In This Chapter
Adding and importing clips and photos
Assembling a movie
Using special effects
Adding a soundtrack
Previewing your movie
Saving and recording the finished film
Have you long harbored the urge to make your own film? You pick the subject — from your kid's kindergarten graduation to a science fiction action flick worthy of James Cameron himself. You edit your footage, add professional-looking transitions and special effects, and even set the mood with a custom soundtrack recorded on your aunt's antique Hammond organ. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the definition of sweet — and it's all made possible by your PC. (For the full effect, buy a canvas director's chair and a megaphone.)
In this chapter, I demonstrate how you can use footage from your digital video (DV) camcorder — or, with the right equipment, even the footage you recorded on tape — to produce your own film. Your finished work of visual art can be saved to a recordable DVD or stored on your hard drive for use on your Web pages.
My filmmaking tool of choice is Windows Live Movie Maker, as shown in Figure 3-1. The program is available for free as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite, which you can download at
http://download.live.com. Live Movie Maker runs like a well-oiled machine under XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
Figure 3.1. It's easy to edit and enhance your movies in Windows Live Movie Maker.
After you ...