Making a home movie
with vıdeo, photos
TODAY’S CAMCORDERS AND CAMERAS have become smaller in two ways:
size and price. That means it’s easier than ever to shoot both video and still
photos. In fact, many camcorders enable you to do both. But what do you do
with the video and the photos after you’ve taken them?
One fun and easy solution is to combine the video and photos in a homemade documentary. I have done this with family vacations, ski trips with
friends and group events. The finished product is much more compelling and and
entertaining to watch than a simple slide show.
Choosing the right software
The first step is to choose the right software for your project. If you h ave
a computer with Microsoft Windows XP (as I do) or certain versions of V ista,
you may already have a good basic tool in your hands: Windows Movie Ma ker.
Later-model Macs come with iMovie. Both are ver y
easy to use and can do most of the work for you.
If you want a program that offers more creative tools and a larger library of transitions and specia l
effects, you’ll have to purchase one. I have tried Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0 and some similar programs. They let you do a lot more things with
the video, picture and sound in your project than
Windows Movie Maker. But they’re also harder to
use, with a learning curve required.
Importing your photos and video
Bringing photos and video into your computer is easy.
For photos, I slip my camera’s flash memory card into a
drive on my computer, then transfer the photos into a file I
set up under “My Videos.”
For video, I plug the Fire Wire cable that came with
my camcorder into my computer. A box comes up and I
choose to import the video clips using Windows Mov-
ie Maker. I follow the program’s directions, reviewing
and editing the clips as I go.
Finishing the project
Once all of the video and photos are stored
in “My Videos,” I’m ready to place them in the
documentary. This simply involves dragging th em
onto a panel called the “timeline” in the order I want.
Then I create a title for the documentary, ap ply a few
touches such as transitions between clips a nd finally
add music to the whole thing.
I’m no Fellini, but my short movies capture precious
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