Basic Editing with Windows Movie Maker Part 1

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Now that you’ve transferred your Mini-DV tape onto your computer, I’m going to walk you through the steps that I took to create the short video you see above, using Windows Movie Maker. To augment my written instructions, I encourage you to click on the thumbnail adjacent to each step.

The editing process is probably where you will spend a lot of time fine-tuning your skills. Editing is definitely an art form, but your videos can be effective without being fancy. With the digital tools currently available, the technical hurdles for editing have been lowered significantly but the question of what to cut and when cannot be answered in this guide. The old saying that “less is more” definitely applies here, however.

As you read through the technical steps listed below, keep in mind that you want your end product video to be interesting from start to finish. A 30-second standing ovation is riveting in person, but very boring in a video. In the example video above, the clip where I zoom in on the “New Hampshire for Dodd” sign is only 11-seconds long–but it seems a lot longer. That’s an example of something that should be cut down to three seconds.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s OK to deviate from the steps below, and explore the other options offered within Windows Movie Maker. I’m providing a very basic framework for what I hope will blossom into a beautiful relationship between you and your video editing software. Video editing is not nearly as hard as it looks, so have some fun!