Windows Movie Maker is one of the most awesome pieces of software the company ever created. Sadly, it was discontinued for some crazy reason by Microsoft. However, you can still easily legally download it for free and use it as much as you wish.
The software was first released with the horrific iteration of Windows known as ME way back in 2000. It was definitely the star of that operating system. We could create and edit videos with ease! As the program was updated through the years, many more powerful tools were added in. It still blows my mind that it has not been continued, but I digress.
This software lets you capture the video from your camera – or any device. You can also import it in any of the many supported formats. Unfortunately, not all formats will work. For those, you would need to install additional codecs here.
How to Download and Install Windows Movie Maker
The first thing you will need to do is to download Windows Live using the ”Windows Executable” link on the right side in the middle of the screen.
Begin setup by double-clicking the executable wherever you saved it. When the window pops up asking you ”What Do You Want to Install?” be sure to click ”Choose the Programs You Want to Install.”
Uncheck everything except ”Photo Gallery and Movie Maker” and then click the ”Install” button.
How to Use Windows Movie Maker
The first step is to click the ”Add Photos and Videos” button at the top to open up your Pictures folder.
Next, select the photos (or videos) you would like to add to your Movie. Once they have populated the area, click once on a photo and drag then drop into whatever order you prefer.
The next step I would take is to add any Titles, Captions and Credits to my current version. Clicking ”Title” lets you place a title slide just before the selected photo. Choosing ”Captions” will help you overlay text (using your own fonts, colors, sizing and so on) onto the current photo. And last – but not least – ”Credits” helps you to credit a director, soundtrack, actor and more.
Once you have added some text onto the photo, you will see several new little boxes pop up to the left. These allow you to change the way the text will display: fading, stretching and scrolling are a few of the options.
The next thing you can do is to click on the ”Animations” tab. Here, you will be able to choose how you wish your photos to transition and appear, from crossfading to pixelating and even a more cinematic appearance. You can even decide to apply the same transition to all photos or use a different one on each separate one.
Next, let’s look at the ”Visual Effects” tab. With this, think filters… each will add a different look to your pics. Again, you can add the same one to all or different to each.
Now, let’s head back to the ”Home” tab. It is time to add some voiceover or music to your video!
How to Add Voice or Video to Your Movie
This is where things can get a bit tricky. The ”Record Narration” button does exactly as it says: it lets you tell your story in your own words and voice. Adding music is where you need to be careful. You cannot use copyrighted music! Clicking the ”Add Music” button will give you a drop down box of several places online to look for free-to-use music.
You can also obviously create your own music. Write and record and upload to your heart’s content!
What to Do with Your Movie
Once you have finished adding all of the effects, photos, music and more and are satisfied with the outcome, I highly recommend first saving it to your computer. After that, you can either use one of the built-in ”Sharing” buttons within Windows Movie Maker or upload it to your favorite website directly from your machine.
I have only touched on the very basics of what Windows Movie Maker can do. If I were to go into every option built into the software, we could be here all day. Additionally, there are SO many different things you can use this for: a presentation for work, a slideshow for a party or reception, school projects and even those wonderful lyrics videos on YouTube. Again, though: be careful of copyrighted music.
What other Windows software or Movie Maker questions do you have? Are you stuck somewhere in creating your movie? Let me know in the comments and I will do my best to help!
Happy movie making!