing for me, and, fortunately, I know how to wield the magic of Windows Movie Maker.
You, too, probably have Windows Movie Maker on your computer. Macs have their own version called iMovie. These programs allow you to easily clip pieces out of a video, paste them in any order, add interesting transitions between clips, and add music. My video camera (the old-fashioned kind using mini tapes) comes with editing software which I use to roughly cut clips out of longer recordings and move into a folder in the My Videos file. Short clips can be moved whole. I also move into that folder any still photos I want to use along with mp3 music clips. The .avi video clips, digital photos (or jpg scans), and music can then be imported into a new Windows Movie Maker file. In Show Storyboard mode, drag the pieces into order, choose transitions and special effects, and add a title page. In Show Timeline mode, video can be trimmed from front or back, the length of viewing of each photo can be set. Finally, drag music to wherever you wish, change volume if needed, trim the clip from front or back to fit with the video as desired. Don’t forget to Save Project periodically while you are working on it. When all is set, Save as a Movie. You can upload this to YouTube or your website (or blog) or make a DVD.
I’ve become addicted to making movies and have a number of them on YouTube. St. Louis should pay me for making commercials of area attractions. I made the Cherry Blossoms in Twilightbook trailer on my website. But, the best use of Movie Maker is capturing fun times and life stories and sharing them with others in a very attractive format.
Linda,Thank you so much for this post. Last time I checked, Windows Movie Maker did not work with the .mov format my camera produces. You motivated me to check again to see if my recent move to Windows 7 makes a difference. It does! Woo Hoo! I'm off and running.
My husband likes Vegas Video – but this sounds easier to learn. Thanks for the inspiration!PS I wonder if you can edit sound files and clip two different tracks together in Windows Movie Maker?
It is very easy to learn and yet does so much. I merge different video clips, remove the sound or replace it, and add still photos. If the audio clips you want to add are mp3, you can add them, too. There's also a way to narrate over the video/photos.